WIBU to wear jeans, Converse and a blazer to an "interview";?

(99 Posts)
StaceeJaxx Thu 22-Nov-12 17:27:02

Been on the dole for 3 months now since DH was made redundant. About 6 weeks ago they changed things around and I now have an "advisor" I see every 2 weeks when signing on. She is supposed to do everything she can to improve my chances of getting a job. (And she's surprisingly, very nice). She arranged for me to go on a CV course a month ago where they re-jigged my CV to make it more up to date and professional. They were supposed to email me the finished CV 2 weeks ago, and haven't hmm but that's another thread.

Anyway she signed me up to get some work experience (which is pretty much like workfare - working for a certain period of time but still receiving JSA) because I've been a SAHM for the past 11 years. I was put on the list and told I'd get a call when something became available. At the time I asked work clothes, because I don't own anything remotely work friendly. I wear jeans and leggings all the time and TBH look a right scruff most of the time too. I can't afford to buy new work clothes (can't even afford a shite pair of jeans from Primark for £6)! She said we could sort something out when I get a placement.

I got a phonecall from the Jobcentre today about a work placement. I have to go to an interview first and then they'll let me know if I am successful. The interview is tomorrow at 10am. I have nothing appropriate to wear. The smartest thing I have is dark blue jeans, with a dark vest top and a black blazer on top. Would that be appropriate? Would Converse look best with the jeans (Converse are white) or would black boots be better? Boots are very scuffed an old but might be better than white trainers?

What is the interview for? I mean, what kind of job?

StaceeJaxx Thu 22-Nov-12 17:29:10

Oh sorry, should have said. It's admin and reception.

Do you have a friend you could borrow some trousers from? Jeans seem a bit informal for an interview.

starlightlover Thu 22-Nov-12 17:31:50

No converse are such a bad idea.

The people in reception are usually the first people you see so need to create a good impression.

twentyten Thu 22-Nov-12 17:32:23

Slap some polish on the boots.Could you try charity shops?You can get a lot for £6. Decent bag and neat nails/hair.Good luck.

ISingSoprano Thu 22-Nov-12 17:32:35

Sorry but jeans and converse are really not appropriate for a reception job. What else do you have?

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 22-Nov-12 17:33:59

I would play save and try and borrow some trousers if you can. Jeans might be OK for some placements (nursery, for instance), but jeans might be noticed.

Boots not Converse if you have to wear the jeans

Or have you got a dress/leggings combo you can wear?

ShatnersBassoon Thu 22-Nov-12 17:34:05

I would get to a charity shop and do without something else this week to make the right impression. Nobody would think you were serious about wanting the job if you wore such a casual outfit, and spending £5-£10 on an appropriate outfit might make the difference between being considered and being written off as soon as you walk through the door. Choose something that will go with the black boots you already have.

flossy101 Thu 22-Nov-12 17:34:14

Is there any way you could borrow something from friend/family member at short notice??

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 22-Nov-12 17:34:27

play safe

StuntGirl Thu 22-Nov-12 17:34:44

Sorry I wouldn't hire someone in that outfit, unless they massively aced the interview. For the position it looks far too casual and informal (unless its quite an informal company?)

Is there no chance of seeing if your friends have a shirt and a skirt or pair of smart trousers you can borrow?

Mollydoggerson Thu 22-Nov-12 17:35:17

Admin/reception - front of house - your look alone will dictate whether or not you get the placement. If you want it, coukld you try to beg, steal or borrow a dark suit and white blouse?

How about St. V de P.

YDdraigGoch Thu 22-Nov-12 17:36:04

Charity shops are a great idea. Otherwise beg, borrow or steal something, but do not wear jeans and converse.

NinaHeart Thu 22-Nov-12 17:36:29

There's an organisation called (I think) Dress for Success who help women who need smart clothes for jobs after being out of work. Don't know if it is applicable to you?

Mollydoggerson Thu 22-Nov-12 17:37:04

Do you have a dress?

What would you wear to a wedding/funeral if you were going?

twentyten Thu 22-Nov-12 17:37:42

do some research on the company.what do they do?

No if it is reception job, appearances are very important. Borrow from friends.

Bearandcub Thu 22-Nov-12 17:38:27

Where are you? What size?

