What Should I Wear? to “any” job interview

Pamela Lutrell on what to wear to a job interview

Ladies who are retired, this is for you too…come see why we all should consider what to wear to any job interview…no matter whether it is full time, part time, or overseeing a nonprofit or volunteer work.  Repeat after me…Anything is possible…Anything!  There have been amazing doors opened to women in their 50s, 60s, and 70s…so you need to understand that your world can turn around in one moment in one opportunity.  

What you want to wear to any job interview is confidence and a smile!  But, there are a few things to keep in mind when you select that outfit to go before human resources or a manager, etc.

Pamela Lutrell in Allie Coosh

This is the actual outfit I wore when I interviewed for my current position, except I wore pointed toe flats with it.  I wanted to say to those interviewing me that I am strong, intelligent, creative, current, and capable.  I told my husband when I left for the interview that it was a long shot that they would hire a 64 year old.  Well…they did!  I also think that in my industry…the world of communications…that it was important that I stayed up-to-date with current communications trends…like social media marketing.  But I wore this because it said what I wanted to say…I felt very comfortable and confident in it and I could smile at myself in the mirror before I left for the interview.  The first outfit above does the same for me.

Pamela Lutrell on what to wear to job interview

Considerations of what to wear to any job interview

1. You want a no-fuss outfit.  You do not want to be pulling or messing with your clothing, but be completely comfortable and give your attention to the questions being asked of you.

2. You want to look well put together and coordinated.  They want someone who can take care of their business and it will be reflected in can you take care of yourself.

3. You want to be current/youthful (not too young).  You do not want anyone thinking of you as their grandmother in the interview or even thinking of your age at all.  (The outfit above has a touch of faux leather and creative design for the current feel)

4. You want to be tasteful.  A job interview is the perfect time to go with the classics.  Accessories show a creative touch, but do not get carried away. You want them to see you.  You need to enter the room and not the outfit first. Wear clothing which fits well…oversized clothing can often trend to the frumpy side. Look like you want to run the company!

5. See the outfit as part of your resume.  It should say who you are and inspire confidence in the total package of YOU.

6. Side Note:  If you are interviewing to work as a sales associate with a retailer, try to wear their clothing to the interview and show them you know how to wear their looks with confidence. 

7. No job is small or insignificant.  Look polished, current and confident for part time interviews and even interviews to work or lead at a nonprofit or volunteer job.  You just never know where it might lead or who you might meet.  


I have a friend who worked as a receptionist for a pediatrician and always went to work looking her classic, chic, amazing self.  She was discovered there and became a model and actress over 60.  I love to see her in commercials!  

Valerie Ramsey has been a marketing director of a major resort, a model for national brands, a magazine editor, a book author of two books, and a professional speaker …and all of it was done after she was 60 years of age!  Add in there, the challenges of uterine cancer and cardiomyopathy, and you have an inspiring woman who encourages all of us to be resilient and press forward no matter our age. She began by interviewing to work in the golf shop at Pebble Beach resort which led to her becoming the marketing director there.

“It’s good to be in the race, to be engaged with other people; to challenge your mind; to be curious; be inquisitive; always be willing to improve yourself,”  Valerie Ramsey

Valerie also wrote, ” Clothes can made a tremendous difference in enhancing our self-confidence.  When we find clothes that fit properly and are flattering, our whole persona changes and we project our best and most confident selves.  Dressing right for an occasion allows us to feel prepared rather than insecure, and we can focus on the occasion with confidence.  So many old rules have changed, and attire expectations tend to be more relaxed than they once were, but keep in . mind that relaxed doesn’t mean lax.”

I realize that the majority of us will not become models or actresses, but  you really never know the doors that may be opened for you and there are every day women over 50 doing amazing things all over the world because they decided to step out and try something new.  Anything is Possible….believe it.

Inspiration for What To Wear

For today’s slideshow, I wanted to give you some ideas of what to wear to any job interview. So the selections below wear made with that in mind. We will return to our readers’ style adjectives on Friday at the end of the news headlines post….. Does anyone else have advice to offer in this area?


Paulette asked where to find V Neck tops yesterday, so I have prepared a slideshow just for that request.  Hope you enjoy both today!

KEEP SMILING…and dreaming!

By Pamela Lutrell


  1. These are such good tips! The pieces in the slide show are beautiful! I can see why you felt confident at your interview. What you wore would work in many situations, but especially in a more creative industry. And having the modern and youthful look in that outfit says you are current, not stuck in the past. I don’t remember what I wore when I had my most recent volunteer interview, but I did dress nicely. There was another lady in the interview with me, also dressed well. A man had just left the office from his interview wearing shorts and a tee shirt. They were not turning people away, but I was kind of surprised at that. It shows respect for the company you are interviewing with when an effort is made to look our best.

  2. This is very timely for me Pam. Even though I am 60+, I am considering a job change. These are exactly the tips and inspiration I need!

    Thank you!

  3. I am done with dresses, skirts, and heels so I appreciate these looks featuring pants and flats. As a former career coach and current volunteer coordinator, I affirm that what a person wears counts as does a smile and confidence.

  4. love the gold & black pointed toe shoes in the first outfit! do you remember where you got them??

  5. They are by Rockport in their Total Motion collection, but I have had them for awhile. Any of their Total Motion shoes are very comfortable and withstand time. I also have a beautiful black pointed flat that was in the same collection. Good Luck!

  6. A tip I received many years ago was to dress as if you are the face of the company for which you are interviewing. Occasionally, I volunteer as a receptionist for my church. I always try to remember that I might be the first or even the only person a visitor sees when they come to the church for whatever reason & dress accordingly. A welcoming smile is the most important accessory for that job.

  7. Sound advice re interview for volunteer work. It’s a challenge to overlook the sartorial indifference of folk when they come to interview in garments better reserved for gardening perhaps. Many’s the time when I advised about dress standards for both men & women.

  8. Your advice and Valerie’s are spot on! I’m 67 and have been retired for more than a decade, but I’ve been invited to speak at a women’s brunch in a couple of weeks time. In addition to planning what I’m going to say, I’m also planning what I’m going to wear.

  9. Very sound advice, Pamela. As to ‘an outfit should say who you are’ its been said; “shoes that are well cared for are worn by conscientious people”. Also according to fashion gurus “the type of shoe can also reflect the personality of an individual”, so perhaps that is also something to consider.

  10. I think it’s interesting that you didn’t feature typical interview wear … what I consider “banker’s clothes,” the skirted suits or severe pantsuits with pearl studs. When I interviewed as a teacher 16 years ago as a second career, a very young person at my university was in charge of helping us polish our resumes and came up with interview wardrobes. She tried to force me into a suit, and was very upset that I came to a job fair not wearing one. That’s what a twenty five year old would wear to look more mature. Instead, I wore a polished version of what I thought I’d wear on the job: decent trousers, a contrasting blazer, a discreet knit tank and a statement necklace with a pair of leather loafers. I felt more confident and actually prepared for the realities of a job where free movement is a necessity and the workplace is often grubby. I got many offers and felt like myself, which allowed me to concentrate on what I had to offer, vs wearing a costume. My best advice is to wear what others wear at the job you want, just up one notch. It shows you are knowledgeable about that workplace, willing to play by the rules, yet take the opportunity of an interview seriously,

  11. Great advice, Linda! I did not put the stodgy suits, because they are usually aging. We need to be fresh and current in order to convince others that we are on top of things by communicating it with our style. Thanks so much

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