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When to Interview in Strict Business Dress and How to Do it Right

Updated: Oct 18, 2023

‘Strict Business Dress’ is a formal level of dressing for the place you work. We dive into the details of this business dress category below. At this level it necessitates dressing as a businessman in a formal setting.

When you are applying for a job that mandates wearing a business suit daily, an interview for the job you want mandates you dress in a sharp well appointed suit with each component of what you wear honed down to perfection. Dressing this well for a job interview means you are applying for a job in the business field with premium levels of appearance and performance. Those business fields are typically as follows:

  • Top-level Law Practices

  • Financial Industry Jobs

  • Banking Industry Jobs

  • Top-Level Political Jobs

When all the people you are going to be employed with wear business suits daily, the suit you wear must look great and show style, grace and confidence.

The Ensemble for “Strict Business Dress”

Bear in mind there is no wiggle room for mistakes and small amounts of personal style when your goal is to make a great impression to a sharply dressed employer. Stay with the traditional style of business apparel.

  • Your Suit – Wear a dark charcoal gray or new navy containing no patterns. The jacket should be single-breasted and the suit should be tailored to fit. Buy a suit from a local menswear store and have it tailored if a custom suit is too expensive.

  • Your Shoes – Stock with black plain dress shoes and make sure they are shined the day of the interview. Match your socks to the color of the suit pants and keep the pattern minimal.

  • Your Shirt – Wear a white shirt with a pointed or spread collar. Be sure the collar points look fantastic. Professionally launder, starch and press your shirt. Wear a tailored shirt if it is in your budget.

  • Your Necktie – Go with a traditional tie pattern or color. Do not wear a dazzling tie. It will draw attention to the tie instead of your overall strict business dress suit look. Tie your necktie so the end just reaches your belt buckle.

  • Accessories – Wear a sharp regular black leather belt with a subtle belt buckle or wear suit color matching suspenders if your suit pants do not have belt loops. Wear a nicely folded pocket square in your suit jacket breast pocket. Wear a watch with a band that is the same color at your belt buckle.

Each component you are wearing must be pressed, clean, symmetrical, sharp. Your entire ensemble needs to look great and it needs to fit you well.

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