Wheresmypopcorn Thu 22-Nov-12 17:41:50

Not converse.

Weissdorn Thu 22-Nov-12 17:42:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StuntGirl Thu 22-Nov-12 17:43:06

As good an idea as it is I doubt the OP has the time to check charity shops given the interview is 10am tomorrow.

What else is in your wardrobe Stacee? Do you have a smart/dressy top to pair with the blazer, jeans and boots? That would be better than a vest top and converse.

Elegantlywasted Thu 22-Nov-12 17:44:16

Buff up the boots and see if you can borrow a pair of more formal trousers, good luck for the interview.

redskyatnight Thu 22-Nov-12 17:44:39

I think you need to get everything out your wardrobe and see what you can do with it. Or try to beg something from a friend.

And after the interview, get to charity shop/other cheap clothing place and buy yourself something suitable - you are going to need something for future interviews/any job you get.

ShatnersBassoon Thu 22-Nov-12 17:46:00

Oh yes, unless there's a charity shop en route to the interview.

Someone else makes a good point up thread about what you would wear should you have to go to a wedding or funeral. You must have something smarter than jeans, even if it's a little tight/big/old.

MarianForrester Thu 22-Nov-12 17:47:44

Do you have a partner? Does he/she have a shirt you could wear tucked into the jeans? Polish up boots; they'll look better.

And ensure perfect grooming, of course grin

Whoknowswhocares Thu 22-Nov-12 17:51:10

No way will jeans and converse work, sorry

Def try to borrow something. If things are really so tight that you don't have £6 spare, then you can't really afford NOT to make every effort to improve your lot!

Ps.....good luck!

StaceeJaxx Thu 22-Nov-12 17:51:59

Thanks for all the ideas. thanks

Nope unfortunately everyone else I know is a lot smaller than me IYKWIM. blush That puts borrowing out. I do have a dress that I wear with leggings but it's very "cowgirl" looking especially with the boots, would that be better? With the blazer worn over it?

NotInGuatemalaNowDrRopata Thu 22-Nov-12 17:52:26

Do you really want this job?

StaceeJaxx Thu 22-Nov-12 17:54:41

NotInGuatemalaNowDrRopata it's not actually for a real job. It's to gain recent work experience in order to help me get a job.

StaceeJaxx Thu 22-Nov-12 17:55:17

And yes, I do want the experience, I'm actually really looking forward to going back to work after all this time.

maybenow Thu 22-Nov-12 17:59:34

Wear the dress, preferably with tights and shoes - it doesn't matter how dodgy your fashion sense looks, it's about looking like you've made an effort and respect the position grin

Bunbaker Thu 22-Nov-12 17:59:38

Can you get to Asda/Tesco this evening and see if there is something inexpensive you can pick up to wear? Do you not have any formal wear at all in your wardrobe? Are there any family members you can borrow from?

I know it is for experience, but if you walked through the door where I work in jeans and converse you would have a very short interview and not get the job.

maybenow Thu 22-Nov-12 18:00:51

I totally understand not buying anything new for this interview which is only for unpaid work experience, but what if you get a REAL interview? You need to find an outfit soon so you know you have it in case.

MumsGoToReykjavik Thu 22-Nov-12 18:01:31

Get to an Asda. They have basic black trousers for about £8. They aren't the smartest things you will ever wear but they do what they say on the tin. I know you said your skint but this will be an investment.

StuntGirl Thu 22-Nov-12 18:02:27

Do any of your friends have any sisters/friends/kids closer to your size? I would put a shout out on fb and ask if anyone can donate something for you to borrow for the day. You could always say its down to the short notice rather than lack of money if it makes you more comfortable.

Does the dress veer more to costume looking or would it look smart enough with the rest of the outfit?

GinAndSlimlinePlease Thu 22-Nov-12 18:03:47

A dress is a good idea, can you wear it with the blazer and boots? And then go fit discreet but polished make up and nails. And then at interview go in with a smile and your shoulders back. Posture makes a real difference to how good clothes sit and therefore how smart they look.

Good luck!

