Dressing the part – a job interview

It looks like the joyride is coming to an end. I’m buckling down and heading back into the workforce. That lovely place where one spends one’s day working tirelessly to better the world, eagerly and joyfully completing tasks no self-respecting monkey would ever deign to undertake, ending the day with a few dollars in one’s pocket and – more importantly – the true satisfaction of a job well done. Hm. Or, the place where one goes to earn a paycheck that will, hopefully, pay the bills and a few stiff drinks to make one forget about the place itself.

hire meCynical? A little bit. It’s likely residue from burnout on my last two long-term jobs. However, I’m doing my best to find something that I will enjoy. Step one, walk away from the legal field. Although it’s tempting to find a job similar to my previous position, because that would be easy, I have to remember that I’ve worn out my interest in law, for the time being. It’s a long story, but the key points are: the law can be interesting, but it is often (more often than not) very boring. I do not disparage the legal field, but I’m going to have to keep my distance for a while.

Step two, try something completely new. I found a business at which I’m just dying to work, but has no immediate relation to any of my previous employment. Experience is always a good way to nail a job opportunity, but don’t discount enthusiasm and drive. Without disclosing the business, because I’m still waiting to hear back from them, it’s safe to say that the position available requires a certain knowledge of current fashion, and an appearance that shows it. If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know that when it comes to my own closet, the ideas are there but the clothes aren’t. Also safe to say that while my earnings were on hold, so was my shopping. When I received a call for an interview, my confidence in my ability to do the job was pretty solid. My confidence in my wardrobe, however, was rough. Time to go shopping!

I started at TJMaxx. Looking good for an interview is key, both to the hiring manager’s initial impression of you, but also in how confident you feel. I absolutely believe that spending a little extra on an interview outfit is acceptable. It’s a good investment! That said, it is always my own nature to go for the bargains, and since my freelance work hadn’t been bringing in a ton of money, I still felt very budget-conscious. And so, TJMaxx. TJMaxx is one of the greatest, and easiest, ways to nab higher-end clothing at a low-end price. I quickly snapped up Cynthia Rowley and Calvin Klein pants.

Unable to find the perfect top at that store, the next stop was Burlington Coat Factory. Burlington can be seriously hit or miss. There’s a lot of garbage in there, and the store close to me is not well maintained. However, they do have super-bargains, and you can find some pretty fabulous pieces if you’re willing to work for it (think hours, not minutes, of poring through racks). There I found a blazer by Black Rainn, a blouse by ABS Platinum and a Spense tunic. Convinced I had enough to work with, I headed home. Unfortunately, all the individual pieces were great, but the tops and the bottoms weren’t fitting together as perfectly as I’d hoped. Chose the blazer and ABS blouse as definite yesses and went back out in search of colorful, slim-fitting ankle pants.

Thanks to JCPenney, I was able to find the perfect Worthington pintucked pants in exotic blue. Patent black Madden Girl Getta pumps (already part of my collection), gold drop earrings, and done! That outfit was killer. Unfortunately, I neglected to take any photos of said outfit due to post-interview nerve release. I have good intentions of putting it back together and taking photos, and soon. Luckily, I was called back for a second interview. And this time, I was nearly ready. Sticking with the Cynthia Rowley pants that I originally purchased from TJMaxx, I went to Macy’s (on a super-sale day, no less) looking for a flowy, but still body conscious, top. I scored a massive deal on this Style & Co tunic in mustard with gold stud detail. Reduced and then discounted some more – under $13.00! (I would happily have paid full price – it’s both comfortable and chic) Came home and added a wide, dark grey, belt to tighten up the look and added earrings and a bracelet with gold and bold turquoise throughout. Patent nude court shoes and a light brown leather Steve Madden bag big enough for copies of my resume were the final pieces.


Please forgive both model and photographer for subpar photo – we’re both new to “outfit post” photos. I mean, heck, I completely covered up the belt in this photo!

Not only did I feel chic and contemporary, I felt like me. Even though the pieces were all technically last-minute purchases, they are all absolutely reflective of my own style. Hopefully the confidence, and my true desire for this opportunity showed through, both in my conversation and my appearance. Fingers crossed!

(previously mentioned belt)

(previously mentioned belt)

 Shop this look!
Steve Madden Purse (similar) | Asos court shoes (similar)
Style & Co Tunic | Cynthia Rowley pants (similar)
JCPenney bracelet and earrings (similar style) | Stretch belt (similar)

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