You just graduated from college (or you’re still in school!) Now you’re making the interview rounds for your first “real” job, grad school, or med/law school.
What sucks is that you have to look the part without the cash. Those student loans aren’t going to pay themselves. So what’s a frum fashionista on the interview track do on a student budget?
VIP people you’ll need:
- A shopping buddy with an eye for fashion.
- A tailor. This person will become your BFF.
- Raid your closet: Work with what you have: don’t buy what you absolute don’t need. Get rid of what doesn’t fit you anymore: style wise or fit. Make sure what’s left is in good condition. The look you’re aiming for is timeless- not dated or trendy. (If you’re going to the creative field like music/art then you have a little more wiggle room. Not much though!)
- Raid your friends’ closets: Check out your friends’ wardrobes. Most likely your friends going through the same thing! Pool your resources by setting up a clothing/accessory exchange so that you all have decent interview outfits. Make sure you are the same size/body shape. I’m usually the tallest in my circles of friends. Oftentimes, my clothes are useless to others. What I do have is killer accessories!
- Hit the stores. Stick to the basics: blazer, slacks, button-down shirt and dress shoes, and a briefcase if you’re feeling really ambitious or have extra money.
- Try discount designer places first for larger expenses, like jackets and for accessories, like belts.
- Hit DSW! DSW has a large selection of work-appropriate styles. Others have had luck with Payless.
- Purchase several button-down shirts at time. If you have multiple interviews lined up, you can use the same blazer and pants without having to launder a shirt in between interviews, or if you get hired, a new shirt makes a new outfit.
Tips and Warnings:
- Safety-pins are for punks!: Take your clothes to a professional tailor! Well-fitted clothes make a difference.
- Don’t get too daring!: Stay away from prints and colors that are too bold. Stick with basic colors like black, brown, navy and gray instead and subtle patterns.
- Avoid synthetics!: I wish polyester died with the 70s because it looks cheap. Plus, they are hot and show sweat stains. Not the professional image you want to project.
- Keep it subtle: no strong perfume or bold/jangly jewelry.
- Power-chic; not super-sweet: Avoid girly gear like pastels, ruffles, sugary prints. You want to exude a vibe of authority and a willingness to take risks!