Trying to get my foot in the door of the fashion industry has taught me that first outfits are just as important as first impressions. In fact, they can make or break an outfit in my field. Going on interviews and getting complimented on my outfit right off the bat inspired me to give a guide on how to make a fashionable first impression, specifically when in the fashion industry. Months ago, I interviewed with a brand that is known for being casual and I was even urged by my professor to dress down. When looking at the other interviewees, I did realize I was a bit overdressed, but my mother always told me “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have”. That saying always stuck with me and now I see that as always, my mother was right. I always feel confident when interviewing because I know I put my best fashion foot forward and there is no such thing as “overdressed” when it comes to dressing appropriately for an interview.
Here are some outfit takeaways from previous interviews/career fairs I attended:
Stripes on Stripes: A striped suit is a classic staple to business attire. In this case, I did not have a matching suit, but decided to pair this blazer with these pants. As you can see, the stripes on the blazer are more spaced out than the stripes on my pants. However, it gives the illusion that I have on a matching suit. I wore a gray blouse to match a pair of gray faux suede heels to break up the boldness and contrast of the stripes. The first thing the interviewer said before we introduced ourselves was “OMG, I love your suit!”.
Monochrome: I wanted to try something I have never done before for the career fair at my school. I noticed this pair of flare pants, this sweater, and these faux leather booties, all of which I have never worn, were the same exact color. I grew tired of my limited business attire and went in a different direction. I wore my grey overcoat for a more professional look and wore a silver necklace to match. A fun way to switch up your business attire is to replace blazers and cardigans with coats, making them a part of your outfit.
Color-blocked: If you have been following my blog, you know that color-blocking is my favorite! I took it to the next level with this navy suit and gray pairing. Color-blocking is a sophisticated skill that speaks volumes when it is executed correctly. I found a navy blazer to match this pair of high-waisted navy trousers I already owned. I realized I did not know what to wear with it because none of my button downs matched. Instead of resorting to a button down shirt or a blouse, I took an alternative approach and wore a turtleneck instead. Turtlenecks and blazers are a hit this fall , and I thought it was extremely successful. I had the perfect pair of faux suede booties to match and of course, my favorite fall coat. My interviewer complimented this outfit not once, but twice! She also pointed out that the company had a navy suit for their spring collection, which showed that I am on trend and fashion forward.
My tips on dressing appropriately for interviews:
- There is no such thing as being overdressed. First impressions can either make or break you, and your outfit can be a key contributor to that.
- Research current trends or company trends that you can incorporate into your look.
- Pick out your outfit days ahead of time in case you need to purchase something. Going off that, only buy new items when necessary. A lot of times we are quick to want to shop when we already have what we need right in our closet already.
- Wear heels. They really take business-wear looks to the next level.
- Always show off your personal style. In fact, it may come up as a question in your interview and if it does, you can use what you are wearing as a prime example!
Feel free to connect with me if you ever need any tips/tricks on styling yourself.