The job interview process can be summed up nicely by reviewing the words of the wise zen master that is Carrie Bradshaw, “A first date is just a job interview with cocktails.” However, there is one big difference, there are no beer goggles that can erase the image of a horrible first impression. So here are 5 reasons why your wardrobe may have cost you the job and how you can avoid being a Plain Jane on the next job interview.

1. “Put on your dancing shoes”. You didn’t get the job because you wore flip-flops, sneakers, too-tall stripper heels, scuffed up shoes, or you went barefoot. Yes your shoes do tell a story about you and that story should be that I am confident and want this job. Therefore ladies, you should always lean more conservative (this does not mean Plain Jane) for a job interview. This means that you must wear heels (non-negotiable unless you have a doctor’s note). The heels do not need to be really high. They can be a kitten heel with a one inch height, but they should not be over 3-4 inches. Additionally, your shoes should look like they are in good condition so you may need to take a shine to them. Some of you may be thinking, “Can I wear sneakers with my suit, Ellen Degeneres does it?” Well, until you have the #1 daytime talk show, a Cover Girl cosmetics deal, and are married to Portia De Rossi, you better steer clear of the sneakers during an interview. A plain jane wears flats that resemble house shoes. A well qualified job candidate wears heels - no matter how little they are.

2. “I can’t hear you. Your clothes are too loud”. You didn’t get the job because your clothes were too loud. Remember for a job interview, you want to be more conservative. That means you probably need to wear blacks, grays, navys, browns, or maybe ivory depending on time of year. You can have a bright-colored top, but you want to keep the overall outfit a little subdued with just a little pop of color. A plain jane would wear a black suit with a plain white top. A top-tier job candidate would wear the black suit, with a red and white print top and color coordinated accessories.You might be thinking, “Well if I wear my yellow skirt suit. I’ll stand out from all the other candidates.” You are absolutely right Big Bird, you will stand out, but not for a good reason. If you want to add color to the outfit do it with your accessories.

3. “Is that a solar flare or the glare from your earrings.” You didn’t get the job because your earrings, bracelets, ring, or man-hole cover sized brooch blinded the interviewer. The motto to follow is less is more, you should use accessories to dress up your outfit and bring out a little more of your personality because you don’t want to be a plain jane. However, your accessories should not overwhelm the outfit. You want them to remember you and your skill set, not the tambourine hanging from your earlobe. The interviewer may be so distracted by your earring that they will not hear your story of how you increased office productivity by 25%. A plain jane wears no earrings to a job interview. A job candidate with a job offer has simple but carefully coordinated accessories.

4. “The pen you can find is mightier than the sword” You didn’t get the job because when you went to get the pen out of your purse and it took you 10 minutes plus a water break due to exhaustion. A messy purse says a lot about you. It can say “I am so busy coming up with ideas that I can’t bother with such trivial matters as cleaning out my purse.” But most likely it is saying “If you think this is messy, you should see what my desk will look like after a working here a month!” As with your shoes, you should choose your best handbag and make sure that it is cleaned out so you can easily find a pen or a notepad. Avoid using a handbag that shows a lot of wear and tear. A plain jane uses a reusable grocery bag as her handbag. A must-have job candidate uses her best handbag for the job interview.

5. “You’re late, you’re late for a very important date” You didn’t get the job because you were late, even a minute late looks bad in the world of job interviews. To avoid this catastrophe, wear a watch. In the age of cell phones, this idea may seem old-fashioned. What’s next going to the job interview in a horse and buggy. However the watch is beneficial in two regards: 1) It will keep you on time, 2) It creates the perception that you are on time and responsible. Even you don’t normally wear a watch, this is the one occasion that you should. No need to go visit the Cartier website, you can just go to Target or Walmart to get a decent watch just for interviews and it will pay dividends. A plain jane has a bare wrist. A second round interview candidate wears a watch to the job interview.

So you didn’t kill during the job interview and you didn’t get the job. As they say in the dating world, there are plenty of fish in the sea. However during a recession it’s more like sardines in a wading pool, so you need the right bait. Plain Jane equals unemployment check. Knowing what to wear during a job interview...priceless.

Author's Bio: 

Aisha Jones is a wardrobe artist and creator of which offers a free style makeover quiz “Are you captivating or a Plain Jane?” and entertaining how-to articles and videos to help women start their personal style revolution.