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Generally speaking, I've always heard that you should dress nicely for an interview. Most advice I've heard from is that business casual should be the most casual you dress and that business professional or business formal is preferred. There has been a question on whether or not you should always wear a suit or not.

However I do not have an appropriate business suit but I do have a Tuxedo jacket and several different options of formal pants and vests. Would it be acceptable if I wore this to an interview for a technical job? Is doing this likely to cause any problems?

As far as this being primarily opinion based, it is not anymore opinion based that the question I linked, nor more opinion based than many questions on this site. It is asking about established norms for a certain situation and can be answered by professional experience.

closed as primarily opinion-based by gnat, JasonJ, Rory Alsop, Michael Grubey, Mister Positive Apr 14 '17 at 16:17

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Showing up in an attire that nobody wear for work will backfire on you. Not just as inappropriate but as completely weird – smith Apr 12 '17 at 19:56
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    If you're applying for a job where you would be expected to wear a tuxedo regularly, then it seems appropriate. Otherwise it could come off as excessive and more like a costume. – TheSoundDefense Apr 12 '17 at 19:57
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because I don't truly believe anyone is really considering this. – Kate Gregory Apr 12 '17 at 20:02
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    How does this question not fall under the very first topic? "Finding employment (resumes/cv/cover letters, recruiters, hiring-managers, >>>interviews<<<, negotiations, etc.)" The question is specifically about interview attire. Just because people aren't taking the question seriously doesn't mean it can't be a serious question. – sleddog Apr 12 '17 at 20:33
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    @Erik you can't tell the difference between a tuxedo and a suit? Another name for Tuxedo would be dinner suit. If you're wearing satin and have a bow tie don't go to an interview, go out for an evening meal. This kind of information is widely available on the Internet. I'm not exactly sure of the terms on Workplace but on SO if you don't show research and/or any attempt at finding the answer the question is generally off-topic. – Bugs Apr 13 '17 at 8:43
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I would first like to say I am taking this question seriously. Any humor found in this answer is not to belittle or insult the OP.

I own a tuxedo and have always liked the look of wearing one, but would it be considered proper to wear one to a technical interview for a development role?

I have to agree that I also like the look of wearing a tuxedo but I would have to say NO this is not suitable. This reminds me of Step Brothers:

enter image description here

For context of the Step Brothers reference check out the scene (NSFW).

The definition of a Tuxedo is:

A dinner jacket (British English) or tuxedo (American English, also colloquially known as "tux"), dinner suit, or DJ is a semi-formal evening suit distinguished primarily by satin or grosgrain facings on the jacket's lapels and buttons and a similar stripe along the outseam of the trousers.

I've done a quick Google search:

Can I wear tuxedo for interview?:

Tuxedo is classified as a highly formal, evening wear outfit. You will be considered a dandy, if you wear it to an interview.

A business suit is ideally 2-piece with 2 or 3 buttons. A blazer would also do, if it is for a middle or junior level position. The workwear trends are moving towards Business Casual.

It is okay to ask before hand, if the company has a dress code. It is also better to err on the conservative side, rather than be caught on the wrong foot, in being too casual. Dressing well and in an appropriate manner shows that you are taking the interview seriously.


It depends upon the job you are interviewing for - perhaps it is appropriate for a narrow slice of interviews (maitre de?, symphony conductor?). But for the rest of us looking for gainful employmeant, a solid navy or charcoal suit, white shirt, red or blue tie, polished black dress shoes, is a far safer bet.

Are tuxedo suits appropriate for a job interview?:

Not at all. a tuxedo is an ocassion wear meant to be worn in parties, award ceremonies, wedding and similar events. There are specified black tie events where tux are more or less norms.


Absolutely not Unless the job is maitre d’ at a VERY upmarket hotel or restaurant where it will be the working uniform


The tuxedo, or dinner suit, is for formal dinners and events only

It may also be helpful to know the differences between a tuxedo and a suit:

enter image description here

On this article there is also a summary which again hightlights when it's appropriate to wear a tuxedo:

Both suits and tuxedo are important elements of men’s wardrobe undeniably, and both of them have their own significance. Which one is better is always depend on upon the place or events it is expected to wear. Suits, as we highlighted above, are comparatively more common that’s why’s they are the best to wear daily at the office or formal gathering. Tuxedo is the premier choice for semi-formal events like high school proms, black tie events, and weddings; it gives you a great opportunity to show your elegance and make yourself look unique.

Emphasis mine

I'm sure there is much more out there about when and where you should wear a tuxedo but I would have to say in your case it would not be deemed appropriate.

If you do end up attending an interview in your tuxedo please do let us know how you got on.

