Ever watch shows like Mad Men (ahem, Joan Harris) or House of Cards (Claire Underwood’s wardrobe -- swoon!) and wish you could dress like that at the office without feeling ridiculously out of place?
For the vast majority of us, business casual is the norm at the office -- with the “business” aspect being somewhat optional. This makes interviewing for and starting a new job somewhat complicated, wardrobe-wise.
We recently received a question on this topic from a reader:
I have an upcoming interview … the job description wasn't clear, but it seems like I might be on my feet a lot. I want to look professional and be comfortable at the same time. Any clothing and shoe suggestions?
Left to right:
White Blazer, Striped Skirt, 3.25.15: http://www.fauxfancy.com/home/2014/3/25/all-business.html
Black and Blush, 6.25.14: http://www.fauxfancy.com/home/2014/6/25/black-and-blush.html
Shades of Gray: 11.12.13: http://www.fauxfancy.com/home/2013/11/10/shades-of-grey.html
With the exception of the most formal of jobs, a full suit is no longer expected at an interview. However, no matter how casual the position, what you choose to wear to this meeting is a demonstration of how seriously you are taking the opportunity, and how much you want it.
My go-to interview combination is usually a top and a skirt, or a top, skirt and blazer trio. I tend to favor skirts, but you can easily sub in a pair of pants for this look. Incorporating a bit of color adds personality, and keeps the look from being stuffy.
Once you snag your new gig, it’s definitely important to strike a balance between comfortable and professional. A job that requires you to spend quite a bit of time on your feet poses a special challenge.
To tackle this matter, start with the shoes. Fancy flats can be both comfy and chic, and work year-round. In the warmer months, you can also pepper in wedge sandals; while there’s still snow on the ground, ankle booties with a low, chunky heel can also work wonders.
Left to Right:
Nine West Crudenza Ankle Strap Sandals, $99 at NineWest.com.
Plume Robin Pointed Ballet Flats, $38 at Target.com.
Aldo Ceilla Booties in Black Suede, on sale for $60 at Aldo.com.
Once you’ve nailed that down, investing in a few key separates -- pants, skirts and blouses -- that you can mix and match can take you very far. Opt for items in breathable fabrics with a bit of stretch in them. That will help keep you comfortable on a long day. Old Navy, H&M, Zara and Nordstrom Rack are among my go-to destinations, along with the sale section at J. Crew.
Best of luck at your interview, E!