What you’re wearing probably isn’t going to be the first thing on your mind when you go to an interview, but certain mistakes are definitely worth avoiding. So, can you wear ripped jeans to an interview?
Ripped jeans should not be worn to interviews in even the most laid-back of workplaces as they’d still be considered too casual. Dark wash jeans with no distressing or chinos would both be better options than ripped jeans.
Although that’s the short answer, there’s more to it.
After going through the main reasons why you shouldn’t do it, I’ll go through a few alternatives you can go for instead.
Let’s get to it.
3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Wear Ripped Jeans To An Interview
By the end of this, you’ll almost definitely decide against it.
1. It’s Too Casual
Even for the most casual of workplaces, ripped jeans would be too casual when it comes to the interview.
You may well be able to wear ripped jeans if you were to get the job itself – the workplace may have an extremely casual dress code.
But whenever you go for an interview, you’ll want to dress a notch more formally than you would have to for the job itself.
So, if the job’s dress code would be casual enough to allow for ripped jeans, consider wearing a pair of dark wash jeans or chinos instead.
If the job’s dress code would really only allow you to wear chinos at a minimum, go for a pair of dress pants or even a 2-piece suit for the interview.
Do whatever you can to make it clear to the interviewer that you’ve made an effort.
Wearing ripped jeans would rarely ever do that.
What it would most likely do, however, is suggest a pretty laid-back attitude or that you didn’t feel as though the interview was important enough to dress up for.
While it won’t necessarily work against you, it simply isn’t worth the risk.
2. It Can Be Distracting
Ripped jeans at an interview can be distracting to both you and the interviewer.
Let me explain.
Some interviewers may be old school enough to really fixate on a pair of ripped jeans and even take offense to how casual and laid-back they look.
So much so, that they fail to focus on what really matters – you’re experience, qualifications, and how you present yourself.
It may not sound right, but that’s the unfortunate truth.
But your ripped jeans can also distract you at an interview. Worrying about whether your jeans may or may not be appropriate at the interview you’re attending is going to play on your mind.
That sort of distraction is the last thing you want when you’re looking to impress and present yourself in the best way possible.
3. It Suggests Style Over Substance
Finally, wearing a pair of ripped jeans to an interview can suggest that you care more about style than substance.
This isn’t a good way to assess someone’s competence, by any means. It’s just the unfortunate reality – some interviewers may think this, even if it’s just subconsciously.
When you attend an interview, make a point to dress well but not in a way that’s too attention-grabbing or eye-catching.
You want to make it clear that you’re there to work and work hard, not to show off your wardrobe.
3 Better Alternatives To Ripped Jeans For An Interview
Here are some better alternatives to consider instead.
Black Jeans With No Rips Or Distressing
If you do feel as though jeans would be appropriate to wear to your interview, choose the neatest and most formal-looking pair you can find.
While jeans should never be considered formal, there are definitely features that make some pairs look less casual than others.
In general, the darker the jeans the more formal they’ll look. That’s why black jeans would be the best option here.
But whatever color you choose, avoid jeans with rips, frays, or distressing.
If they’re stonewashed or acid washed, choose ones with the least amount possible. The less distressing, the better.
Chinos are a huge amount better than ripped jeans when it comes to interviews. This goes for both casual and business-casual workplaces.
It’s so hard to go wrong with chinos given their versatility. That’s why they’re a much less risky option for interviews of many different varieties.
For the more casual workplaces, a polo shirt would be fine to wear with chinos. For business-casual workplaces, pair those chinos with an OCBD shirt or dress shirt.
If you’re looking for a smarter pair of chinos, much like with jeans – the darker the better.
Dress pants are a pretty big stretch from ripped jeans but they’re definitely worth mentioning in any case.
It’s important to note that dress pants aren’t necessarily reserved for more formal workplaces such as corporate offices. A suit would usually be required in these places in any case.
Dress pants can be worn with OCBD shirts, dress shirts, sweaters, cardigans, etc. They’re ideal to wear to interviews in business-casual workplaces.
They may be a little too much for the more casual workplace, but overdressing is always better than underdressing in these circumstances.
How To Wear Ripped Jeans To An Interview (If You Had To)
We’ve established that ripped jeans are never really appropriate to wear to an interview.
However, for those of you intent on going for it anyway, here are some tips to reduce the risk of problems.
Ensure There’s A Chance It Might Be OK
First of all, make sure there’s even a small chance that it might be OK.
There are certain job interviews where they should never even be considered.
Any workplace where the dress code could be considered “formal” or “business-casual” should never even be a part of the conversation – ripped jeans just wouldn’t be appropriate.
The workplace or the job you’re applying for would have to be so casual that turning up to work in a T-shirt and jeans just wouldn’t be a problem.
Even though it would be better to dress up a little more than this for the interview itself, wearing ripped jeans may not go down quite as bad as it would for stricter workplaces.
Go For Dark Ripped Jeans
The darker those ripped jeans, the better. Black ripped jeans would be a whole lot better than stone-washed baby blue ripped jeans.
As I mentioned earlier, dark jeans just look less casual than light jeans. Use this to your advantage.
The darkness of the jeans may make up for just how casual those rips and frays really look.
Go For Minimal Rips And Frays
Finally, it’s worth pointing out how some “ripped jeans” only really have a few rips and frays. Overall, they may not be all that noticeable.
Compare that with jeans covered in rips from top to bottom and the difference would be pretty obvious.
It probably goes without saying, but the fewer rips you’ve got in your jeans, the better.
While they still wouldn’t be the best choice for an interview, they’d be a whole lot better than a pair covered in rips.
There you have it. Hopefully, that’s everything you needed to know about a pretty niche but important topic.
Save those ripped jeans for hanging out with friends and heading to the movies. When going to an interview, there are much better options.