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Never wear this color on a job interview

Unless you’re applying for a job in an industry that’s very formal, like finance or corporate law, you have lots of options these days when it comes to your interview attire — from a statement dress, to a sweater with dress slacks, to standbys like suit blazers or a button-down blouse (per The Balance Careers). If you’re interviewing at a really casual company, like a startup, you might even be able to get away with a dark pair of jeans, per The Muse

But job interview attire is not “anything goes.” You don’t want those jeans to be ripped, for one thing, and you should avoid wearing anything sloppy. “The rule still applies that you dress for the job you want — not the job you have or are applying for,” etiquette expert Diane Gottsman explained to The Muse. “… Remember that this is still the first time some of these people will see you.”

Above all else, you don’t want to wear the color orange. But why isn’t orange the new black business suit? In a CareerBuilder survey of more than 2,000 hiring managers, a full quarter of them said they linked this color with being “unprofessional.” Orange has also been associated with a lack of self-confidence in other studies, according to CheatSheet. Orange you glad we warned you? (We had to.)

How to incorporate bright colors into your job interview outfit

So if the color orange is out, what should you wear to a job interview? Pretty much any neutral colors, according to that same CareerBuilder survey, with blue ranking as the most positively perceived color among 23 percent of those questioned. White, black, and gray also are winners. 

Wearing simple colors certainly will keep the focus on your credentials — that way, there’s no way your future boss’ mind will wander away from what’s on your resume or what you’re saying, as she ponders how very much you resemble a traffic cone. “The goal of any interview is to communicate what unique value you bring to the company and its culture,” chief people officer at CareerBuilder, Michelle Armer, told Money. “A good rule of thumb: make sure the people remember you more than your clothes.”

But what if you want to convey personality through your clothing, and drab neutrals just aren’t your thing? You can add a pop of color with accessories like jewelry or a scarf; if you’ve got blue or green eyes, it can be flattering to choose a blouse that picks up the hue. Keep those fabulous orange earrings in your jewelry box, though, just to be on the safe side. You can wear them at the company holiday party instead — after you’ve landed the job.

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