Thursday, April 15, 2010

What to: Wear to a Job Interview

As a college student, I'm starting to get used to going to interviews (for jobs I will probably never get, but still), and answering awkward questions.  The hard part is deciding how to dress.  You want to be cute and stylish, but you can't be too stylish or show too much skin.  I've put together a few choices for job interviews that I think fit the bill (keep in mind that these aren't for corporate positions at all, these are more for retail positions, like working at J. Crew or Nordstroms, because those are places that I feel like people my age and interested in clothes are applying).

Stila Smudge Pot in Black, $20 at, MAC Eyeshadow in Satin Taupe, $14.50 at, Chloe EDP, $110 for 2.5 oz at Obviously, this is not the time or place to get all fancy with your eye-makeup at all.  No going-out smokey eyes or blue eyeshadow here.  Instead, I'd go for something really simple, but still chic.  A wash of Satin Taupe across the lid and blended into the crease gives definition and just a hint of interesting color, and a thin line of Stila's black gel liner across the upper lashline makes your lashes look insanely full and lush.  I like gel liner for this because it won't smudge, like a pencil liner might, and a smudgey eye-makeup look is so not appropriate for a job interview.  As for perfume, don't wear YSL's Opium or Coco Chanel or anything overpowering and intense.  You don't know if your interviewer has a sensitive nose or stomach, and the last thing you want to do is have them associate you with a head or stomach ache.  I like a light, girly perfume, like Chloe EDP.  It's polished and feminine, but very light and clean.  You'll smell naturally good, not like you're heading to a club.

I'm really not a formal pants sort of person.  I'm really not a pants person at all, actually.  So I'd lean towards wearing a skirt or a dress to a job interview, just because they're easier to work around and still look feminine and chic.

J. Crew Cashmere V-neck Cardigan in Ivory, $119.99 at, J. Crew Slim Braided Belt, $29.50 at, Majestic Cypress Toile Dress, $278 at I absolutely love this dress.  LOVE.  The toile pattern is conservative and traditional, which contrasts with the fit-and-flare cut of the dress so well.  There's some corseting detail at the bodice, which is a little racy for a job interview, I admit, so I'd wear a slightly oversized, boyish cardigan on top of it.  The white of the cardigan doesn't fit with the print of the dress, and it would give just enough coverage to the dress without taking away its shape.  I'd also throw on this belt, just to add a little masculine balance to the dress.  The craftsy texture of the belt contrast perfectly with the Marie Antoinette feel of the dress, and the brown hue goes nicely with the buttons on the sweater.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Lightweight Stretch Twill Skirt, $178 at, Estelle Tank, $38 at, Illuminated Way Blouse, $128 at If skirts are more your thing, I'd recommend a pencil skirt.  They're inherently formal, so they're seen as appropriate for most job interviews, and they're very simple to jazz up and make fun.  I like this Marc by Marc version because the skirt has a slight a-line cut (so not really a pencil skirt, but still) and it has a little pleating at the waistband, which adds some subtle detail.  I'd pair such a structured skirt with a softer, draping top in another neutral.  I adore this Anthropology top.  It's so ethereal and feminine, and the tiny detailing around the neckline adds so much visual interest and just plain chicness.  I'd layer a lace cami underneath to keep it from being too much cleavage, and the lace gives the neckline even more sweet detail (but not too much).  For a more masculine contrast, I'd add the braided belt from above to draw attention to your waist and add a bit of a fun, witty twist.

J. Crew Patterned Classic Ballet Flats in Floral Papaya, $118 at, Water Droplet Posts, $30 at, J. Crew Sayre Suede Ballet Flats, $128 at I would definitely wear flats to something like this.  If you're tottering around on heels or wearing intense platforms, no one will take you seriously.  Only wear heels if they're elegant and you can walk in them like nobody's business.  I love J. Crew's flats for interviews, though.  A ballet flat is easy to walk and move around in, and looks much more polished than a sandal.  I like the patterned flat for the pencil skirt ensemble, as the pink shades would add a lot of punch to that neutral ensemble, and the grey flats for the printed dress, as they'd tie in with the neutral cardigan and help tone down the fun pattern on the dress.  As for jewelry, I'd keep it simple.  Very simple.  No dangling earrings, giant bangles, or crazy layered necklaces.  A simple pair of stud earrings like these add a little extra glamour to your outfit, and a little extra color, but still keep everything very understated and chic (and they'd tie in with the blue of that dress so well!).  Also, the luxe nature of the cut and rich color of the stones works really nicely with the clean lines of the earrings.

Image Sources:
MAC Satin Taupe:, Stila Smudge Pot:, Chloe perfume:, J. Crew cardigan:, J. Crew cardigan:, Anthropologie dress:, Marc by Marc skirt:, Anthropologie tank:, Anthropologie top:, J. Crew patterned flats:, Anthropologie earrings:, J. Crew plain flats:

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