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Is a cufflinked (French-cuffed) shirt appropriate for a man for an interview for a white-collar (say, academic or office) position? Assume a suit and tie will be worn also, and this is in the United States. I'm worried that cufflinks may be viewed as more elegant and less businesslike than is appropriate.

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I’m worried that cuff-links may be viewed as too formal.

Assuming good faith, you need to dress appropriately & to your comfort level as well as what you feel is required of you for the interview.

So if you are saying that you feel cuff-links are too formal for you in this situation then they are too formal.

It’s really that simple.

  • Yes, I need to dress according to what I feel is required of me. My feelings on that score may be inaccurate (i.e. what I feel's required may be different from what is in fact required), which your answer seems to disagree with (saying that whatever I feel is automatically correct). Yours is certainly a tenable position, but I doubt it's a correct one. – 3.1415926535897932384626433... May 27 '14 at 5:03
  • “Yours is certainly a tenable position, but I doubt it's a correct one.” Then none of us can provide an answer since none of us know who you are interviewing with & how they might perceive this or how you carry yourself in general. – JakeGould May 27 '14 at 14:09
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I think your question got downvotes because many people view the decision of "cuff-links" vs "french-cuffs" vs "no-cuffs" as a trivial detail that should not take more than a second of consideration.

The important thing however, is that if you're not comfortable with how you look you might project that discomfort to the interviewer as awkwardness or inauthenticity.

If you want to make a good visual impression, focus on having a well-fitted suit and get advice from clothes-saavy people so you don't make a fashion gaffe. Cuff links are just a little bit old-fashioned to be honest, but not nearly as severe as showing up with a bow-tie or vest or fedora.

Some people can get away with almost any kind of accessory, but if you have to ask, you should not do it and should error on the side of simple and classic.

That said, if you are wearing a shirt that must have a cufflink it won't hurt to put on an inconspicuous silk-knot cufflink.

Here's a pretty comprehensive explanation about cuff-links.

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The answer is very simple. A few days before your interview, go to to workplace / campus / office and observe what people are wearing. Dress to that standard.

I work in a very casual office. If you turned up wearing a suit and tie while I was in shorts and a T-Shirt, I don’t think it would help your chances of getting a job with us :)

Your dress standard should (in order of importance):

  • Fit in with other employees.
  • Make you look good when dealing with clients / customers / students.
  • Help you feel comfortable.
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If you know little about the place you are interviewing, then you should probably opt for safe. You want the interviewers to focus on you rather than your clothes, so choose clothes that are not likely to draw attention one way or another.

Having said that, I had a candidate apply with tattoo showing because she did not want to accept a job only to have us tell her she was going to have to wear long sleeves every day. I admired her forthrightness, and she was hired.

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