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Seven Interview Outfits for Under $100

I'm not really sure who said "you've gotta spend money to make money," but I think they were right—to a point. Wearing classic, polished staples— a solid blazer, a printed pencil skirt, a tailored sheath—will help you land a good job, but there's no reason to spend entire paychecks you don't have yet while buying them.

Instead, stock up on these affordable options, then go crazy on fancy work clothes once you get the job. (I'm pretty sure everyone in this office has done that at some point, me included.) Until then, shop these you'd-be-stupid-not-to-hire-me outfits, each of which is smart and stylish and under $100:

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Borrow from politicians and wear red to look powerful. Choose a dress that's covered-up and streamlined, not flirty-short and flouncy, and stick to minimal jewelry and nude pumps, not black.

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Sandy peach trousers feel a little less predictable than black pants, while a tie-front blouse makes a fresh alternative to the standard white button-down. Ultimately, the look's Menswear Lite: strong, but not caricature-y.

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Energize sedate black pants with a printed blouse. Keep the print simple, not too colorful or cheeky (yay to paisley, stripes; nay to animal prints, tropical motifs), and it'll add some intrigue without overwhelming you.

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You can't go wrong with all-black, knee-length dresses. Unless, perhaps, they're too plain and boring, so choose something with a tiny bit of detail—like this crossover flap sheath—and add a polished, ladylike bag.

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Sometimes if your dress is well-tailored and just interesting enough—like this "I own a cool art gallery" one—it's all you really need. (Well, and some shoes and a resumé.)

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A more conservative option affords a little bit of expression with a hint of red lipstick and a chunky menswear watch. (Just make sure not to glance at the time during the interview).

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If you opt for a printed skirt, keep your tops simple. (Likewise, if you toss on a colored or embellished blazer, tame it with a timid skirt.)

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