Interview Outfits in the Summer: What To Wear and How To Keep Cool

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published July 26, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Looking professional and feeling confident can help you impress potential employers during job interviews. However, interviewing for a professional position during the hot summer months can pose a challenge. If you need to find a summer interview outfit that's polished and comfortable, then learning which business attire items can help keep you cool may interest you. In this article, we'll explore masculine, feminine, and gender neutral summer interview outfit ideas, share tips to keep in mind when choosing what to wear, and list which fabrics are the most comfortable in the summer.

Related: 17 Interview Tips To Help You Get the Job

What to consider for interview outfits in the summer

The type of summer interview attire you wear may depend on the industry you hope to work in. You can use a search engine to research different business outfits for your specific career field. The company you are interviewing with may also provide attire guidelines along with the details for your interview. Read through your correspondences with the company carefully to see if they mention business casual clothing or business formal clothing. A few other factors you may consider when deciding what to wear to your job interview include:

  • Current business attire trends

  • How you plan to travel to the interview

  • Where the interview is taking place

  • What the dress code is for current employees

  • How long the interview is scheduled for

  • Weather conditions and climate

Related: How To Prepare for a Job Interview

Best fabrics to wear for interviews in the summer

Some of the most comfortable fabrics to wear include:

  • Linen: This lightweight fabric allows heat to escape, which can help you stay cool even in the warmest temperatures. The flowy texture of this fabric also makes it comfortable and breathable.

  • Rayon: Small fibres make up this material to create a breathable and lightweight fabric that won't stick to your skin during hot weather. Clothing manufacturers often use rayon for athletic wear because of its cooling effects, but many business shirts and blouses are also made from this material. Consider looking for rayon clothing while shopping for your next interview outfit.

  • Cotton: Cotton is a popular material in the summer because it is soft, breathable, and lightweight. This fabric actually absorbs sweat to ensure you stay cool no matter how hot it is outside. Cotton is widely available in various styles, making this a convenient option when shopping for interview outfits in the summer.

  • Seersucker: This fabric's signature texture requires a special weaving technique that makes the material breathing and prevents wrinkles. It also dries quickly to help wick away moisture. Look for skirts, tops, and blazers made with seersucker to create a comfortable summer interview outfit.

Feminine summer interview outfits

Here are some tips to help you put together a professional and feminine summer interview outfit:

Tops

Short-sleeve blouses or tops are an excellent choice to stay cool and comfortable during your interview. Choose a fabric that is lightweight and breathable. Popular shirt types for interviews include button-ups, sleeveless blouses, and crew neck tops. You may also choose to pair a thin blazer with a dress for a professional look that is perfect for hot summer days.

Bottoms

Skirts are a popular choice for summer interviews because they are breathable and comfortable. Consider choosing a professional pencil skirt, a-line skirt, or long pleated skirt in a neutral colour to create a polished look. If you prefer to wear pants, capri slacks or a lightweight pantsuit are also excellent options.

Shoes

Before you select which shoes to wear, consider how you plan to travel to your interview. This can help you choose shoes that are both comfortable and professional. Some excellent shoe options for warmer seasons include wedges, open-toed pumps, and business casual mules. Try to choose a pair in a neutral or complimentary colour to complete your outfit.

Accessories

While accessories can elevate an outfit, heavy jewellery can also be stifling during the summer and may be distracting during an interview. Consider wearing a lightweight watch, a pair of studded earrings, or a small necklace to create a polished look. You may also want to limit the number of bags you bring to make it easier to travel to your interview. Try to pack all the essentials, such as pens and paper, in one bag to make transportation easier.

Related: 11 Best Questions To Ask in an Interview

Masculine summer interview outfits

Here are some tips to help you put together a professional and masculine summer interview outfit:

Tops

Start by selecting a lightweight material, such as cotton or linen, to put together an outfit that is comfortable even on hot summer days. You may also opt for a lighter colour, such as white or blue, to help stay cool and prevent your shirt from retaining heat. Popular shirt styles for summer interviews include short sleeve button-ups, lightweight blazers, and Oxford shirts with the sleeves rolled up. Only wear a tie if your interview requires business formal attire to prevent wearing more material than is necessary.

Bottoms

Lightweight professional pants are an excellent option for the summer. Look for fabrics that are designed to wick away moisture for a maximum cooling effect. Choosing a slightly looser fit and selecting a light colour, such as tan, can also help you stay comfortable in warmer weather.

Shoes

While it may be tempting to wear more casual or lightweight shoes, opt for a pair of traditional dress shoes to impress the interviewer. Dark-coloured, freshly-polished leather shoes, brown or black loafers, lace-up dress shoes, or Oxfords are all popular choices. If your calves are visible, select a matching pair of mid-calf length dress socks in a cotton or moisture wicking fabric to complete your outfit.

Accessories

Keeping your accessories to a minimum can help you create a polished and comfortable interview outfit. If you choose to accessorize, consider wearing a nice watch or adding a simple pocket square to your blazer. A leather belt that closely matches your shoe colour can also help you elevate your outfit.

Gender neutral summer interview outfit tips

Many professionals prefer to wear gender neutral clothing to feel more comfortable or to express themselves. While you may wear any of the previously mentioned articles of clothing to an interview regardless of your gender identity, here are some tips to help you choose a gender neutral interview outfit you feel comfortable and confident in this summer:

Focus on finding the proper fit

Wearing clothing that fits properly can help improve your comfort and confidence, especially during the hot summer months. If you plan to shop online for new interview attire, take your measurements first to ensure the clothing you purchase meets your expectations.

There are an increasing number of stores that design gender neutral clothing that may have a wider variety of options for you to choose from. You can use a search engine to explore gender neutral or androgynous business attire to find an outfit that best represents who you are as an individual. Try on each article of clothing before the day of your interview and consider having items tailored if necessary.

Create a look that's polished

Create a polished look by ironing your clothing before your interview and ensuring each item is free from stains or other signs of wear. Try to avoid clothing that includes excessive logos, designer branding, or slogans. Instead, opt for neutral colours in a light tone such as grey, taupe, or white to create a cool summer look.

Use accessories sparingly

Select accessories that elevate your outfit without being distracting. For example, a good quality watch or a simple pair of stud earrings can help you add some personality to your outfit while looking professional. Choose items that are lightweight and that match to create a well-coordinated outfit.

Mix and match clothing items

Depending on your style preferences, you may choose to mix and match clothing items that are traditionally considered masculine or feminine. You can choose items with similar colour pallets and materials to create an outfit that combines these items in a polished and professional way. There are also plenty of examples of gender neutral and androgynous professional styles online that can guide you in creating an outfit that makes you feel confident.

Related: How To Ace Your Next Job Interview

What to avoid wearing to a summer interview

Here are some items you may want to avoid wearing to your next interview to ensure you appear professional:

  • Sandals or casual open-toed shoes

  • Athletic wear, such as yoga pants, sweatpants, or leggings

  • Running shoes

  • Casual t-shirts or tank tops

  • Clothing that is excessively wrinkled or dirty

  • Baseball hats

  • Clothing that has stains, holes, or snags

  • Bulky or distracting jewellery

  • Denim pants

  • Clothing that is translucent

  • Excess perfume or cologne

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