How to Dress for a Fashion Job Interview

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Ok, so you’ve landed the interview of your dreams—maybe a styling house, your favorite magazine, a swanky showroom. You’ve done your research on the company and prepped for interview questions, all the leg work except… WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO WEAR? This always seems to be an inevitable last minute blunder for job interviews and can be an especially daunting task for those of us in the fashion world. We usually have too many options. We scan our closets over and over again thinking What will make the best impression? Is this too much? Is this cool? Not cool enough? What’s going to make me stand out? etc…

Well I’m here to hopefully answer those questions and alleviate some of that last-minute stress with the following tips:

Strike the right balance

You want your potential employer to know that you are fashion savvy while simultaneously waxing professional or at the very least semi-professional. Think trendy meets business casual—try to land somewhere in the middle. A nice blouse paired with pants or skirt (or button-up and slacks for guys) are staple interview pieces that don’t have to be boring. Stick with that classic combo, just tweak it to fit this season’s silhouette or tailoring.

Don’t go overboard

Here’s a classic mistake. While getting ready a typical fashionista might be putting together her outfit thinking Oh I should wear that new Aztec print top and I really want them to see my purse, so that studded Michael Kors bag, oh and my Chanel necklace, oh and my big hoops and that new belt…. YOU ARE A CANVAS, don’t put too much paint on it! Slow down and think of your outfit as a whole rather than trying to showcase your entire wardrobe. Not to mention, you’re looking for a job right? You don’t want to come off as showy or potential employers might question if you even need a job.

One statement at a time please…

So this ties in with the last bit. If you’re going to make a statement great, but try to limit it to at least one. Gals, try taking your trendy ensemble in a neutral direction, then add a splash of color with neon flats/heels or a bold statement necklace. Guys, same for you. Wear a nice shirt and slacks, keeping it classic but add a floral bowtie or bright kicks. It’s important for one piece and one piece only to pop—it makes for great conversation.

And no hiding

Lastly, don’t cover up, it’ll make you seem like you’ve got something to hide. Ladies, get your hair up: sleek simple and pulled back. This is NOT the time for you to break out that oversized floppy hat but maybe an understated pair of studs or pearls, get it? Fellas, you want them to see that shining face of yours NOT your beard. Take off your stunna shades, groom a little, and let them see what’s underneath it all. This may sound like common sense, but really think about it. Your face to face to communication is essential for them to really get a sense of who you are—don’t cover it up and you’ll come off as more honest.

Fashion interviews let you bend the rules a little, so have fun while you’re getting dressed and remember, sometimes less is more—you want them to remember YOU not your outfit.

– Dean Spell

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