Dress For A Yes: 80% Of Managers Look For Formalwear To Make A Hire

dress for a yes

(With 40% of managers turning down candidates based on their interview outfit).

According to a new survey conducted by Matalan, 81% of UK managers expect to see a candidate wearing formalwear to an interview with 40% ruling out a candidate for dressing too casually.

Almost 40% of hiring managers would prefer to see a candidate wearing either a full suit or formal dress at an interview, with almost 90% of managers agreeing that first impressions are vital and can make or break an interview outcome.

It also appears that not just interview attire is important; 50% of the managers surveyed believe that a formal dress code also results in greater productivity in employees and in order to make a positive impression, over 90% of informal offices admitted that they change their dress code when in a client facing situation.

Chartered Psychologist, Dr Carolyn Mair commented: ‘Dressing appropriately is more likely to result in greater productivity because we are not using valuable cognitive resources on thinking about what we’re wearing.’

For those thinking of a career change, Matalan have created a useful ‘How to Prepare for a Job Interview’ guide which includes valuable advice from recruitment and fashion psychology experts, aiming to increase confidence and assist with preparation for interviews.

In addition to advising on interview attire, the guide also provides practical advice around what to take with you on the day and how to make a great first impression – you can view the full guide here: http://www.matalan.co.uk/mens/collections/suits-and-workwear/suits/suits-guide/interview-preparation

With so much competition for job roles, first impressions really do count. Tom Sharp, Co-Founder and Director at Post Recruitment commented: ‘Formalwear should always be the go to option when attending an interview – there might be a temptation to go for a more relaxed look in some environments, but never on a first round interview.’

The top 5 clothing options to avoid in an interview, by priority:


  1. Baseball Cap
  2. Joggers
  3. Gym Clothing
  4. Football Top
  5. Ripped Jeans

Dr Carolyn Mair adds: ‘Wearing formal attire for an interview shows the candidate is able to do as expected, that they respect the interviewers and can dress in a formal way when the situation demands it.’

The top 5 clothing options to make a great first impression listed by priority:


  1. Suit and Tie
  2. Black Trousers
  3. A Formal Dress
  4. Blazer
  5. Blouse


For people in need of a new suit, Matalan are encouraging men to buy new and donate old suits to Suited & Booted, a charity dedicated to helping disadvantaged gentlemen look and feel great at an interview.

Maria Lenn, Chief Executive at Suited & Booted said: ‘We can’t thank Matalan enough for their generous donations and for encouraging others to donate their old suits to our charity. Suited & Booted believe that everyone should be able to pursue their dream career and by supporting our vulnerable clients, you could help make a huge difference to someone’s future.’


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