How To Achieve A Conservative Yet Fashion Conscious Look For An Interview
by ATFDC Contributor Kelsi Zimmerman
As I am rapidly approaching the time in my life where I will need to start attending interviews in order to get a “big people’s job”, I often wonder (just like with any other event) “What am I going to wear?” Because, really, what is appropriate to wear to an interview in a professional work place while still displaying that I am fashion-conscious? I am here to give you tips on what to keep in mind for the preparation for a job interview, whether it is for a career in the fashion industry or not. The key things you want to remember are:
- Wear a solid, conservative suit
- Make sure your blouse coordinates with the suit (duh)
- Invest in a pair of moderate (yet fashionable) shoes
- Limit the amount and flashiness of the jewelry you wear (less is more!)
- Wear a neat and professional hairstyle
- Wear tan or light hosiery
- Sparse make-up and light perfume
- Neatly manicured nails.
In order to achieve a conservative look while still remaining fashion conscious, I suggest keeping your garments for the day of your interview to black, deep red, charcoal or navy, and remember to always avoid any sort of flashy patterns. My favorite “interview” look is the 1980′s inspired red power suit. Try to capture this look by Prada that Amanda Seyfried is wearing.
You can start with a pair of red high waist trousers found on the online retailer Oyster Vintage. These handmade trousers are the appropriate color while still rocking a flattering shape that gives you the edge over the other prospective employees. If red isn’t your ideal interview suit, go with these pants in black found at online retailer ASOS (us.asos.com), and pair with the black blazer that we all have in our closets. If you prefer a one piece ensemble, Urban Chic (located at 1629 Wisconsin Ave NW) has the perfect Shoshanna Diandra dress to pair with a black blazer- in the perfect length and color blocking combo.
As far as coordinating blouses, avoid patterns but don’t be afraid to go for different styles and textures such as a black blouse with gold buttons, or a sheer black top with a neck-tie attached.
Shoes can be very tricky when deciding what is appropriate for a professional interview environment, I recommend sticking to a heel 3 inches or shorter, either closed or peep toe and in black or charcoal colors. These black patent slingback peeptoes found at Current Boutique at their Clarendon location in Arlington at 1529 Wilson Blvd.
For the more conservative, Current Boutique also has in stock these Ferragamo black leather kitten heel with gold buckle that are height appropriate for the office but have a fashiontonian edge to them.
When accessorizing the morning of your big interview, remember, less is more! My recommendation is to go with either a statement necklace OR bold earrings. Lou Lou’s located at 1304 Wisconsin Ave NW has the perfect pieces to keep in mind for your big day. This oversized teardrop necklace offered in gray or blue is simple yet stylish enough to pair with the black pant suit ensemble.
However, you can also never go wrong with studs like Lou Lou’s ringed pearl studded earrings which are perfect for whichever look you decide.
As far as your “do”, my recommendations are to either treat yourself to a professional blow-out (check out Piaf Salon and Day Spa at 1023 15th Street NW) or conquer the infamous sock bun. A sleek blow-out is perfect for making sure your mane is maintained and a sock bun is a great sophisticated approach to highlighting your cheekbones and glowing facial structure to ensure your interviewer remembers you.
When addressing your make-up, remember once again, less is more. A little mascara, nude eye shadow and a hint of gloss will do the trick. Keep in mind that when applying perfume to go for a clean, fresh scent that will not be too overbearing. Search for Happy Perfume by Clinique, Cashmere Mist Perfume by Donna Karan or Amber Splash Perfume by Marc Jacobs, all of which are appropriate for the office environment. Check out Perfume Paradise located at 1656 Crystal Square Arcade in Arlington to purchase any of these fresh scents!
Finally, to accompany your firm handshake go for a nude, clear or conservative French manicure that you can also treat yourself to when getting your blowout at Piaf Salon.
Remember to bring a fresh, crisp resume, knowledge of the company and a firm handshake to your interview along with these trendy tips and you will be the most qualified applicant!
A 21 year old Maryland Native and Senior Fashion Merchandising major at Stevenson University fashion has consumed Kelsi’s life from a young age and continues to as she travels to experience the fashion scenes from various cities across the world. Kelsi is thrilled to be back in the DMV and help bring to light the rising fashion scene right here in DC.