Perfect Interview Wardrobe
January 23rd, 2009
The clothes you choose to wear to your interview will create the first-and most important-impression upon those who matter, up until your first day on the job. At that point, you can start to relax into the club’s attire. But at this point, dressing to impress is mandatory, and the clothes you choose are critical. This section discusses the interview wardrobe’s key pieces, and the messages they send.
“At one time, the most qualified person got the job. Today, in a situation where three people with equal qualification are interviewed for a job, the one with the best communication skills gets it.”
WHAT DO YOUR CLOTHES SAY TO THE INTERVIEWER?
Uptight or Elegant?
PEARLS Pretentious or Pulled together?
Suit Jacket Long ago pilfered from menswear , the jacket acts a strong, no-nonsense centerpiece to any business look. It gives the body shape, suggests stature, and imparts the wearer with confidence. Because its overall intent is to convey power, a jacket’s workmanship, quality, and tailoring are critical.
FABRIC Should drape smoothly, not appear stiff, shiny, or flimsy.
COLOR Neural-black, gray, navy’ or beige.
SHAPE Slightly nipped in at waist.
POCKETS Optional pockets lie flat and are lined. Do not remove string to open.
LENGTH Hem extends to the bottom of the hips.
SLEEVES Sleeves land at the base of the thumb.
COLLAR Collar lies smooth and flat against the neck.
SHOULDERS Shoulders are structured but not overpadded.
LAPELS Medium to small lapels<3”1/4 from seam to point is ideal> lie flat without buckling.
FIT Armholes should fit well-not too baddy, no too tight; this part of the jacket can’t be tailored.
BUTTONS Buttons are the same color or darker than the suit and never too large, flashy, or covered in fabric.
WHAT IT SAYS
Formal, urban, conservative.
FABRIC Drapes smoothly.
NO BELT LOOPS
SHAPE Simple-a-lime or straight, not too tight and never frilly.
DETAILS For maximun versatility, the waist should not require a belt.
FIT Skirt should not be too tight or too short-do a sitting text in tit before purchasing. Check the rearview mirror. What look fabulous from the front can cling or slouch from other angles.
QUALITY Make sure seams are even and not pulled. Check that lining is firmly intact.
LENGTH To the knee. It’s the length that says, “I’m professional” and looks best on most legs. Shorter could be considered too fashiony; longer, more traditional.
WHAT IT SAYS
Confident, contemporary, practical.
FIT Pants should drape smoothly over the body, with no tight areas that droop. Check that the pocket lining is smooth and not bulky.
OUALITY Check that fabric hangs evenly and seams are not mismatched or pulled.
THE BOTTOM LINE The seat of the pants should be neither overly baggy nor clingy. To ensure proper fit, check your rearview mirror and sit down while wearing the pants.
ZIP CODE Side, front, or rear closure are acceptable.
BANISH BELT LOOPS
For your first suit, a clean waistline is the most flexible. Belt loops always require a belt and that your top is tucked in.
FLAT FRONT VS. PLEATS
Both are professional; the flat front is more slimming and sophisticated.
The pant leg should break at the instep. When having your pants hemmed, bring the shoe you will most often wear with them.
CUFFED LEG VS. CLEAN
Both are acceptable; a clean leg is more versatile.
Tops are key wardrobe enhancers: Change your top and essentially you’ve changed your look. Choose shirts and that are compatible with your suits. Make sure each top fits comfortably under your suit jacket-and looks suitably professional should you take your jacket off.
A soft, somewhat loose feminine top. Conservative, confident, ladylike. FIRST PURCHASE: Solid white, cream, black, or a color to match your suit.
Button-front, cuffed-and-collared top inspired by menswear. Efficient, classic; respects authority. Choose a classic, men’s style dress collar; a button-down can be limiting. FIRST PURCHASE; Solid, white cotton.
Trim, collarless, cotton or jersey top. Easygoing but organized. Ready to roll up your sleeves Choose substantial, opaque cotton or cotton blend with stretch-anything flimsy will lose its shape. Make sure neck is not saggy or baggy. Keep it plain . Try a shot of color.
FIRST PURCHASE: Solid white, black, or to match the color of your suit.
1 JACKET+4 TOPS = 3 DRESS CODES
Never underestimate the power of shoes. A good pair can make a ho-hum dress look like a million bucks. The wrong ones can send a great suit straight into the gutter. Shoes also tend to make at-a-glance statements about your workplace identity, and your message better be clear-I’m capable, confident, and yes, great with derails.
A portfolio is a sleek and efficient alternative to the handbag. It can help keep resumes presentable, hold a notepad, and conceal any preinterview cheat sheets you want to study en route to your meeting.
From – Dress Smart for Women