In sharp contrast to their corporate sisters, creative types steer clear of anything that even hints at a uniform. “For one of my early interviews I think I turned the woman off because I arrived in a full suit,” says designer Nanette Lepore. “It completely sent the wrong message, and the interview just fell flat.” People in this field pride themselves on thinking outside the box and having their fingers on the pulse of what’s new and hip, so your colleagues will expect you to dress in a way that showcases your personality. That might translate to vibrant hues or unique cuts. “I usually shy away from anything too basic,” says Rebecca Minkoff. “I love a blazer, but not a typical one. Look for a twist, like an unexpected color or even a relaxed lapel—something that sets you apart from everyone else.”
Dressing to land your dream job is always nerve-racking, but it may be even more so in an industry that champions free thinking. “Own your look, but make sure it’s appropriate for the position you’re applying for,” says designer Lepore, who warns against wearing controversial clothing like fur. Do your research beforehand, suggests Ken Downing, fashion director of Neiman Marcus. “Pull up the company Web site and search for images of people who work there.”
Ready to fashionably nail your interview? See a few of our favorite picks for creative types.