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Work – Where And Wear?!

As soon-to-be graduates, those of us who aren’t going onto post grad study, or masterminding plans for exotic gap years, are probably looking for employment or internships towards employment. I know I certainly am. But, as it often is, what to wear is one of the things that I think about most for any situation. What can I wear to interviews? To work? Where do we find the line between fashion and appropriate?

Well, with some knowledge from weeks of work experience and interning last summer, and lots of research into what’s out there for us, I have (hopefully) compiled an article with what’s best for work and interview OOTD’s. I would point out that it depends entirely on where you are working. I’ve spent time in PR and film/TV offices and companies, some, where trainers and jeans are most appropriate. Therefore, I can’t really speak with any experience on what’s needed in big city banking industries and law firms, or schools (although seeing my sister prepare for her first job in teaching has given me some idea). Then there are those jobs, such as sports based ones or work in hospitals which require you wear a uniform.  But for anyone heading towards an interview, or work in a totally new office environment, hope fully this can shed some light. 

I’ve created three sets with three different looks. Hopefully among the three you can find something to suit any figure and any interview or job. 

These classic shapes, cuts and colours are going to help you fit in, in any office. If you keep skirts long, and shirts buttoned up, you can’t be accused of anything inappropriate. Until you know you can get away with anything above the knee, and especially in an interview, it’s best to keep the look professional and smart. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t look fashionable. The feminine flippy hem on this Reiss skirt will add some personality and style, and a good belt and smart shirt will make you look professional, without being too boring. If you prefer trousers, I know I often do, something tailored is best. Avoid jeans (even your blackest pair are still denim- sob), and head for Cigarette style pants in thicker, textured fabrics which hold more structure and will look smarter. If you invest in a good skirt, pair of trousers and some well fitted shirts, you can always be work-ready. Great places to buy these staple items are Reiss, Whistles, Ted Baker and Topshop. They may seem like a bit of a pinch on the purse, but with any luck, they’ll help you score the job and you’ll be paid back in no time! Eye catching accessories will add personality and fresh looks every day. Black trews and a white shirt will never shout ‘Waitress!’ when teamed with some block colour courts, or brogues and some statement jewellery.

In a more conservative office, these neutral colours won’t draw any unnecessary attention to what the ‘new girl’ is wearing, but the combinations are still young and on-trend enough to still feel like you and be stylish.  However, if you still can’t resist opting for brighter colours and patterns, take a look below.

These stylish pieces (from a variety of high street, and high end high street shops) look smart due to good cuts and neat colour matching. If you love bold colours and exciting prints, keep those pieces one off and team with monochrome and simple, matching accessories. Shift dressers and pencil skirts have good office friendly shapes and can be worn with flats for a more smart/casual look which is comfier. I’d recommend buying a good dress for interviews which is a suitable length (to be really safe, stay below the knee for any career choice- those involving children in particular!), keeping it midi means you can go bare legged in the summer and still look smart. If a good shaped dress comes above the knee, save for wearing with thick black tights and smart boots.

If you aren’t sure on the skirt length policy and want to play it really safe, a tailored, suit style look is the way to go. Don’t be afraid of colours, but do stay very clear of shirts that are too tight and gape, and shirts which are see-through. The colour of your bra shouldn’t be part of the look. I’m not much of a heel wearer, but some low courts will make your outfit appear smarter and well put together. However, if you know you have to be on your feet, keep your shoes flat all the way! The employer probably won’t judge you based on your heel walking abilities, but you don’t want to be thrown off by a last minute twisted ankle.

Good luck to anyone applying for jobs and going through interviews, it’s a stressful time but I can promise one thing: if you look good, you’ll feel good, and a big smile and confident walk is always a great place to start.

English Language student who loves fashion, blogging and working hard to bag my ideal career in consumer PR.
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