Flip-flops and a Hawaiian shirt? Why it might land you the job

Dressing down for a job interview sounds like career suicide, but in some cases, it could be a smart move. A study in the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology reveals a surprising twist: nonconforming dress styles can actually boost your chances — if you have the qualifications to back it up. Researchers found that while low-qualified applicants suffer for breaking dress norms, high-qualified ones get a free pass.

The study examined three theoretical perspectives on how deviating from professional dress norms affects job applicants. The first perspective suggests conformity boosts hiring chances by signaling you're a good little worker bee. Second, the idea that nonconformity might actually benefit applicants by projecting power and confidence. But the third perspective is where it gets interesting: qualifications change the game entirely. This phenomenon, dubbed "idiosyncrasy credits," essentially means that if you've got the skills and the résumé to prove it, you can waltz into an interview wearing a Hawaiian shirt and flip-flops without the usual repercussions. Low-qualified applicants, on the other hand, will be knocked for the same sartorial sins.

So, wearing non-conventional clothing to your next interview might not be as risky as you think — provided you have the chops to back it up.

Previously: Why Thomas Edison made job applicants eat soup in front of him