While outward presentation is important, there's no need to spend so much time worrying about it.
Ultimately, if a positive hiring decision is made, it will be because of what is in your head, not what's on your body. If you're only hired for your outward appearance, in the long run, its a bit demoralizing and more than likely you won't be satisfied in this position long term. Proper emphasis should be placed on your appearance, but be clear on what you are bringing to the table.
One caveat about appearance - professional attire means different things depending on where you are in the country. Coming from New York I was used to wearing a suit to all professional meetings, however for my first interview in California, I was definitely over-dressed in my suit and heels. I stuck out like a sore thumb. Perhaps it was the industry, but it was also the location as everyone in the company had on t-shirt, jeans and sneakers. Needless to say I did not get that job.
- Black slacks (you can't go wrong with black, preferably boot cut); if I wear slacks I'm not concerned about wearing stockings or not.
- A white or neutral button up shirt; the white should be crisp and sharp. A good white shirt is a great investment, though sometimes a crew neck will do depending on the organization.
- A black cardigan or blazer
- Hoop earrings
- Minimal makeup (though I don't wear heavy makeup on a day to day basis).
- Mid height close toe pumps or wedges
- Portfolio for resume and other essentials
- My favorite hairstyle is a bun positioned at the nape of my neck or in the middle.
- A smile!
Depending on the industry and my mood, I may change my uniform as I see fit. Once I open my mouth, I let my light shine.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16 (NKJV)
What's your interview uniform? What's your favorite hairstyle? Do you wear stockings?