What to wear to an articling interview

Interview week for Toronto articling recruitment is coming up… and I wanted to share what to wear to an articling interview, specifically for the ladies in the summer. I’ve rounded up a few workwear ideas in this post, but wanted to share some corporate interview outfit ideas. While these suggestions are specifically geared to the legal field/Toronto recruitment, they will definitely work for other young women in corporate settings.

What to wear to an articling interview: The classic skirt suit

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Ahh the skirt suit. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan. I find skirt suits to be a bit too formal and uncomfortable, especially if you have the same “skirt-twisting” problem as I do. However, an elegant, well-fitted skirt suit can be a confident choice for an articling interview.

I’m wearing a lightweight wool skirt suit from Theory. Specifically, I am wearing the Gabe Jacket in Edition Fabric. Theory is by far my favourite suit brand, and I find their cuts to be modern, classic and very timeless. This particular Edition suit was also made in USA, and I found it on discount at HR2 in Vaughan Mills. I really recommend visiting HR2 for great suit options!

I paired the classic blue skirt suit with a white shell blouse from Zara (similar option here). I love wearing suits with polyester shell blouses because they are easy to wash, don’t wrinkle as much and are inexpensive. It’s an easy way to freshen up your look, if you mix in patterns or colours. For an articling interview, I recommend sticking with solids in white, light blue, or other pastels that compliment your colouring.

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For accessories, I wore a pair of classic pearls, nude platform pumps from Vince Camuto and a Kate Spade Medium Harmony tote. This purse is my go-to interview bag. I got it on sale at Nordstrom (their Anniversary Sale has this similar Marybeth tote on sale), and love that it can fit my interview folder, resumes and hide away a pair of flats, bandaids and an umbrella (all essentials on interview week!) AND it’s on sale TODAY only for $149 at Kate Spade, use code PINKLIGHT.

What to wear to an articling interview: The dress & blazer

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An alternative to a skirt suit is a dress and blazer combo. You can find a matching dress and blazer, but I find it a bit hard at times when there isn’t as much selection at a discount chain. While I would never mix up a different pair of pants or skirt with a different print blazer, it’s much easier to pull off with a dress. Just keep the type of fabric and colour consistent and no one will know!

This is a great tip if you’re on a budget, or if you need to purchase different brands for fit. Better to have a dress that fits your hips and a blazer that fits your bust than not fitting in either!

Here, I’m wearing a lightweight wool dress from Theory, also purchased at HR2, and a pinstripe blazer from RW&Co. I got this blazer on sale for a song, and it works so well with many of my other pieces.

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For shoes, I’m wearing a pair of patent loafers from Gucci, and I wore my Kate Spade tote with this look again.

This look is a bit more casual, and while it doesn’t make as much of a polished first impression as the first option, it is very appropriate for second interviews, dinners, or people that, like me, loathe skirt suits!

What to wear to an articling interview: Casual Option

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I’ve shared this look in my collaboration with Grayes, but I wanted to share it again! If you’re interviewing at a start-up, in-house, or a cool new boutique firm, I think you can definitely wear this look for an articling interview.

I paired the Blush Flip Dress, with the black Blazer Dress, both from Toronto brand, Grayes. If you have the budget, Grayes has a fabulous selection of workwear, perfect for interviews and articling. All the pieces are made in Toronto too!

I like this look because it showcases my personality, yet is still formal. If I swapped out the Kate Spade flats with a pair of classic black or nude pumps, it would be perfect! This look is also super comfortable and can be mixed and matched with different jackets or accessories.

What to wear to an articling interview: Pantsuit

Ok, I don’t have a picture to share, but I will give you some advice. When purchasing a higher-end suit (think of the brands Tahari, Theory, Grayes, Boss, etc), I STRONGLY recommend you buy three pieces: a blazer, skirt and pants. I purchased pants to go along with my navy blue Theory skirt suit above, and I’m so thankful I did! The pants were inexpensive (maybe $80-100 more), and that way, I have 2 looks instead of one. I try to do this for all my suits now, just to have options.

I actually wore this pant suit when I got my articling position, so it’s not true you NEED to wear a skirt. Never listen to anyone who says that! Find what’s comfortable for you, and what fits your shape, style and budget.

Also… the panty hose debate. It’s 2017. If you’re lucky enough to be interviewing at a 7 Sister, go for it. But I have a rule I go by: if it’s above 20 degrees, I ditch the panty hose. This rule is a hardline and just makes common sense. In winter, I prefer wearing opaque Uniqlo tights with darker suits too. Black sheer hose to me is just so old fashioned, and less fashion forward. Also, if you’re pale like me it can look a little off, so I stick to nude or opaque tights. But if dark hose work for you, by all means go for it.

I strongly recommend investing in a higher end suit, constructed out of lightweight wool in either blue or black. Grey doesn’t do anyone’s complexion any favours! Navy is likely your best bet. Look for high quality materials, straight stitching, and details or cuts that aren’t too trendy. That way, your investment will last you long into your career, and help you kick start it.

All the best to anyone going through this process. I’ve rounded up some lovely suit options, all under $500 below:


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