Do you have any kind of skirt? With a shirt of dhs? Even a summer one?

mummymeister Thu 22-Nov-12 18:06:29

Dress with tights and boots buffed up would look best. Or the asda trousers. TBH if you turned up to work for me (in whatever capacity) i would expect you to look professional and smart. Converses and jeans say "i dont want this job i am doing it because i have to" you have to treat it like a real job. you could be on this reception job next week and someone walk in who is your next employer you just never know. so take it seriously, turn up looking your absolute best and give it your best shot.

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 22-Nov-12 18:07:11

There must be something in your wardrobe smarter than that? A dress? It doesn't have to be black to be suitable for an interview. Just simply cut.

For a reception job they will expect you to dress, if not in a suit, then at least in office wear.

Asda sell suits for about £30. If you haven't got much money it might seem a lot to pay out, but there's no guarantee you will get the first job you are interviewed for, so having an "interview" outfit is wise.

NotInGuatemalaNowDrRopata Thu 22-Nov-12 18:07:22

I think you really need to get into the mindset that this is a real job. I can guarantee that the people in the office you'll be seeing think it's a real job, even if you're not getting paid.

Is there absolutely no possible way you could get some black trousers? Supermarket or charity shop? If you do want to get back to work, then you'll need them (at the very least) anyway.

What if this work experience led to a permanent role and they just weren't saying?

EuroShagmore Thu 22-Nov-12 18:10:09

Another no to converse and jeans here. Surely you can borrow a pair of black/dark trousers from somewhere?

katykuns Thu 22-Nov-12 18:11:05

If you are really desperate (I may be criticised for this) could you not buy an outfit, hide the tags and return it the next day?

I have done this before out of sheer desperation, partly because I am also 'big' and it would be difficult to find decent clothes in my size in a charity shop...

DontmindifIdo Thu 22-Nov-12 18:14:04

the dress, with thick tights (pop to the supermarket tonight/first thing in the morning to pick some up) the boots (polish them!) and the jacket.

Then have a look at the supermarkets/charity shop options for the future - a couple of smart outfits will help if you do get the job.

StaceeJaxx Thu 22-Nov-12 18:15:23

Right I've just rummaged through the whole of my wardrobe and I found a pair of black wide leg dress trousers that I wore to my nan's funeral 4 years ago. I've somehow managed to squeeze myself into them and can't fasten the top button. But what about those with the vest top (it's navy blue with a frilly v-neck collar) black boots, and blazer with the blazer fastened?

I would go with the dress or plain black leggings with a long shirt, blazer and the boots. If you don't have a long shirt could you borrow a man's shirt as that would be longer than a woman's top.

StuntGirl Thu 22-Nov-12 18:17:41

I can absolutely see it being possible not to have anything 'smart' in your wardrobe, if you never have any reason to wear it. I had never been to a wedding til 2 years ago, no funerals since I was a child and had the same job for years so no need for interview wear. If I was put in this position a few years ago I'd have been up shit creek too!

5madthings Thu 22-Nov-12 18:18:19

that souns better smile

IAmSoFuckingRock Thu 22-Nov-12 18:18:30

defintely not converse and jeans (incase you hadn't got that already wink)

empty your wardrobe onto your bed. discard anything denim. no trainers of any kind. preferably black shoes. have you any skirts you could tuck one of DH's white shirts into and put a belt over?

IAmSoFuckingRock Thu 22-Nov-12 18:19:04

oops crossposting!

IAmSoFuckingRock Thu 22-Nov-12 18:20:19

yes OP that sounds great! good luck for interview!

minibmw2010 Thu 22-Nov-12 18:20:59

Usually I would expect people to turn up smart for a job like that, BUT I do think that if you apologised as soon as you get there and explain the situation and say that you'd never expect to dress so casually of you got the placement and your job seeker lady has promised to help you with regards clothes then that would be OK (after all I assume these placements are for people in exactly the same situation financially as OP?).

And I've worked in big smart firms so have some idea what I'm talking about. smile

AnyFucker Thu 22-Nov-12 18:21:22

Good luck love

btw, why are you surprised that the job advisor was nice ? Civil servants are not all dragons, you know

x post

If the dress trousers look really tight at the top you might be better with a longer top if you have one. They are definately a better idea than jeans.

One tip is if you can't do the top button check that the zip doesn't come down when you sit down and things begin to bulge (note I am overweight so I speak from practical experience here). Safety pins can be your friend.

