Day 9 in 2014 – how many New Year’s resolutions have you said goodbye to already?
I’ll admit, it didn’t even take three days before my detox was over and I was back to raiding the biscuit tin – but then again, I didn’t try all that hard either. But one resolution that I AM sticking to this year, is becoming a paid journalist. Finally achieving the dream! If all goes to plan, my qualification will be complete at the end of this month and then it’s back out into the real world…so the job hunt is officially ON.
It’s at times like these that the jargon starts to emerge and you begin to hear advice about “selling yourself.” I’ve asked many of the women I know and love for tips in this area, and one thing is clear – no matter what age, profession, shape or size, the majority say this does not come naturally to them. But one tip that no one could fault for interview day comes courtesy of my Dad: give them you on your best day. For me, a significant ingredient for this is feeling that I look the part.
I know I’m not alone in using the New Year to boost my career, so whether you’re aiming for that big promotion, or looking for a first job, the same applies: dress for the job you want. I’ve been doing some digging to help you dazzle in the working world this year.
The good news is that monochrome is still in and there is a black and white look for everyone whether you prefer something edgy, classic, masculine, or form fitting.
Check out Boohoo’s Monochrome Aztec Blazer or Haider Ackermann’s Wool-Blend Blazer to give your look a different flavour, or for something entirely different, why not consider a sophisticated jumpsuit like the one above from Lanvin or bring together a cropped jumper with Zara’s pleated black midi skirt. For an edgier alternative, think about teaming a tailored blouse like Victoria Beckham’s Matte Satin Blouse with a leather-look skirt, which you can find in most high street stores right now. But if a more conventional aesthetic is for you, invest in some classic black trousers like Roland Mouret’s Mortimer stretch woven pants.
For some, the idea of showing up to an interview in black and white is depressing, but with floral prints all the rage right now, you can sport a more feminine and colourful look. Jazz up tailored suit trousers with colourful outerwear like Matthew Williamson’s jacquard jacket or Zara’s floral blazer. Make a statement with a flowery skirt from the wide range at Mango or check out the colourful form-fitting dresses at Oasis. Alternatively, make your outfit pop with colourful heels from Ted Baker or if you’re blessed with toned, slim legs, take advantage with these bright peg leg trousers from Oasis.
Some prefer to play it straight on interview day, and if this is the case, your clean-cut tailored look need not say anything about you. Next is offering a gorgeous tan suit or go for a masculine look with Zara’s navy suit embellished with gold buttons. If money is tight, head to Warehouse for a range of affordable form-fitting workwear like the Tipped workwear jacket and dress below. Or for a more unusual look, check out Zara’s Studio Long Vest in grey, and find workwear essentials with a difference like Zara’s sheath skirt with zips or Mango’s eye-popping contrast waist gupure skirt. It can be difficult to find a dark-toned suit that you feel reflects your character, and a remedy for this can be the clever use of accessories to make a statement. If you’re willing to splash, go to the home of great scarves and find one like the Brazil Maxi-Twilly Scarf from Hermès.
For me, the key to interview power dressing is a pair of heels to make me feel like I’m literally on top of the world. For something other than black and white, I love L.K.Bennett’s Dotted Lizard Tangerine Courts and Michael Kors’s chic snakeskin pumps. But for a more classic shoe to team with any of your working wardrobe, Kurt Geiger’s Bailey white courts and Aldo’s Anklam heels tie up a look with sophistication. If you’re looking for something grungier, Cheap Monday’s Cubed Heel ankle boots are brilliant.
With outfits like these, who could refuse us?!
By Olivia Parish