Workwear for women
Landed the interview but no clue what to wear? We offer some fool-proof outfit combinations…
Pencil skirt and blouse
A classic combination that oozes professionalism and gives you the option of mixing and matching (always important for a working wardrobe). When it comes to shirts, always give them a run through the washing machine prior to first wear, as a rigid or irritating shirt is frankly the last thing you need in an interview. A plain black or grey below-the-knee pencil skirt is a staple of any woman’s 9 to 5 attire, and even teaming it with a simple block colour t-shirt and cardigan can make you look the part.
The shift dress
The shift dress is brilliant; it’s an all-in-one way to dress for success and never fails to look smart. A key tip when choosing a shift dress is to sit down in it when trying it on, as although it may feel comfortable when standing, in an interview, you’ll more than likely spend your time seated, and no one wants to feel hemmed in during such an all-important meeting.
The modest trouser often gets overlooked with the host of dresses and skirts available in stores, but a smart trouser can look equally as feminine and professional… And don’t think it’s only the basic, black flared trouser out there (although such a pair are always a good investment); tapered trousers in a spectrum of colours can help jazz up traditional work attire.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that blazers strictly belong in secondary school, where most of us were forced to adorn such garments (and three sizes too big for that matter too) but a blazer or smart jacket can really set-off a workwear outfit – and keep you warm in the chilling winter. A relatively plain blazer or jacket can be recycled again and again, and will show that you really do mean business…
Colour: It can be tempting to equate the workplace environment with a palette of greys, black and browns but do not overlook the role colour can play in your work attire. Injecting red accessories for instance, say a statement belt or blazer, can help brighten up your outfit and re-invent a rather plain combination. Not to mention that wearing colour can help make you more memorable in an interview or assessment day, but of course, always keep your look smart and professional; this is not the time to start experimenting with which colours go with which, try to stick to a dark basic colour, accented by a bright or pastel shade.
As well as all your usual High Street clothing haunts, don’t forget to check out what the big supermarkets have got on offer; it’s commonplace for them to have an array of office essentials at reasonable prices. George at Asda, for instance, has plain white shirts for as little as £4 and black formal trousers for only £8, meaning you can get more for less with workwear.
The most important factor for selecting the right interview outfit though – other than presenting yourself in a professional manner – is comfort. Feeling confident and happy in what you’re wearing is premier, so finding something that conveys you and your personality in the best possible light should be your foremost concern. And finally, don’t get too carried away with organising your outfit and forget to prepare for the interview itself!