Anna Wintour, a.k.a. Vogue‘s Editor-in-Chief, is the voice in fashion. So when it comes to what to wear for, well, anything, we want to hear her advice. On Monday’s new episode of the weekly Go Ask Anna YouTube series, the question of what people should wear for a job interview at Vogue was posed to Wintour. Her suggestion, which extended to industries beyond a major fashion magazine, was surprising. The woman at the head the fashion world said don’t buy a new piece of clothing.
“It’s so interesting to me how people dress when they come in for interviews,” says Wintour. “Sometimes you feel they’re wearing clothes that they just bought that morning or maybe the night before, and not something that in any way suits their personality and who they are. I think what everyone should remember, whether they’re interviewing at Vogue or indeed anywhere, that we’re not hiring your wardrobe. Your wardrobe is not going to be doing the job for you—it’s who you are.”
Anna continued, recalling one instance where she gave an applicant a job based on his outfit, which she felt represented his authentic self. “I’ll always remember a young man who came in in a dress and a handbag, and I gave him the job on the spot. You have to dress for yourself. I think it doesn’t do yourself a service to fake it.”
We are guilty of buying a new outfit for job interview, but that may not be a bad thing. While we do appreciate Wintour’s advice that you need to be yourself in an interview, it’s important to remember that the options she has laying around in her closet may be very different from what the rest of us have in our dresser. If you haven’t bought a new suit in 10 years and you’re going on a job interview at a law firm, you should probably buy a new suit.
Also, hiring someone based solely on their outfit, as Wintour says she did with the young man in her example, likely only flies at a job in fashion. Like most things that appear in the pages of Vogue, we’re going to pick and choose what inspires us and what’s attainable. We’re probably not going to wear our favorite hoodie to a job interview because it represents us, just like we’re still not going to go horseback riding in a pair of heels. But we will try to let our personality shine the next time we have a meeting with a new HR department…within reason.