I was growing up in the era of the Power Suit, which for working women usually meant a navy-blue suit, white button-down blouse with a red ribbon tied in a bow at the neck, pantyhose, and a briefcase to carry the heels you’d change into from your blindingly white sneakers. Except for the sneakers— maybe— doesn’t this sound like an old-school flight attendant’s uniform? Now that I think about it, the general concept was that of a uniform: if a woman dressed like every other woman, the conventional “wisdom” went, it was less likely that her sexuality would be a factor in her job performance. Or getting a job in the first place, for that matter.
Today, it’s my theory that the reason why that Power Suit look has completely metamorphosed is because what was missing back then —individual style— is now not only accepted, but encouraged in many modern work settings. So without that old uniform to fall back on, how do we put together a polished interview look that actually augments that great first impression?
Refinery29* just sent me a great slideshow with amazing and creative interview outfit ideas. The photo above has one of my favorites, building around the idea of a suiting dress; there are 2 more ensembles in this section. In addition, there are sections in the slideshow featuring outfits based on cropped trousers and pencil skirts (3 outfits in each section).
Although I’m mainly a writer, and therefore don’t usually have to think too much about dressing for in-person job interviews, I still want to make a good impression. (Honestly, I’ve seen too many writers who dress exactly as you’d expect: like they think no one’s ever going to see them because they’re in front of their computers all day long. I want people to be amazed when I tell them I’m a writer!) And if, I mean, when I publish the books I’m working on, I will certainly need to look professional when marketing my work; in fact, I’d go so far as to say I have a much better chance of getting more work published if I present a professional image prior to even meeting with publishers!
Problem: I have very little in my current wardrobe that can really be called “professional” attire. Sure, I can put together some great outfits that would identify me as being in a creative field (and by creative, I do not mean sloppy), but what do I have in which I would feel super-confident walking into an interview? Not very much, I’m afraid.
It’s actually great timing to get this from Refinery29 now; I’ve been thinking lately about this under-represented area in my wardrobe, and this slideshow confirms my guess that the quickest way to professionalize my current wardrobe is by adding some jackets (which feature prominently in most of the slideshow’s outfits). And, as you will see in the slideshow, the jackets they’re showing could be incredibly versatile, not just for work, but for mixing with jeans, maybe a sequinned skirt for evening, you name it. That’s settled, then— jackets are my new wardrobe priority!
*So far, anyway, I don’t receive any compensation or credit or anything like that from Refinery29. I just really like the e-mails they send me, and I hope you do too. I try to not just give you a link to their site, but also to add my take on the slideshow topic.