We recently had a reader, Hailey, write in telling us that she and her sorority sisters (shout out Alpha Chi Omega girls at UT!!) are getting ready to begin the job interview process and were lost when it came to what to wear on a job interview . I recently switched jobs and just went through the interview process and I know how nerve racking it can be to put an outfit together. I think one of the hardest parts of dressing professionally is trying to express yourself while still trying to fit in a mold.
Hailey is a college student and she is basically starting from square one when it comes to building her work wardrobe, so I took her to The Limited. I love shopping for my work clothes there because they are affordable, generally in-line with trends, and tend to have pieces that are versatile (so you can mix and match and even wear some things on the weekends or nights). However, my most favorite thing about shopping at The Limited when it comes to building your work clothes, is that all the blacks match. What I mean by that is you can buy a black jacket, black pants in several styles, or a black skirt and they will all match. There is nothing more frustrating that separately buying a skirt and jacket only to find out the shades of blacks are off.
I personally think the rule that your jacket and pants/skirt have to match in a suit is no longer applicable. This is a great way to show some of your personality, which was one of the things Hailey was struggling with. She said her favorite color to wear was pink, so I made sure to incorporate that. You want to wear what you feel your best in. You can see here I paired a navy blazer with white pants and added in some of her personality...pink! I feel like you can wear bright colors and still look professional as long as they are in moderation; I mean don't go borrow your Dumb and Dumber obsessed cousin's orange suit or anything...a little goes a long way.
As you can see, she looks professional and ready to nail a job interview while still looking and, most importantly, feeling like herself.
Next, she wanted to try on an outfit with a skirt. I personally LOVE skirts to work in. They are cooler than pants in the hot summer months and I feel girly and strong when I wear them. I once read somewhere that women are perceived as more powerful when wearing a skirt suit to a job interview. I have no idea if its true or not, but sounds good to me. I used the same "no match" rule when putting this outfit together.
I love so many things about this look! Its professional, cute, and not a boring off-the-rack suit that just blends in with every other suit out there! The main thing I love about this look is you could replace the skirt for a great pair of jeans, roll the sleeves of the jacket and easily take this look into the night or the weekend.
For our last outfit I wanted Hailey to have a dress that she could make her own as well. Dresses are so easy, as we've mentioned on the blog before...you can literally wear it with no thought or effort . You don't have to worry about matching anything or putting an outfit together.
I love this dress! I saw it as soon as I walked in the store and I may have to go back and get one for myself! Adding a jacket to it dresses it up and takes the professional level up a notch. Hailey can easily wear this dress to a luncheon or baby shower on the weekends too.
I hope this gives you some ideas on how to think outside the box when it comes to what to wear to an interview.
Jack and I have been LOVING all the comments and suggestions on things you would like to see on the blog, so keep em' coming!