MumsGoToReykjavik Thu 22-Nov-12 18:21:46

That sounds fine to me. Nice handbag, polished nails, big smile, best of luck!

Whoknowswhocares Thu 22-Nov-12 18:22:32

Black trousers (and safety pin if nec grin ) black blazer.......perfect! Any top with those will be fine.
Polish the boots and you're good to go!

Mollydoggerson Thu 22-Nov-12 18:22:43

The black trouser option sounds better.

Try it on and post a pic.! NOSEY

ISingSoprano Thu 22-Nov-12 18:23:04

The dress is definitely a better option.

I too think you need to sort yourself out with an outfit you can wear for interviews and for work too. You need a few items that go together so that you have week's worth of outfits. Speak to your advisor and ask her advice. A shiny CV is only part of the equation in getting a job, the impression you create is just as important.

Good luck! smile

MrsCampbellBlack Thu 22-Nov-12 18:23:18

Black wide leg trousers and blazer sounds fine.

I mean they've not given you much notice have they! God, I have loads of clothes but would struggle to put together an interview outfit in less than a day.

thecook Thu 22-Nov-12 18:23:23

Dress for success are brilliant but they don't have many locations in the UK. You can get a referral from the job centre. They kitted me out with a whole wardrobe of businesswear. Good stuff too. TM Lewin, Autograph and some designer stuff.

StuntGirl Thu 22-Nov-12 18:24:16

Is it obvious the trousers don't fasten? Will they stay up without the top button being done? Do the trousers look like they fit or do you have muffin top going on?

Provided the trousers fit/look ok both outfit options sound ok. Which outfit do you feel more comfortable and confident in? Because that will count for a lot too.

ISingSoprano Thu 22-Nov-12 18:28:18

I have just done a quick search online and it is possible the job centre may have access to discretionary grants for things like work clothing. Why don't you ask?

babyphat Thu 22-Nov-12 18:33:01

No fashion advice but just wanted to say good luck OP! Hope things pick up for you and your family soon

DontmindifIdo Thu 22-Nov-12 18:33:48

The trousers and jacket option sounds great! If htey are too tight, do the old early pregnancy trick of hairband through the hole and looped over the button. (assuming your top will cover the join at all times!)

If you can ask at the job centre tomorrow after the interview if there's any grants or if you can get a referral to dress for success that would be worth a go - if you get the job you'll need to look smart every day!

Mintberry Thu 22-Nov-12 18:34:00

I agree with others here, very bad idea to wear trainers or jeans to an interview. Wear the boots, and try to borrow trousers or a skirt from someone you know.

DontmindifIdo Thu 22-Nov-12 18:43:23

BTW - off on a tangent rather, but having read the 'dress for success' website, I thought it would be really good to try to arrange a "suit drive" in our office after Christmas (encouraging some of the female execs to have a spring clean of their wardrobes), but as the majority of people in positions where they have to wear a suit daily are male, does anyone know of a similar charity that kits out men? I could see us getting more menswear than woman's...

Allice Thu 22-Nov-12 18:55:36

Good luck for tomorrow!

StaceeJaxx Thu 22-Nov-12 19:17:41

Thank you. thanks

CaptainKirksNipples Thu 22-Nov-12 19:21:44

You can buy a white shirt, black trousers and black ballet pumps in primark for under £15. If you are looking for a job surely you should have interview clothes?

StaceeJaxx Thu 22-Nov-12 19:42:10

CaptainKirksNipples Not if you're a size 20 you can't.

GlitKnit Thu 22-Nov-12 19:47:41

OH FGS can no one find some clothes and post them?

GlitKnit Thu 22-Nov-12 19:47:59

oh its tomorrow.


Good luck!

CajaDeLaMemoria Thu 22-Nov-12 19:54:03

Good luck with your interview!

I think the black trousers and blazer sound fine. I'm glad you found them - someone I trained with was sanctioned for going to an interview in jeans last week, and she had nothing else to wear. She'd been promised work clothes too... make sure you remind your advisor to sort some out for you!