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    @JoeStrazzere no that's not what it says. That's slightly twisting the quote. You can make yourself look elegant and unique without having to turn up in a full tuxedo. – Bugs Apr 13 '17 at 12:38
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    Contrary to the cited article, weddings (in the US at least) are most often not black tie events, and a tux would be out of place unless you're in the wedding party (in which case you'll generally be told exactly what to wear). – Caleb Apr 14 '17 at 18:50
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    @Caleb to be honest that's generally the case in the U.K. I wouldn't wear a tux unless it was to a prestige event. Weddings, I would probably just wear my best suit. – Bugs Apr 14 '17 at 19:04
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    @Erik Gimmicks don't help you get a job. We get a lot of questions about making your application stand out but the only correct way to do so is by writing an excellent cover letter and applying for jobs that match your profile. Most gimmicks won't result in an automatic no-hire but it's telling that they're always things that great candidates and high-performers simply do not do. – Lilienthal Apr 15 '17 at 21:24
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    @Erik, you want to stand out based on your accomplishments. Standing out for looking substantially different is a quick way to the bottom of the pile unless your accomplishments are far, far greater than anyone else you are competing with. One of the things you are being judged on is your judgement and if you can't figure out how to dress appropriately for an interview, then your judgement becomes suspect. – HLGEM Apr 17 '17 at 18:00
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You would be laughed at, if not to your face most certainly behind your back.

No, a tuxedo would not be appropriate for any development job because you would be severely overdressed.

Other options that would be inappropriate:

  1. Swim trunks or bikini
  2. Clown suit
  3. Uniform of any kind
  4. Advertising sandwich board
  5. Any sort of mask.
  6. Hat that has YOLO written on it.
  7. Wet suit with swim fins.
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    I dunno, I've seen some pretty snappy sandwich boards... – sleddog Apr 12 '17 at 20:25
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    A military uniform would be appropriate for someone currently in the military who is expecting to get out very shortly and interviewing for a civilian job especially at a military contractor.I've interviewed military personnel on occasion in uniform, it is what they are required to wear to work after all. – HLGEM Apr 12 '17 at 20:54
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    What about a Batman costume? They do say you should dress for the job you want. – HorusKol Apr 12 '17 at 21:24
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    Damn bought already this awesome pig mask for my next interview... – Artery Apr 13 '17 at 11:55
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    Please add "hat that has YOLO written on it" to the list. Also is not appropriate. – user66194 Apr 13 '17 at 14:18
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If you're auditioning for an orchestra, a tuxedo would be appropriate. Depending on the instrument, the jacket would be left unbottoned to avoid bunching in the front (ie. trombone) or pulling on the buttons (ie. mallet percussion). Soloists tend to wear suits, but tuxedo is typical performance attire for just about every professional orchestra in the world.

For an office job interview, however, a tuxedo is perhaps a bit too formal. You'll definitely be remembered, but not for your technical prowess or people skills.

  • I can't imagine any musicians I know turning uo for an orchestral audition wearing a tux. Unless, maybe, they skipped out of a wedding party to attend. – Laconic Droid Apr 14 '17 at 16:13
  • Might be a regional thing. Definitely saw a lot of auditioners wearing tuxes in Boston. I guess it depends on where they fall on the formality scale, anywhere between "low brass" and "oboist". – sleddog Apr 14 '17 at 17:18
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However I do not have an appropriate business suit but I do have a Tuxedo jacket and several different options of formal pants and vests. Would it be acceptable if I wore this to an interview for a technical job?

NO! As most of the other answers here already say, a tuxedo is not appropriate business attire.

Is doing this likely to cause any problems?

Wearing formal evening wear to a technical job would send a strong message that you don't understand how to match your behavior to a situation. Someone who was very generous might just put it down to a quirky fashion sense, but many would have a hard time looking past that faux pas even if you ace the rest of the interview. First impressions mean a lot, and overdressing can put you just as out of place as underdressing.

In other words, nobody is going to offer you a job because you dressed appropriately, but there's a good chance that dressing inappropriately could prevent them from making an offer that they otherwise would have.

Don't despair. You don't necessarily need to run out and drop a pile of cash that you may not have on a suit that you may never wear again. A nice pair of khaki pants, a clean, neatly pressed button-down shirt, real shoes (not sneakers), and a nice tie would make you perfectly presentable for most tech interviews, at least in most US companies that aren't banks or investment firms.

And just to state the obvious, make sure that you're well-groomed: get a haircut, shave (or trim, if you wear a beard), shower, brush your teeth, make sure your shoes are tied, match your belt to your shoes (they should be approximately the same color), and so on. These things don't cost much, and a well groomed candidate in jeans and a polo shirt will beat a messy candidate in a 3-piece suit hands down.

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    +1 for the last paragraph. I never went into what you should wear. One thing I would say is it's good to invest in a suit for inteviews. You can wear the same one to different interviews. I did this when I first started out but as it happened I continued to wear them for work. – Bugs Apr 14 '17 at 17:10
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    Agree -- I'd say it's good to invest in a suit, period. Formal occasions come up from time to time (weddings, funerals, work events outside the office, client meetings, etc.) and it's important to be able to dress right for such things. – Caleb Apr 14 '17 at 18:45
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I know there are answers already, but they more so focus on the tuxedo part.

Generally, in interviews--much like sales--you want to be "a notch above" what the expected standard level of dress is for your employer or client.

So, retail store or call center? Maybe a nice dress shirt or polo with nice khakis. Job at a government or financial institution? Suit.

The level of dress depends on the employer, industry and even the area you'll be interviewing in.

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