One Dress, Four Ways: Job Interview Outfits (Part 4)

One Dress, Four Ways: Job Interview Outfits (Part 4)
This is the fourth and final week of the Marks & Spencer Blogger Style Challenge I’m competing in – at the time of writing I was one of the winners of both week one AND two (the third week’s winners are yet to be announced)… I’m so stoked! And not just because of the two wins but because you guys have left such wonderful comments and are so supportive… Thank you everyone! I’m featured on the M&S Stories website with the other weekly winners if you want to take a look.

To recap: M&S have given me a dress of my choice that I have to create four outfits for different job interview scenarios around, depending on the brief they’ve given me (and four other female bloggers) in a prize competition. Click here to see all four of my entry posts together, the others being “Creative but Classy”, “Stepping up the Career Ladder” and “Just Graduated”.

By next week there’ll be two winners – one male and one female (there are five male bloggers taking part as well) – I’m so excited, and would absolutely love to win… fingers crossed for me?! To see all the Marks & Spencer dresses I chose from, click on this link to their dresses page.

Final Challenge: Back to Work

The brief: Interview wear for a yummy mummy going for an office based job after a career break

One Dress, Four Ways: Job Interview Outfits (Part 4)

One Dress, Four Ways: Job Interview Outfits (Part 4)

One Dress, Four Ways: Job Interview Outfits (Part 4)

One Dress, Four Ways: Job Interview Outfits (Part 4)
I thought this was a really great brief, as I can imagine that going for an interview after being out of the job market for a while would be pretty daunting (I suspect many readers may well have been in this situation)? What you wear would play a big part in helping you feel calm, comfortable and confident.

My idea was to go bold and bright – this way I should be very memorable after the interview (“she was the one wearing the bright stripes”), and the punches of black and colour would give me the confidence I’d need if I hadn’t stepped inside an office for several years. I avoided florals or soft colours as I’d want to send subliminal messages that this girl is bold, determined, and not a pushover…!

I think I probably deliberated over the accessories more for this brief than the other three put together. Tights seemed appropriate so I went for a sheer/ribbed/fishnet style that gives the impression of sheers but with a more interesting pattern (and less likely to rip); high black platforms show that I may be a mum, but I haven’t lost my sense of style or femininity; nude nails and a bold ring with a brooch at the neck (I tried on most of my necklaces but none looked right) make a bold statement but work with the outfit rather than fight against it. That’s the theory, anyway – what do you all think?


So that’s my four weeks of job interview outfits done! I have really, enjoyed this challenge – considering the job market and the economy at the moment I think it was a really timely and worthwhile idea that Marks & Spencer came up with. I didn’t realise I would enjoy styling challenges quite as much as I have… it’s given me a lot of inspiration for projects of my own, setting myself mini challenges now and then for new posts! So now I just have to wait to see who is the overall winner =eeek= I’ll keep you guys posted! If you Follow Me on Twitter you’ll be the first to hear – cross your fingers and toes for me?!!!

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Job interview tip no.4

It is so important to have a firm handshake. It always amazes me the number of limp handshakes I have experienced as an interviewer. Job interview tips always say have a firm handshake – but many people still insist on dishing out a limp one; it’s an immediate turn-off. My advice is to practice yours on a burly family member, friend or neighbour, and ask their opinion. If they think it’s fine, you’re good to go 🙂
Catherine x

Dress: courtesy of Marks & Spencer, Cardigan: Borrowed from my sister (H&M), Shoes: ASOS, Brooch: Unknown, Bag: Next, Tights: Unknown, Ring: New Look, Watch: Red Herring at Debenhams, Nails: Revlon Elegant


  1. 22 October 2012 / 9:46 pm

    Love those cheerful stripes!

