What To Wear To A Retail Job Interview?

Deciding what to wear to your retail job interview is one of the most important processes of preparing for the job interview. What you wear to any job interview is important but for retail job interviews, it is a bit different.

Those who work in retail are likely to have face-to-face contact with customers every time they work. In fact, retail employees are often considered the face of the stores they work for. That means the appearance of the retail employees is extremely important.

When you go to your interview for the retail job this needs to be kept in mind. Your appearance at your retail job interview is likely to heavily influence whether or not you get the job.

So if you are struggling to figure out what to wear to your retail job interview, you’ve come to the right place. We have put together a guide to help you figure out what you should wear to your retail interview and what you should avoid wearing.

Department Stores

If you are applying for a job in a department store, then your clothes should reflect that of the employees working there. Those who work at department stores are usually expected to wear business casual or professional clothing.

So when deciding what you should wear for a department store it is usually best to go with business attire.

Men should wear classic business attire. This should consist of a tailored suit, a tie, a belt, and some leather shoes.

If you know that the department store allows their employees to wear business casual attire then men should wear dress slacks with a tie and shirt. In this case, men can skip the blazer. For shoes, they can either wear dress shoes or nice loafers.

Women can also wear a suit for an interview at a department store. If you don’t feel like wearing a suit then a knee-length skirt or a knee-length dress would also be appropriate.

Match the skirt with a blouse. Whether you decide to wear a dress or a skirt, you should pair it with a blazer.

Hosiery and shoes that do not have open-toes should be worn. If it is business casual, then you can wear the same outfit without a blazer. Make sure the clothes are in a muted color.

Large Retail Store

Large retail stores, like grocery stores, often expect their employees to wear business casual attire. So when you are interviewing for one of these stores you can wear business casual clothing to the interview.

Men should wear chinos or dress slacks as their pants. For their tops, men should wear a polo shirt or a button-down shirt.

In terms of shoes, comfortable leather dress shoes or loafers would be appropriate. A matching belt is a good way to accessorize this outfit. Men do not need to wear a blazer to a business casual interview.

Women can wear a knee-length skirt or dress to a business casual meeting. They can pair the skirt with a sweater, blouse, or polo shirt. Women should wear closed-toe shoes. They do not need to wear a blazer.

Designer, Luxury, Or Jewelry Stores

If you are interviewing for a job at a luxury retail store, then employees that work there are often seen in business professional attire. It is important that the employees’ appearance reflects that they work for a luxury store.

For men, this means wearing a nice dress suit to the interview. Men should wear a shirt, tie, dress pants, belt, dark socks, and leather dress shoes to this interview.

Women who are interviewing for these types of stores should wear a knee-length skirt or dress. The skirt should have a matching blazer and a blouse paired with it.

The dress should be formal and have a blazer on top of it. It is best for women to wear heels when interviewing at a luxury store. The heels should not be higher than three inches and should be closed-toe.


If you are interviewing for a job at a boutique it is important that your outfit reflects the atmosphere of the boutique.

Since boutiques are usually run by a small company, employees are often allowed to wear fashionable clothing. You want to make sure that your clothing fits the atmosphere of the store so that you look like you belong there.

For example, if the store you are interviewing for has a bohemian image, you might want to avoid wearing a business professional suit as this will make you look out of place and stiff.

Men who are interviewing for a position at a boutique should wear a sweater with a pair of nice chinos. They should wear closed-toe shoes like loafers.

Women could wear a conservative sundress and a cardigan for their interview. They should wear closed-toe heels that are not higher than three inches.

Fashion Retailers, Company Stores, And Outlets

If you are interviewing for a fashion retail store, then it would be safe for you to wear clothes from that brand. Usually at these types of stores employees are allowed to wear business casual outfits.

When choosing your outfit, you want to wear something that is business casual but also fits with the style of things they sell at that store.

For men, it would be best to wear chinos paired with a button-down shirt. You can choose whether or not you want to wear a tie. Wear shoes and match the color of your belt to your shoes.

Women could wear a dress or skirt with a cardigan or a sweater. The skirt could also be paired with a blouse. Women do not have to wear a jacket. The shoes should be closed-toe with a low heel.

What Not To Wear

Here are a few things to avoid when choosing an outfit for an interview at a retail store.

  • Sheer blouses or low-cut blouses – Your choice of blouse should always be conservative when going for an interview.
  • Short skirts or dresses – If you come to an interview with a mini-skirt on, this immediately gives them a bad impression as it is not professional to wear a mini-skirt.
  • Large accessories – Wearing large or loud accessories can cause distractions. This means no large earrings or a large belt buckle.
  • Funny clothing – Do not wear any items of clothing that have anything comedic on them. This sets the tone that you are not professional. This means no graphic t-shirts or funny socks.
  • Heavy makeup – For an interview, it is best to wear light and natural makeup. This way your makeup is not a distraction during your interview.
  • Piercings or tattoos – Make sure that any visible face piercings and any tattoos are concealed when going to an interview. This might be a requirement when you are working for them as well.

Top Tips

There are a few things to keep in mind when selecting what to wear to an interview.

  • Match your outfit to the company – If you are going to work in a boutique that specializes in beach clothes, then you want to make sure that your interview outfit reflects that and isn’t stiff. Your outfit should reflect the image of the company, so dress accordingly.
  • Be well-groomed – When working in retail, appearance is a big deal, so make sure you are well-groomed. This means, shaving, showering, brushing your teeth, and having tidy hair.
  • Look neat and professional – Make sure that your clothes fit you. This means not wearing anything too tight or too baggy. Your outfit should be ironed so there are no creases in it.

Final Thoughts

When you are going for an interview for a job at a retail store, the best thing you can do is to choose an outfit that reflects the store’s image. If you are unsure of what this is, then go and look at what the employees are wearing. You should dress a bit more professionally than the employees, but do not overdress.

The main aim of your outfit should be to show the employer that you would fit in with the store and that you look professional.

Hopefully, we have helped you figure out what to wear to your retail job interview. We wish you the best of luck with your interview.

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Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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