I'm so excited to share with you all that I have teamed up with Marks & Spencer for a Blogger Style Challenge!
Every Wednesday or Thursday, I'll be bringing you one of a four-part series on styling a dress for different job interview scenarios... as you know, I love a challenge! M&S have been good enough to give me a (free of charge) dress of my choice that I have to create four outfits around, depending on the brief they've given me. I hope you will join me each week to see what I have come up with - hopefully it will give some inspiration to those of you who are either trying to get a new job or just want some styling tips for ways to style one dress at the office.
(To see the dresses I chose from, click on this link to their dresses page.)
Each week I'll be up against four other female bloggers for the brand's chosen outfit of the week. If my outfit is chosen it will be featured on the M&S Stories website - I'd really appreciate it if you dropped by and left a comment there! As it's a prize challenge, there is also an overall winner at the end of the four weeks chosen by their panel... cross your fingers for me. It'll be great to see what the other bloggers - including five male bloggers styling their choice of suit - come up with each week.
Week 1 Challenge: Creative but Classy
The brief: Create an interview outfit for a fashion role at a well-known UK fashion brand (e.g. a design role, a salesperson, a marketing exec, a buyer).
So week one starts with a job interview for a fashion brand! First of all, the dress: I chose this dress because a) it's a neutral grey so colour can be added with accessories as necessary, b) it has short sleeves and can be layered with blouses underneath, plus it wouldn't make you overheat if wearing a jacket, c) I love the pleated skirt and waistband detail, d) it's the perfect length for my taste and the modesty required for an interview, e) it has a very Mad Men look to it and I've wanted a dress in that style for ages... I think that's enough reasons.
As the interview is for a fashion brand, I can appreciate it's a bit difficult to know just how "fashion" to go. I decided to keep it reasonably simple and add pieces that show I'm serious about the job and making a good first impression, but still aware of what's on-trend without piling on too many statement pieces.
So I started by layering the dress with my bird print blouse with the Peter Pan collar, creating a look that gives a hint at the Alexa Chung in me that's dying to get out. (Mr. Summers said I looked "very Alexa" without any prompting from me. And as he recognised that style, I decided I was on the right track.) I'm usually one for arm candy overload, but an interview, even for a fashion brand, is not the time to have an arm full of noisy jewellery. So I felt one statement ring, neutral nails, a vintage style watch and an ostrich-effect leather tote was enough accessorising to create an impression without looking like I was trying too hard. And plain black heels to match the belt (not the bag) finished off a look that I feel says "hire me - I'm smart, organised, and know my fashion onions". Though it might be wise not to mention the onions bit in the interview ;)
What I want to do with this challenge over the next three weeks is to create four "real" looks - that's to say, outfits that I would actually wear myself if I were going for these job interviews.
And as a little something extra I'll pass your way each week:
Job interview tip #1: Whatever you'd be wearing day to day in the job, you should dress one level up for the interview. It's a good rule of thumb, I think.
So I hope you like part one - don't forget to join me next week for the second job interview style challenge (starring the same dress)!
Dress (includes belt): c/o Marks & Spencer, Shirt: A|Wear at ASOS, Bag: L.Credi at TK Maxx, Heels: New Look, Ring: ASOS, Watch: Gift
Shop my look!