Wednesday, 26 September 2012

One Dress, Four Ways: Job Interview Outfits (Part 1)

One Dress, Four Ways: Job Interview Outfits (Part 1)

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).

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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!



  1. How exciting! You will be just fantastic at this - and what a great start. Lovely look - smart, but with a hint of feminine with the lovely blouse and accessories .....lots of luck!! Will keep watching! X

    1. Thanks, Apple! I hope I can come up with another three good outfits...! C x

  2. Beautiful dress - it's such a gorgeous classic shape and as always, you wear it so well! Fantastic idea from M&S - so effective seeing their clothes on real women. Avril x

  3. I love this. It looks really, really pretty on you.

  4. AHHHHHHHHHHHHH,I came like I shot to see you in this gorgeous dress, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
    The idea of the bird blouse underneath inspiring. ( I shall coy, lol)
    You made my day gorgeous Catherine.
    Pinning you, yeahhhhhhhhhh

    1. Heehee I knew I could entice you with the promise of a dress, Sacramento! Thanks sweetie so much xoxo

  5. You don´t have a PIN IT button.
    Here is a very easy link:

  6. This is exciting my dear!!! I love Marks & Spencers for classic pieces, good knitwear and also their on trend stuff is always great. I loveee this dress you have chosen, the fit is beautiful and the way you have styled it is chic perfection! I must say your is looking beautiful like this :)

    Take care,

    Daniella xox

  7. You have such a good eye! The way you have styled this dress is so much more inspiring than the way it looks on the M&S Website....I'd actually buy it now! Hint, hint, M&S, pay heed to Catherine. :-)

  8. oh my gosh! This outfit is perfect. Your hair color is so beautiful. Makes me want to go red...

    Megan from Chasing Davies

  9. OOOOOOOOH. MY. GOD!!!! This is just to fricking exciting!!! Well done to M&S for choosing such a great blogger with style. I absolutely love this dress. As a 31 year I normally steer clear of 'Marks and Sparks' but that dress is a winner. I have no hips so always looking for ways to create curves and that dress is perfect for work. Great choice!! xxx

    1. Thanks Girl!!!!! As I said in my tweet, it's you I kinda have to thank... you asked for the Office Wear outfit post, and I'm sure that post had something to do with them asking me! I owe you one, sweetie!! ;)


  10. I think I have a girl crush on you. Just that.

  11. I'm loving this look, and this series! That dress is gorgeous, and the blouse underneath makes it perfect for an interview for a creative job. I'm actually looking for a job right now (and therefore hopefully going on interviews!) so this is fitting for me!

    1. Awww thank you Shea - and good luck with the job hunting! C x

  12. love it.

    check out giveaway on my blog:

  13. Nice outfit - the bird shirt is lovely! I'll be going to job interviews shortly, and your advice is most appreciated. The accessory situation seems especially aimed at me!

    1. Good luck with the interviews, Kaffe - let me know how you get on! xo

  14. This is a spectacular dress...super versatile and easy to style a million ways, you're lucky to have it in your closet! Love the printed shirt underneath, so ladylike but fetching :)

    <3 Cambria

  15. i absolutely adore this dress
    i can't wait to see all the ways you style it

  16. I love this dress and the way you have styled it simply classic and gorgeous in every way.

  17. What a fantastic idea Catherine, I love this theme & I love that dress!
    I'd hire you :)

  18. Love the dress and the fab printed blouse. Best luck in the challenges!

  19. Charming. Beautiful dress. It's a lovely outfit for this time of year. I love the ring and your hair loose. The blouse is lovely.

  20. Very informative and so creative. I would definitely wear this for a job interview! You look great in this outfit =)

  21. Gorgeous blouse! I love how you layered it underneath the dress, looks so pretty. That dress is great too, I love the shape! AND, your hair is SO pretty!
    Stopping by from WIWW.


  22. This is such a natural post. Sometimes sponsored/product posts are jarring, but this is beautifully judged. And it's a great dress, and I love that blouse! x


    1. Thank you, Rachel... I'm very flattered! Glad you like the dress! C x

  23. oh wowie!! this is soo amazing! well done you! and of course this ourfir is just perfect. I would wear this in a shot! The dress is classic and timeless which makes for such a great wardrobe staple. And with the blouse, it just gives it the Catherine edge which i LOVE!xxxx

  24. Thank you SO much I can't tell you how long I've wanted a log that includes workwear!! Great ideas. Have told friends at work. love C xx

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