A few weeks ago, we wrote about what men should wear to a job interview. Now it's the ladies' turn. And Samantha Nolan, a New Albany-based job-search advice columnist who pens "Dear Sam," has some suggestions.

Looking to get noticed during a job interview? Your resume, not your wardrobe, is what should stand out.

A few weeks ago, we wrote about what men should wear to a job interview. Now it's the ladies' turn. And Samantha Nolan, a New Albany-based job-search advice columnist who pens "Dear Sam," has some suggestions.

"I don't think you could get the job based on what you wear, but I think you could lose the job based on what you wear," Nolan said.

The key is to remain neutral so that no matter who you meet during the interview, you won't offend their tastes. "When hiring is so incredibly tight," she added, "you're trying to make yourself as perfect a candidate as possible."

That means conservative colors, shapes and accessories. The ideal outfit is a two-piece suit with a skirt in navy, dark gray, black or brown, with a white or solid-colored blouse, Nolan said. She also advises women to wear sheer hose in a neutral color; shoes should be leather, closed-toed and have a moderate heel.

Controversy continues over the appropriateness of women's pantsuits. Some still find them edgy, but if you're uncomfortable in a skirt, Nolan suggests you opt for pants.

Jewelry should be kept to a minimum - perhaps just a sterling-silver pendant necklace - and makeup should be light.

"Even if you wear eight rings, on your interview take them off," Nolan said. "You don't want these fashion faux pas to screen yourself out when you have all the skills."

Of course, every office has its own culture. Is it possible to be overdressed for an interview? Nolan insists that professional dress shows respect. "What that will tell the person is that you really want the job," she said.

But with a little research you can find out what's expected. At an ad agency, for example, it might be OK to show a little personality with some color. At a bank, you'll want to err on the conservative side.

It's not necessary to invest a lot of money in a brand-new suit. Nolan suggests visiting Dress for Success, which stocks donated dress clothes for resale, or yard sales and consignment stores.

"You need a classic suit anyway," she emphasized. "What worked last year should work in five years."