A business-like tote bag is ideal for interviews and other professional occasions. It can carry your pad folio, extra copies of your resume and any other papers you might need, and personal items can be concealed within. A structured tote that will stand up when you set it on the floor is preferable to one that flops over (and potentially spills its contents). If you also carry a purse, keep it small and simple (so that you are not carrying two large bags); you might place your smaller purse within your larger tote. Tote/purse color should coordinate with your overall attire; it does not have to match your shoes, but should not clash in style and color. Your tote/purse can be leather, faux leather, micro fiber or a fine woven material. Avoid purses that look like beach/pool totes, have bold prints, or are partyish or little-girlish.
Should be clean and neat.
Should be in polished condition. Make sure heels are not worn.
No missing buttons, no lint; and don't forget to remove external tags and tacking stitches from new clothes.
Clothes should be clean, neatly pressed, and fit properly.
Perfume or cologne should be used sparingly or not at all. Remember that some people have allergies/sensitivities; you'd hate for that to derail an interview. No odors in clothes. Don't smell like smoke.
► Padfolios / business bags:
Always wise for holding paper to take notes and to hold other documents you may need to bring and receive. Business-like totes or small briefcases are also appropriate. But if you have no reason to carry a large briefcase, don't; you risk looking silly.
► Backpacks, book bags:
Not appropriate for an on-site interview at the employer's location. For an on-campus interview, you can leave it in the waiting area, or discreetly place it behind your chair. If you are graduating, invest in a business-like tote/bag, so that you don't need to bring your school backpack to interviews.
Keep makeup conservative. A little is usually better than none for a polished look. Nails should be clean and well groomed. Avoid extremes of nail length and polish color, especially in conservative industries.
Wear a conservative watch. If you choose to wear other jewelry, be conservative. Removing earrings is safest. For conservative industries, don't wear earrings. Observe other men in your industry to see what is acceptable.
Underneath the suit jacket, wear a tailored blouse in a color or small print that coordinates nicely with your suit. A fine gauge, good quality shell (sleeveless) or sleeved knit top, not bulky; not thin or gauzy; not a t-shirt) is also appropriate underneath your suit jacket. Don't show cleavage. (Remember that tv/movies are trying to attract viewers; they don't represent reality of the professional environment.
Much of what you see in entertainment media that masquerades for professional attire is not appropriate for a work environment. Your skirt should cover your thighs when you are seated. Showing a lot of thigh makes you look naive at best, foolish at worst. A skirt that ends at the knee when you're standing looks chic and professional. Longer skirts are professional too; just make sure they are narrow enough not to be billowing, but not so narrow that you can't climb stairs comfortably. Don't purchase a skirt or decide on a hem length until you sit in the skirt facing a mirror. That's what your interviewer will see, and what others will see when you are seated in a waiting area prior to your interview. Ask yourself whether it will be distracting or reinforce your image as a person who looks appropriate for a business environment or gathering. High slits in skirts are not appropriate. A small center-back slit in a knee-length skirt is appropriate. On a calf-length skirt, a slit to the knee to facilitate walking and stair climbing is appropriate. Practice walking, climbing stairs, sitting, and standing in your skirt with the shoes you will wear. Make sure you don't have to adjust or tug your skirt into place when you move.
Tailored pants suits are appropriate for women. Pants suits can be an excellent choice for site visits, particularly if the visit involves getting in and out of vehicles and/or the site is (or includes) a manufacturing plant or industrial facility. If you wear pants, they should be creased and tailored, not tight or flowing. If you are pursuing a conservative industry and are in doubt, observe well-dressed women in your industry on the job, at career fairs, at information sessions, etc.
If worn, should be well-groomed. Observe men in your industry if you are unsure what's appropriate or are considering changing your look.
Black or cordovan leather, to match your shoes.
Leather, lace-up or slip-on business shoes, preferably black or cordovan (match your belt color). Invest in a good pair; even if you don't wear them daily at work, you'll need them for other occasions; good shoes should last years if not frequently worn.