Elyssa Duncan
Community Specialist
Posted June 15, 2021

What to wear to a retail job interview (with examples)

Learn what to wear to a retail job interview based on the store type, with examples.
Elyssa Duncan
Community Specialist
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What to wear to a retail job interview (with examples)
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If you're preparing for a retail job interview, you'll want to dress for success. Making a good impression starts with the right outfit.

But what interview attire is appropriate, and what could set a bad impression before you can introduce yourself? Depending on the type of retail store you are applying to, the suggested interview dress code may vary!

Here are examples of different clothing and accessories to wear based on the type of retail store.

Why is your outfit important for a retail interview?

When you work in retail, presentation is important. Team members work directly with customers, and hiring managers want to know that you have what it takes to be the face of the company.

When you're well-groomed and wearing an appropriate outfit to the interview, it shows you are a genuine candidate. You've made an effort, and you have strong attention to detail.

It also tells the employer that you understand the retail dress code.

Should you wear accessories to a job interview?

Yes! The rule of thumb is that you can wear jewelry to your retail interview, but keep it to a minimum.

Acceptable accessories include:

  • A watch
  • Small stud earrings
  • Reading glasses
  • Simple necklace or bracelet
  • Belt
  • Engagement or wedding ring

You should avoid any distracting or elaborate jewelry, such as bold costume jewelry or a set of bracelets that jingle excessively.

How to dress: Based on the type of retail store

The perfect interview attire will vary slightly depending on where you are applying.

The two most common dress codes are business casual and business professional. If you're unsure, it's better to be overdressed than underdressed.

TIP: If it’s a management position, you should always wear business professional attire. Men should wear a tie, and women should consider a collared shirt with a fitted blazer.

What to wear if you have an interview at a grocery store

If you have a job interview at a grocery store, we recommend the business casual dress code.

  • Men can wear a button-down shirt with rolled sleeves, a belt, and dark pants. Or, if the weather is cool, you can layer with a vest and open blazer.
  • If you don't own a shirt and your interview is on short notice, the next best thing is a polo shirt.
  • Women should still stick to neutrals, but you can wear patterned tops such as light stripes and florals. Pants can be black or grey, or you can incorporate warmer tones, such as rust. If it’s cool, you can wear an open blazer or fitted cardigan.
  • Keep it professional with dress shoes and minimal accessories

Here are examples of what to wear to an interview at a grocery store:

(Image Source)

(Image Source)

What to wear if you have an interview at a department store

If you have a job interview at a department store, we recommend choosing the business casual dress code.

  • Men can wear a button-down or polo shirt in a neutral color. You can pair this with dark jeans, khakis, or dress pants.

  • Women can wear a button-down shirt or a simple top. Tailored pants, dark jeans, or a mid-length skirt with tights pair well with heels or close-toed flats.

  • Avoid wearing gym sneakers or flip-flops, make sure your clothing is clean and ironed. Stay away from anything that’s too short or too tight.

Here are examples of what to wear to an interview at a supermarket:

(Image Source)

What to wear if you have an interview at a specialty store

If you have a job interview at a specialty store, we recommend the business professional dress code with a twist.

  • Men can wear a shirt and tie with a plaid sports jacket for a fresh yet sophisticated look. Or you can wear a traditional suit and tie in an alternative color such as navy or dark grey.

  • Women can wear a pantsuit or a buttoned blazer with an ironed dress shirt, skirt, and stockings.

  • If the specialty store has a modern niche, such as a beauty store, clothing store, or shoe shop, you can subtly incorporate trends into your look. For example, women could wear a high-neck top instead of a shirt, and men could wear chinos instead of dress pants.

  • You should always avoid denim, sneakers, and plastic jewelry.

Here is an example of what to wear to an interview at a specialty store:

(Image Source)

What to wear if you have an interview at a luxury store

If you have a job interview at a luxury store, boutique, or jewelry store, we recommend choosing the business professional dress code, but with a fashionable edge. Hiring managers at these retail stores will likely expect you to have an eye for fashion.

  • Men can wear a suit with pants and a jacket in different shades. For example, a navy jacket with dark grey pants is stylish yet formal. Men can wear loafers or chocolate-laced dress shoes.

  • Women can wear a short blazer with contrasting sleeves and pockets or a long trench coat with a belted waist. A pantsuit is always sophisticated and is flattering for most body types.

  • Finish with a near hairstyle and a pair of pointed-toe pumps or ballet flats.

Here is an example of what to wear to an interview at a luxury store:

(Image Source)

(Image Source)

Dress to impress for the retail position

​Get ready for your next job interview by planning the perfect outfit. If you're hoping to get a job at a retail store, think about what category it falls under. This will help make your clothing decisions easier.

Remember, your outfit is just one piece of the puzzle. To help you make a good first impression, you can read our list of common interview questions.

If you want to read more career advice, check the Jobcase Getting Hired Resource Center.

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