Saturday, February 2, 2013

Hey, It's That Big Day!

In our current economic times, unemployment is a reality and applying for a new position is an anxious process that may feel endless.  It is important to keep your resume updated but what about your wardrobe?  What kind of business formal wear is lounging around, possible suffering from wrinkles and that ketchup stain from three years ago?  Most of those in the business world may have a lot of mix and match items and possibly a few suits.  I know I have a few button down shirts, tons of dress pants, and jackets that I recycle as often as possible.  The fact is these clothes have a shelf life.  Yes, they do.

  • White clothing:  It is important to have a few of the staple white tops in your working wardrobe.  This color goes great with every color suit; black, navy, gray, brown and other fun colors and patterns.  When you notice that the white has turned to off-white, ivory or a cream color, it is time to toss it.  No matter how many times you run it through the washer with or without bleach, it is not going to retain its original color.  This is a great standby color when it comes to interviews.  It looks professional and polished.  
  • Pattern Blouses:   These are fantastic to spruce up a boring day around the office or spruce up your mood.  I love them all really.  Stripes, polka dots, solids, et cetera - you can't go wrong.  They work best with a solid, letting them be the focus of your outfit versus it clashing and making you look like a train wreck.  Too many patterns can create what I call fashion vomit and your effort goes to waste.  When going on that important interview though, I feel you can rock a great blouse but be careful that you make sure the suit is dark and it is all coordinated appropriately.  Don't let your clothes take the attention away from your awesome resume or who you are. 
  •  Jewelry:  I know some of you like to have a ring on every finger, a thousand bracelets and so on but there is a time and place for everything.  Professional settings or an interview is no place to put on display the most current fashion jewelry trend.  In fact, the less is really the best.  A simple pendant on a chain around your neck, very small studs in one hole in your ear, one clean watch on your wrist is enough.  Frankly, I don't even recommend the necklace unless it is something sentimental.  If you are married or engaged, the ring or band is enough really.  Again, too much accessories takes away from potential employers getting to know who you really are.  They are very shiny distractions.  The last thing you want is something you are wearing to catch the light and blind the interviewer.  Believe me, this happens quite frequently.  
  • Makeup:  I've discussed this before but always remember, natural is best.  What is natural?  If you use eyeshadow, stick to what works best with your skin tone and only use one to two colors max.  Do make sure they are blended well and look natural.  Eyeliner can be black but stick to a thin line that accentuates your eyes, not over dramatizes them.  Mascara should match your natural lash color.  Those with fairer skin should stick with browns or clear, those with darker lashes can find a safe home in the black family.  Remember, only one to three swipes on your lashes or else it will clump.  Blush is fine if you are using something soft and close to your natural blush color.  Everyone does have one.  Lipsticks should be soft and close to your natural lip color.  This isn't the time to experiment with those dark purples, reds or sampling with blue.  Save those colors for a night out with your girlfriends or partner.  You can have a lot of fun with those other times too!  Foundation is okay if you are into it.  Remember to use concealer if you need it under your eyes before applying the foundation so it doesn't look like Halloween came under those florescent lights. 
  •  Shoes:  What do we see on TV?  Most of the women in high heels moving around the office like they are in their running shoes.  How about interviews?  They are always in the latest high end designer heels that are stunning but let's be a bit more realistic about this.  Heels are great, they really are.   I love them, you love them but do you really want to trot around the work place in four to five inch heels?  It's not a reality and if you can do it, sincere kudos to you and your future knee surgery.  As far as the interview goes?  It is best to keep that heel under three inches, if not a great flat with a hint of personality.  I have low heels and flats for certain business functions because they are easier to walk around in and still look stylish.  You can find great shoes like this almost anywhere too at affordable prices and high quality.  
  • Your attitude:  Stay positive.  Stay positive.  Stay positive.  I can not stress this enough!  Hopefully, they will pick you and all will be well but it isn't always the case.  They may have you in mind for another position or will pass you off to someone else.  Remember that your attitude is what is left with the interviewer, so try your best to leave a good impression and let them do the talking.   Also, learn from what they are asking and their expectations; it will help you grow and teach you how to grow in your desired field.  
Having a confident smile, fresh breath, clean hands and a positive attitude go a long way and are important in the interview setting.  Also, making sure you are dressed the part does too.  Remember to make sure it fits, is tailored well and is clean.  It doesn't have to be brand new, so always be on the look out for great sales to help you stock up.  Make good friends with a great tailor because most off the rack items aren't properly made well anymore and have to be tailored for the best fit possible. Lastly, remember to be yourself.  They want to get to know who you are.  This does not mean go off on tangents of all your hobbies but practice the night before about what to say so you will be ready to give clear, and concise answers. 

I wish you the best of luck on your adventure!