Dressing For Success: Interviewing After a Long Hiatus

getting_dressed_angst_pm-thumb-270x270Many women choose to take a break in their career at some point in life. It could be because they got married and had kids, or because they decided to try their hands at a home business, or could even be that they decided to travel the world for a few years. No matter what your reasons for a long hiatus from work were, one fact that may pose a huge problem now that you are ready to get back to work – You no longer have a business suit that you fit in to.

Considering that you are ready to get back to work and want to really impress the interviewing committee, it is very important to dress the part as well. Statistics reveal that those who spend some time in to organizing their interview outfit are more likely to get the job because they are dressed in a way that makes them feel more confident. Sure; you could go out and buy a new business suit, but considering your current un-employed status, this could be a very costly option. Business suits are expensive, and many women often wonder if they can create a smart and professional interview outfit using some of the clothing’s from their current wardrobe, rather than going in for a wardrobe revamp before they have bagged the job.

If everything you have read above sounds like your current situation, we have just the right options for you! Remember, while the right interview outfit for you depends on the kind of job you are applying for, no matter what the position, you should come in looking neat, tidy and well-dressed. The key to bag that dream job is to look professional and polished, while at the same time feel confident and comfortable so that you are in the right frame of mind to shoot for success.

1. Dress pants and a button down shirt

trouser and shirt

You cannot go wrong with a pair of classic dress pants in black or grey, coupled with a simple, well fitting button down shirt. Though very simplistic, this interview attire sends a message that your style is minimalistic and comfortable, and you will bring the same principles with you to your work table. Pair with a simple pearl necklace, sensible shoes and a smart handbag for a complete look.

2. Pencil skirt with smart blouse

pencil skirt

If you scrounge around your wardrobe, you might just come across that sleek smart pencil skirt that was an impulsive buy when you were unemployed! Most women will have a smart knee-length skirt; and if you don’t, it is worth investing in one. A versatile piece, a smart skirt is easy to pair with casual t-shirts for weekends and a shirt and blazer for a formal look. A skirt made of an interesting fabric, like tweed, is a great way to make the right impression. Pair yours with a simplistic, modest and well fitted blouse for a work appropriate look. And don’t be scared to experiment – blouses in sheer silk and chiffon are perfect when layered over a camisole! If its winter, a cardigan will go well with the look.

3. Blazer over contrasting trousers

contrasting blazer n trouser

If all else fails, you can just as easily pair a well fitted trouser with a neutral coloured top and contrasting blazer. This works much like a makeshift business suit, and most women will find the individual pieces stashed in their wardrobes. Ensure that you use colour coordinated accessories for a pleasing yet formal look. Ensure that the colour for the trousers and the blazer will work together. Beige trousers with a navy blazer, black trousers with a grey blazer and grey trousers with a black blazer are all great options. However, funky colours like pinks, purples, burgundy, maroon, blues and yellows are best avoided. You want to look professional, remember?

4. Simple V neck sweater over a shirt

v neck sweater

If you don’t own a blazer, then a simple V neck sweater paired with a button down shirt and well fitted trousers will work just as well. While it is important to look professional, it is very possible to also experiment with colour. Black and grey aren’t your only options! Choose from navy blues, beige, browns, steel and a plethora of other simplistic, elegant colours that create an impactful look with your chosen shirt and trouser set. Make sure you accessorize well for a polished and refined look.

5. A structured dress

structured dress

Remember that gorgeous structured dress you picked up last New Years for your husband’s office party? Well, that will definitely work like the perfect interview outfit, provided it has a modest neckline and hemline. To create an ‘interview appropriate’ attire, pair with a blazer, sensible shoes and a smart bag. You not only look professional, you also look fashion forward!

So there you have it! Five simple wardrobe ideas for ‘what to wear for an interview’ you are so looking forward to. Remember, if you are dressed smart, you will feel confident. However, make sure that you aren’t just looking stunning, but are feeling comfortable as well. Good Luck!

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