All the best smile

Good luck OP. thanks

financialwizard Thu 22-Nov-12 20:03:53

Can't add anything but want to wish you well x

Cherylkerl Thu 22-Nov-12 20:04:38

Good luck smile

Cherylkerl Thu 22-Nov-12 20:04:43

Good luck smile

TheMysteryCat Thu 22-Nov-12 20:06:32

The job centre have a small grants pot for people to buy interview clothes. Ask them for next time.

Good luck!

Mollydoggerson Thu 22-Nov-12 20:08:05

Also, if you get a chance tell them you really want the job, I have been the interviewer and sometimes (depending on the role), the eagerness of the person carries alot of weight. show them you really are enthousiastic about the job.

Best of luck.

Beachcomber Thu 22-Nov-12 20:11:59

Good luck!

Dress the best you can with what you have - IRON your clothes so that they look smarter (I say this as someone who thinks ironing is a waste of time and energy but here it could make a difference to your overall smartness).

Go with very clean hair, nails, shoes etc. Give yourself plenty of time to get ready and be very punctual.

Fingers crossed for you.

MrsDeVere Thu 22-Nov-12 20:17:35

I think there are a few people on here who do not quite understand the concept of being skint.

If you have not got a job how can you kit yourself out in case you get one? And lets not forget the OP is not going to have more money in her pocket in a months time because this is workfare, not a salaried job.

If you are a size 20 its not easy to pop into any shop and pick up a bargain.

And a bargain when you are on benefits is 50p not £20.

Good Luck and keep your eye out for suitable stuff over the next few weeks so you can have an emergency interview outfit.

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 22-Nov-12 20:19:27

Meant to say in my first post, best of luck with the interview smile

I'm sure you'll look nice. Best of luck with the interview.

PolterGoose Thu 22-Nov-12 21:34:10

What MrsDeVere said

And loads of luck for tomorrow thanks

hermioneweasley Thu 22-Nov-12 21:38:10

Good luck! Tell them you want t do the job and are excited about the opportunity - it's amazing how rare that is!

Good luck for the interview! Glad you found something to wear.

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 22-Nov-12 21:53:01

i had a friend who for interviews sent for a decent quality suit from Next, kept the tags in, just wore the suit for the interview (literally) then sent it back in pristine condition.

i know its cheating but....
unless you can borrow its all i can think of.

come to think of it, get a Next directory - they have some great washable suits for very little money - if you could pay each month it would be pennies for a suit.

is that an option so you have some decent work wear for when you have "real" interviews?

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 22-Nov-12 21:56:50
hk78 Thu 22-Nov-12 22:03:07

Elastic hairband looped through the buttonhole then wrapped round the button for a bit extra security.

Black opaque tights underneath in the same colour as the trousers to minimise any gaps?

Size 20 and cheap = Asda, Tesco, Peacocks, Store 21, and many charity shops do too.

Good luck smile

SomethingProfound Fri 23-Nov-12 12:34:18

How did it go OP?

StuntGirl Fri 23-Nov-12 14:14:19

Hope the interview went well Stacee!

careergirl Fri 23-Nov-12 14:29:19

I thought happy to be corrected on this that you are entitled to a small grant for clothing you may need to wear to an interview etc?

StaceeJaxx Fri 23-Nov-12 14:32:43

Thanks for asking. smile It went quite well. After all my fretting it was actually quite informal. He was very nice, explained about the business, what I would be doing etc. He said the placements usually last 10 days, and that in the past year they've had 11 people on placement and 6 of them have been given a job! So I have to email my CV over to him, (as the jobcentre were supposed to send him all my info but of course they didn't hmm), and he said he has some more candidates to see this afternoon and on Monday and he'd ring me next week.

StuntGirl Fri 23-Nov-12 14:41:24

Will keep my fingers crossed for you smile

YDdraigGoch Fri 23-Nov-12 14:52:58

How did it go OP?

I've got my fingers crossed.

GlitKnit Fri 23-Nov-12 18:31:54

Clothing ?

cranverry Fri 23-Nov-12 18:48:23

Fingers crossed for you.

diddl Fri 23-Nov-12 18:59:27

All the best for Monday!

I think it´s horrible that people wear stuff with the tags in & then take it back.

Then some poor sod pays full whack for second hand stuff.

Or is that OK because they can afford it & the other person couldn´t?hmm

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