Dress Code for UPSC Prelims, Mains, and Interview

by Vajiram & Ravi


05:54 AM

The UPSC dress code is not just about adhering to tradition; it's a reflection of your respect for the process and the importance you attach to the interview. UPSC has not defined any specific guidelines regarding the dress code to be followed for the Prelims and Mains examination. The UPSC interview is the final stage in the Civil Service Examination, and only a few thousand candidates make it this far. The competition is fierce, so it's important to pay attention to even the smallest details, such as your dress code. This article will provide you with the IAS dress code guidelines for the UPSC Exam so you can make a good impression on the interviewers.

Dress Code for UPSC Prelims

The UPSC Prelims is the first stage of the Civil Services Examination. It primarily consists of two papers: the General Studies Paper I and the General Studies Paper II. While there are no clearly defined guidelines regarding the dress code by UPSC, the dress code for the Prelims can be relatively informal but should still adhere to the principles of modesty, respect, and comfort.

Dress Code for UPSC Mains

The UPSC Mains Examination is a significant step in the selection process, consisting of a written examination with nine papers. The dress code for the Mains is similar to that of UPSC Prelims. You can opt for either an informal or a formal look depending on your comfort. The only important point to be remembered is that your dress code should adhere to the principles of modesty and respect.

What is the Dress Code for UPSC Interview Round?

After successfully clearing the written stages, candidates are invited for the final stage of selection: the UPSC Interview, also known as the Personality Test. Besides knowledge and aptitude, your appearance and demeanour play a significant role in leaving a lasting impression on the interview panel. Here's why dressing appropriately is crucial:

  • Professionalism: Dressing professionally indicates your seriousness about the role of a civil servant. It shows that you understand and respect the formal nature of the interview.
  • First Impressions: As the saying goes, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression." The way you present yourself, including your attire, contributes significantly to the initial impression you leave on the interview panel.
  • Confidence Boost: Wearing appropriate attire can boost your confidence. When you feel well-dressed and put-together, you're more likely to project confidence and composure during the interview.

UPSC Interview Dress Code for Female and Male Candidates

Now, let's break down the essential elements of the UPSC interview dress code:

IAS Dress Code for Male Candidates

  • The UPSC interview is a formal occasion, and your clothing should reflect that. For men, this typically means wearing a well-fitted suit in dark or neutral colours such as navy blue, black, or charcoal grey.
  • Men should wear a conservative tie that complements the suit. Avoid flashy or loud ties; stick to classic patterns or solid colours.
  • Ensure that your shirt is clean and well-pressed. White or light pastel-coloured shirts are a safe choice.
  • Ensure that you are well-groomed and have fresh breath. Personal hygiene is as important as your attire.
  • Don't forget to carry all the necessary documents in an organized folder or briefcase. It's a sign of preparation and responsibility.

IAS Dress Code for Female Candidates

  • Women are encouraged to wear formal Indian attire to the UPSC interview. If you prefer not to wear a saree, a salwar suit is also appropriate. However, please ensure that your outfit is in a light, muted color and made of cotton/ Khadi Material.
  • Female Candidates should avoid low necklines or overly bright colours.
  • The hair should be neatly tied up in a ponytail or a bun.
  • Nails should be trimmed and no make-up should be preferred.
  • Keep accessories minimal and conservative. A simple wristwatch is acceptable. Avoid wearing heavy jewellery or accessories that might distract the interview panel.
  • Ensure that you are well-groomed and have fresh breath. Personal hygiene is as important as your attire.
  • Don't forget to carry all the necessary documents in an organized folder or briefcase. It's a sign of preparation and responsibility.

Dos and Don'ts for UPSC Interview Dress Code

While following a formal dress code is mandatory to appear for the UPSC Personality Test round there are certain Do’s and dont's one must remember while preparing for the UPSC Personality Test:

Dos for Dress Code for UPSC

  • Do wear clothing that fits you well and is comfortable. You don't want to be fidgeting with your attire during the interview.
  • Do iron your clothes to ensure they are wrinkle-free.
  • Do practice wearing your interview attire before D-day to ensure everything fits and looks well.
  • Do pay attention to your choice of socks and belts, ensuring they match your attire.

Don'ts for Dress Code for UPSC Interview

  • Don't wear overly bright, flashy, or trendy clothing. Stick to classic, understated choices.
  • Don't wear clothing with loud patterns or prints.
  • Don't overdo your perfume or cologne; a subtle fragrance is sufficient.
  • Don't experiment with new clothing or shoes on the day of the interview. Stick to what you're comfortable with.

The UPSC interview dress code may seem like a minor detail, but it plays a significant role in how you present yourself to the interview panel. Dressing professionally and conservatively demonstrates respect for the process and helps boost your confidence. By following the guidelines mentioned above, you can ensure that your attire complements your knowledge and aptitude, giving you the best chance to succeed in your UPSC interview. Remember, dressing appropriately is not just about conforming to a code; it's about showcasing your readiness to take on the responsibilities of a civil servant.

FAQs on UPSC IAS Dress Code

Is there any dress code for UPSC?

Yes, one needs to follow a certain dress code for a UPSC Interview. For men, it has to be a formal suit, and women need to follow a Formal Indian dress code. Whether a saree or salwar suits the material should be cotton.

What is the dress code for UPSC candidates?

Dress professionally for the UPSC interview.

  • Men: Wear a well-fitting suit in a dark or neutral colour, such as navy blue, black, or charcoal grey.
  • Women: Wear formal Indian attire, such as a saree or salwar suit, in a light, muted colour and made of cotton/ khadi material.

Is jeans allowed in UPSC?

You can wear jeans while appearing for the UPSC Prelims and Mains exam but jeans is not allowed in the UPSC Interview round. One needs to follow a formal dress code when appearing for the UPSC Interview round.