What should you wear to a job interview, how can you build a wardrobe full of great basics when you're entering the work world and how can you still show off your personal style in the workplace?
If you are interested in the answers to these questions, well, my friend, this post is for you!
If you follow me on Twitter (@veronabrit) or Facebook, you'll know that a couple of months ago I was asked to give a presentation to students at the University of Houston who are members of the PRSSA.
The topic was how to dress for job interviews and in the workplace. I gave an overview of what you should wear to a job interview, how to build a basic work wardrobe when you're just out of college and how to dress stylishly in the workplace---using a handful of my favorite bloggers as style examples.
I also want to give a big THANK-YOU to my Facebook page members---they really helped contribute so much to my presentation and offered wonderful tips.
I am going to include excerpts from my PowerPoint presentation as well as screenshots of some of the visuals I used.
First off, job interviews:
•Always wear a suit (there are very, very few exceptions to this- research the company)
•Women can wear skirt suits or pantsuits
•Wear black shoes- women’s heels should stay under 4 inches, no open-toed shoes
•Don’t wear a strong fragrance
•Make sure hair is well groomed/not too fussy
•Make sure nails are well-groomed and if painted, choose a light, non-offensive color
(I like OPI’s “sweetheart” it’s a great neutral)
•Tuck in your shirt to your pants or skirt
•Keep jewelry simple and minimal
•Wear natural looking makeup (no red or bright pink lipstick or smoky eyes)
Examples of appropriate interview attire:
Next up, I talked about building a working wardrobe and I stressed the importance of waiting for stores like Banana Republic and Ann Taylor to have 40% off sales and buying basics at that time. These stores have 40% off sales at least once a month, if not more often. Sign up for their emails and check online for promo codes. See Chloe Shop is also an incredible resource to find out when all of the sales are happening.
Here are some work wardrobe essentials I think are a great start for going from college student to working gal:
•Black pencil skirt and black dress pants
•One pair of black pumps and one pair of nude pumps
•One black, navy or neutral colored dress
•A few shells
•A few blouses
•Some classis dress shirts (I love the J.Crew “perfect shirt”)
•Cardigans for layering
•A great fitted blazer (black and navy tend to be most versatile)
Some of my favorite places to shop for work essentials:
The most fun part of the presentation was talking about how you can infuse your own personal style and trends into your work wardrobe. Here were a few guidelines I shared:
•Watch your hemlines- just above the knee is okay---mid-thigh is not
•Never show cleavage at the office---wear a camisole under a blouse or dress if needed
•Don’t wear platform heels to work- if you’d wear it to a club, it’s probably not the best choice for the office
•Use accessories, color and prints to infuse fun into your work wear
•Dress for the job you want, not the job you have---look to your peers for cues on what to wear---this doesn’t mean dress like the CEO, but try to dress appropriately to your work environment
•Dress for your day---dressier for meetings and important events and more casual if you’ll be in the office all day
•Look to your superiors for guidance on how to dress
•No flip flops, sweat pants or shorts, please!
Here are some of the examples I used to showcase work-appropriate attire with style:
From L-R: Extra Petite
I hope this post is helpful to anyone who is just starting to build their working wardrobe. If you have any questions, please ask me on formspring or on Facebook---you will get your answer much more quickly!