Ask Belle: Wearing Pink for Interviews

Aug 10, 2015

Hi Belle,

I’m a law student in Chicago and am interviewing at a bunch of law firms later this month. Do you think it’s ok to wear a pink or dark coral blouse under a black interview suit? I know pink is a very feminine color to break out in a formal setting, but it also happens to be a color I look great in.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. AD

I don’t recommend wearing pink for your job interview.  It’s not because the color is too feminine, instead it’s because it might be too juvenile for a job interview.  If this is your first string of interviews straight out of law school, I would recommend sticking to a more sophisticated color palette for your interviews because you want to project maturity.  Wear the pink after you’re hired, just not for an interview.

Additionally, I don’t recommend black and pink/coral together.  To my eye, the colors look harsh, stark when worn together.  If you want to wear pink, try a navy suit or a grey suit instead.  Certain shades of pink  look great with a chocolate brown suit.

Looking for a sophisticated pairing for a black suit that’s perfect for a job interview?  Here are some suggestions.

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Iris & Ink Ella Blouse ($145) // 1.STATE Wrap Back Blouse ($58) // BR Abstract Boyfriend Shirt ($89)

Black and Blue. I love black mixed with shades of blue.  This cornflower would be beautiful.  I also love this pale blue Topshop blouse with a drape front.  This v-neck sleeveless shell from Pleione in navy is another great choice.

For something with a bit more flair, try a blue and black print.  I like this pale blue, black spotted Betti silk blouse.  This sheer DvF blouse with a black cami underneath would give a more dramatic look.

Plus-size?  This Halogen tie-neck blouse is a lovely option.  I also like this printed, sleeveless blouse from Mynt 1792.

Jewel Tones. Prefer a non-neutral color?  Jewel tones look beautiful with a black suit.  This teal blouse would be gorgeous.  Also, a darker green like this emerald blouse with a Mandarin collar is a chic combo.  Purple is another great color to pair with black.  You can choose a deep amethyst or a pale Tanzanite hue.

A Pink Alternative. If you really love pink, feel confident in pink, and look great in pink, there is another option.  A blush blouse gives you a pinky hue that looks amazing with black.  This printed blouse from BR (also in petite) is a sophisticated alternative to a bolder pink.

Looking for a solid color?  This short-sleeve Pendleton blouse is a great buy at $49.  I also love this $20 flutter-sleeve blouse from Forever21.  Plus-size?  Try this speckled, sleeveless blouse from Modcloth.

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  1. Kim says:

    Attorney here, and I totally disagree. I don’t think pink is per se juvenile. It depends on the shade of pink, the cut of the shirt, other details, what it’s paired with, etc. Wear the pink/coral if you want. Wear it with black if you want. If you feel good in pink, wear pink with your suit. Non issue as long as you look nice and put together (nice suit, shirt fits well, nice shoes/bag/etc.).

    • Belle says:

      I don’t think pink itself is a juvenile color. I just think that for a first post-law school interview, you should be projecting maturity and, in that situation, pink could reinforce a stereotype about young, female lawyers. It’s a very situational issue.

    • rar says:

      Big law attorney in Chicago here. I think pink is fine for the interview.

    • Carla says:

      Another big law attorney here, and I agree. Pink is fine. Any pastel is fine. Color is less important than style to me. Of the above, the first two are great style; the third looks a little baggy and “boyfriendy” for an interview look. In general, I think pink/blush are great choices if they work for your coloring. Upgrade your shoes and bag, wear quality, lead with your qualifications…even as a student. Far more important than a pink blouse.

  2. Payal says:

    My take on this has more to do with the type of law firm that you’re interviewing with, than a standard rule. If you’re interviewing with a big law firm, more white shoe, then I’d stick to a black suit with white or cream/off-white blouse on the inside. If, however, you’re interviewing with a small, younger group of lawyers, then show your personality with your shell/blouse (within reason). Also pay attention to the individual interviewers’ bio websites – sometimes you can get an idea of how traditional/trendy they are by their firm bio picture (hairstyle, clothing, byline), etc. In short, definitely not a “one size fits all” type of deal. Research the firm and the interviewers.

  3. An attorney who also looks great in pink says:

    I don’t think pink is juvenile either, but I don’t think you should wear it for an interview. Unless Chicago firms are more casual than those on the east coast, I would say black suit (skirt not pants), blue or white blouse, nylons, black heels, and minimal jewelry. If you go for a second interview or an informational interview with an associate, feel free to bust out the pink shirt (as long as it isn’t hot pink).

  4. Coco says:

    I wore a pastel pink blouse under a black skirt suit to an interview with a federal judge for an appellate clerkship. I got the job, so I guess it was fine.

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