As a recent graduate I am in the midst of finding a “real” job and let’s be honest, it’s about as fun as a trip to the dentist. I can’t stand how online applications are so impersonal and so focused on keywords instead of key people. After months of juggling internships and applying I am finally getting enough response to make me think, “Oh my gosh! What would I wear to an interview?!” For my past interviews I wore a trendy Zara blazer, wax coat skinnys and low leopard pumps. It was understated, classy and I landed the job. Unfortunately, I don’t think that outfit would be appreciated in front of every HR rep, so I had to go back to the closet. What I found was surprising and slightly disappointing. If Stacey London and Clinton Kelly had been there with me, they would’ve presented me with a check for $5,000 and sent me shopping with a list of rules describing what I should and should not buy. Turns out after 23 years of picking out special items that I love, I have completely forgotten to invest in nice business basics. Despite my overflowing drawers of everyday skinnys, trendy tops, work out clothes, formal wear, and costumes, I couldn’t piece together a tasteful business outfit if my life or my job depended on it. It was pretty obvious that I needed to remede this problem before my first interview and ASAP. So, I headed to the nearest mall with the gusto of a doomsday prepper that forgot to stock up on water, batteries and toilet paper. Now you may find it hard to believe that a fashion enthusiast like yours truly would be underwhelmed during this shopping adventure, but let’s be honest I wasn’t trying on anything that seemed fashion forward or fun. My biggest dilemma was deciding between black and navy trousers (which I didn’t decide; I just got both). It’s a good thing I wasn’t on WNTW because as I stared back at myself in pencil skirts and collared blouses I felt my identity slipping from me and turning me into the Roomba woman with the tight bun. It wasn’t until I was mixing my practical skirts and pants with different heels, flats, belts, tops, and sweaters that I finally drank the cool aid. Okay, business interview attire isn’t my favorite look, but the pieces I bought fit well, are classic and I’ll be able to incorporate them into my wardrobe for ages. Something about that felt so French, and so right.
If you look in your closet and find your missing these classic pieces too, head over to Banana Republic like I did, where the staff is super helpful and honest about fit and functionality. Plus there are plenty of cute things to help spruce up the practical bits. Happy Shopping!