  2. 21 October 2012 / 8:01 am

    I have adored looking at this challenge and I'm not surprised at your wins. Your ensemble is so stylish and you have made that dress. Thanks for joining up with Wardrobe Weds too and of course I am following your lovely blog too – it's a gorgeous. x

  3. 20 October 2012 / 3:13 am

    I have loved all of the outfits you created with this dress (as well as your usual outfits, which are so fun)! I am wondering, however, if all of these are appropriate for interviewing for office-based jobs? I am in an arts field that is very casual on a day-to-day basis, but I have been taught that I should still wear a full suit to interviews. Is that not the case in England, or is interview attire much more dependent on field? I would love to hear more about that!


    • 23 October 2012 / 2:39 pm

      Hi Renza – I wasn't able to wear a suit for this, as the challenge was to style one dress of my choice according to the brief (job type) set. But as someone who hasn't been job hunting for over ten years now, I'm not sure whether wearing a suit (for women I mean) is essential… I'm thinking it may be a little old fashioned, when it's matching I mean?

      What does anyone else think…?

      Thanks for your comments! x

  4. 20 October 2012 / 12:33 am

    Limp handshakes are the worst! Especially if you're interviewing someone.

  5. Carly
    19 October 2012 / 2:36 pm

    LOVE the look. You are right…wearing a bright color (s) makes you memorable! Have to say…always so jealous of how perfectly styled your hair is! Beautiful.
    Great stockings…

  6. 19 October 2012 / 11:11 am

    Perfect in every way!!! 🙂

  7. 18 October 2012 / 2:18 pm

    I love the striped colored cardigan , these are great posts. I love how you split it into four parts . I think we often use some of wardrobe a certain way, so it's great to get other ideas.


  8. 18 October 2012 / 1:00 pm

    I think you have hit it spot on. The plain dress is offset by the cardigan beautifully. You deserve to win every week! You can see you have put a huge amount of thought and effort into this. Well done. Xx

  9. 18 October 2012 / 11:29 am

    So gorgeous! Great accessories, and I love how you articulated your process here. Good luck in the contest, and congrats on your successes so far! xo

  10. 17 October 2012 / 10:33 pm

    Great styling again – I'm beginning to think maybe I should buy the dress! The cardigan is lovely, and what you did with the heels and tights is brilliant! I'm crossing my fingers now!

  11. 17 October 2012 / 10:05 pm

    I think this is a fabulous outfit for getting back into the career field. The stripes are bold, but the soft color of the dress makes you seem more approachable. And I can see that this "applicant' would be quirky and fun! I love those tights! <3


  12. 17 October 2012 / 9:02 pm

    i really like how you put the broach at the neckline
    good luck

  13. 17 October 2012 / 5:50 pm

    Aw I am sooo happy for you, I really hope you win, you definitely deserve to! Every time you have styled this dress there is a whole new feel which is so inspiring. I really love your shoes, they are very chic, are they navy? 🙂

    Take care,

    Daniella xox

    • 18 October 2012 / 12:26 pm

      Aww thanks, Danielle – they are actually (I can see they do look a bit navy in the photo). The same shoes are still available via the thumbnail at the bottom of the post! xoxo

  14. 17 October 2012 / 4:22 pm

    I have been enjoying this series quite a bit, Catherine! Just popping in to say that the idea of using a pretty brooch front and center as a stand-in for statement necklace is fantastic. Somedays I don't feel like wearing chunky around my neck, yet want something eye-catching. Love it!

    • 18 October 2012 / 12:24 pm

      I do think it's a good alternative, Van – sometimes they don't need to be pinning anything together, necessarily! xx

  15. 17 October 2012 / 2:08 pm

    I would give you a job inmediately, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Love, love your cardigan.

  16. 17 October 2012 / 12:56 pm

    I think this is my favorite of all four – I especially love your placement of the brooch.

  17. 17 October 2012 / 12:29 pm

    That's a great tip, to wear something memorable – "the one with the stripes", but without being wacky. In a couple of years, this will be me trying to break back into the job market, and I'll definitely remember this 🙂

  18. 17 October 2012 / 12:05 pm

    Lovely outfit. I really like the cardigan. Stripey!

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