Ask The Experts

Career Q&A: Dressing for success

Dear AskTheExpert,

Can you please specify what the big No-No’s are, in terms of dressing job interviews? Isn’t there a difference between going to a bank for a job or an advertising firm or even a manufacturing company? I work as an administrative clerk, and am now looking for a job elsewhere. It’s doesn’t matter to me which industry I go to; as I am always open to exploring new options. Is there anything that I shouldn’t wear?

Lee Yin

Dear Lee Yin,

Big companies, small companies, multinationals, local enterprises, the rules of dressing for interviews don’t differ much. The main idea is to show respect to the person you are seeing. Here are a list of things you should avoid.

1) Big "Bling-bling"

Your interviewers need to pay attention to your voice and what you say. Not your dangling earrings or your gigantic pendants.

2) Animal Prints

It's okay to do it in small amounts to show the gutsy girl in you. But in big amounts, you will scare your interviewers off.

3) Short Skirts

You want to be remembered as an intelligent individual. Not a sex symbol. So, no.

4) Wild Nail Polish

Unless your job requires you to sit in front of a crystal ball, reserve wild colours and prints for when you are out on weekends.

5) No Trendy Handbags

Your accessories show your personality. When it comes to professionalism, stay with subtle tones and simple designs.

6) Cleavage-Showing Tops

The rule of “If you have got it, flaunt it" ... doesn’t apply here, unfortunately.

7) Sandals and Flats

Can never replace heels. So, wear a pair of good pumps. It gives you good posture and makes you look confident and professional!

And yes, Leggings are definitely out!!

Wendy Lee

President – MABIC (Malaysia Assoc. of Brand & Image Consultants)

Professional Image Consultant

Director of BrandImage International Institute (BII) –

Columnist for The Star,,

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