Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

I’ve got an interview for a creative job – what should I wear?

The question

What am I supposed to wear to a "creative-class" job interview? Tie or no tie? What kind of shoes?

The answer

Story continues below advertisement

I took your question to an advertising exec and he said a tie was still useful, even when applying for a creative position. "Keep it skinny, though," he said, "and nothing jokey or ironic." I was surprised by this as I don't see ties worn much in any of the media offices I am occasionally forced to visit: I see a lot of plaid shirts.

Last week I visited a lawyer who wasn't wearing a tie in his office: When the law offices relinquish them, ties have few remaining allies. I guess advertising, with its connections to corporations, still requires the ability to present as money-friendly yet fashionable.

Here's my tip on creative ties: wool ties, whether woven or knit, are cool right now. They will permit you to look both respectable and whimsical.

The shoes, however, are the more important issue. Shoes are always the most important part of your outfit. You must have good ones: that is, leather, not running shoes (no matter how original or rare or funky your Nikes are). They must have solid soles and not be scuffed or dirty. Boots are okay too. Shoes must be lace-up, and may be brogued or plain. Try brown shoes instead of black to show your sensitivity. Boots may be slip-on (known as Chelsea boots) or lace-up. Do not tuck your trousers into your boots, however: You are not putting any item of clothing on display.

Novelist Russell Smith's memoir,  Blindsided, is available as a Kobo e-book. Have a style question? E-mail style@globeandmail.com.

Report an error
Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