What on earth is smart business dress?! I'm totally lost.

(128 Posts)
CajaDeLaMemoria Tue 23-Jul-13 17:21:24

I have an interview on Thurs.

At the moment, I work at home, so no smart dress required. I don't have much money at the moment.

The only smart dress I have is this in orange which DP assured me is nice, and matches what people at work wear. But someone just pointed out that it's a bit low cut on another thread, and now I'm lost again.

I'm a 32E/F, so hiding my boobs isn't an option. I don't wear anything high necked, because it looks really top heavy and horrid. I tend to live in jeans and vests, but ripped my jeans last week and don't have any more. I don't own black trousers. At the moment, I'm wearing colorful playsuits that really aren't workwear.

I am utterly lost for what to wear. I had hoped to borrow something but DP's mum is a 14, and I'm an 8/10, and she only has a very posh wedding skirt. It keeps falling down, I can hardly walk. It looks stupid.

What on earth do I wear?

starfishmummy Tue 23-Jul-13 17:40:37

Good grief. Do not wear that dress.

my boobs are my only okay feature

This is an interview for a professional position, I assume. Your boobs don't come into it and should be covered up. Otherwise the interviewer will not be remembering you for the right reasons.

CajaDeLaMemoria Tue 23-Jul-13 17:40:56

I don't know where Oxfam is, but I can look.

DP took me to the high street earlier, where there are three charity shops, but none had work stuff.

One had a bright red wrap dress but that was really low cut, so I didn't buy it.

There wasn't much in a size 8, to be honest, I was pretty disappointed. I wanted to grab some jeans but they had nothing.

I don't have any friends blush none at all. I'm in Hampshire.

DP has a friend who owns this but I have no idea what size she is. It seems a bit too casual, too.

It's just made me wonder what I'd wear if I actually got the job... It's so hard.

Thanks for all the advice so far. I am trying to take it on board.

CajaDeLaMemoria Tue 23-Jul-13 17:43:00

I guess I need to take a picture? It looks like it'll definitely be too low cut, though.

I've never worked in an office. That much is probably quite clear! I wasn't intending to show off my boobs, I don't particularly want anyone to see them. I'm just aware that it's very difficult to hide them, so the only fashion advice I ever got was to wear things that shaped them, rather than making myself look top heavy trying to hide them.

I'm terrified I'm going to screw this up before I even open my mouth.

WipsGlitter Tue 23-Jul-13 17:43:34

Does your cleavage show?

eurozammo Tue 23-Jul-13 17:45:32

Stop thinking about your best feature or what colours suit you best. You are going to convince them that you can do the job, not that your boobs look great!

Pencil skirt/smart trousers with a plain top and preferably a jacket over the top is what you should be going for. You don't want them to remember you as the woman with her knockers spilling out of the orange dress, but rather as the woman who would be great at the job!

Boosiehs Tue 23-Jul-13 17:46:14

If its for PR I would't have thought that colour was too much of an issue. If a dress is too low cut I'd wear a vest underneath.

Where in Hampshire are you?

Oh that's a shame caja, I'm in the middle of a clear out and we sound the same size! Do you have a normal top/t shirt type thing you could wear under your black suit jacket (you mentioned so I presume you have already)- I do this sometimes, wear a not strictly 'work' top under suit jacket and it's fine, just keep the jacket on. Then add an £8 pair supermarket trousers and you're done!

hermioneweasley Tue 23-Jul-13 17:46:47

Bright red wrap dress with a camisole or vest underneath woukd be fine

PR won't be as formal as other industries, but I wouldn't ever show a lot of cleavage.

If you are so shy, is PR the right area for you?

eurozammo Tue 23-Jul-13 17:48:25

You put a link up to something on the next site. The dress linked wasn't smart business dress, but others on the site were, e.g.

www.next.co.uk/X522016s1#846201X52

www.next.co.uk/x5248s5#799863x52

Both would need a jacket for an interview.

smokinaces Tue 23-Jul-13 17:48:33

Go to primark if you can. They have pencil skirts for under a tenner. And sheer blouses which over a Cami top look good and smart. Or a shift dress for fifteen quid. I have bought many a last minute interview outfit in primark, and they've never let me down in that respect.

escape Tue 23-Jul-13 17:48:35

don't cancel.
Ebay?
Charity shops
You must have some idea of what suits you and what people were in a workplace.
A wrap dress in a conservative colour would be good.
Admittedly I work in 'creative industries' but 'smart business' does not mean you have to dress fora funeral

Smart pencil dresses are appropriate with a boat or slash neckline and knee length, a jacket is always good or a smart fitted 'twinset' type cardigan.

flowery Tue 23-Jul-13 17:50:16

Unless the business of the employer is PR, then it being a PR job is a bit of a red herring. It's more about what is appropriate for the sector or industry you'll be in.

"Smart business dress" would usually mean a suit or at least a tailored dress, probably with a jacket.

Can you get to Tescos? They'll do a cheap suit and if you combine it with decent accessories and a shirt/top in a colour that suits you, plus heels, that would be ok.

munchkinmaster Tue 23-Jul-13 17:50:42

Can you iron the collar bits up and put a stitch in. Maybe even insert a black bit of fabric behind as a little modesty panel if there is still a gaping mass of cleavage. And add that tesco jacket.

thaliablogs Tue 23-Jul-13 17:53:30

OP phase 8 is your friend for this stuff. But remember at your size, you are unlikely to be able to wear standard v neck dress without a camp underneath. Oasis has sme good ones that are dead cheap, you can prob also find them in tkmaxx

How about this

www.houseoffraser.co.uk/Phase+Eight+Ethel+drapey+wrap+dress/180641154,default,pd.html

I know it's black but black is expected in interviews and I bet you don't look as washed out in it as you think

Alwayscheerful Tue 23-Jul-13 17:54:56

I would go for a square necked shift dress, in a conservative colour. If you already have shoes and handbag choose something to go with the items you already have, the orange dress is lovely but too bright and fancy for a first interview.

CajaDeLaMemoria Tue 23-Jul-13 17:54:57

The employer business is PR. My job will also be PR. If that makes sense.

I've put a picture up, but I'm now not sure that it suits me at all anyway. I put a minimiser bra on, and I might be able to do it a bit tighter? Forgive me for it being unironed, I washed it to be prepared.

Okay, I'll see where my nearest Primark is, and if it'll be feasible to get there. I can't drive, so it's difficult. I usually use ASOS, but there is very little below £30, and they are all quite low cut.

thaliablogs Tue 23-Jul-13 17:55:02

Or this, navy and stylish.
http://www.houseoffraser.co.uk/Uttam+Boutique+Polka+dot+faux+wrap+dress/180605394,default,pd.html

For PR I don't think you need to be too conservative by the way, smart and stylish is ok

thaliablogs Tue 23-Jul-13 17:55:26
Alwayscheerful Tue 23-Jul-13 17:55:40

The phase 8 dress is perfect.

coffeewineandchocolate Tue 23-Jul-13 17:57:21
funnyossity Tue 23-Jul-13 17:58:30

This situation is less about dressing to suit your figure and more about fitting in. (Having said that you are right about very high necks not suiting; v-neck would work better.)

Does this company have a website with pictures of staff ?- that could give pointers.

Could you afford something new from somewhere like ASDA? I got a well-fitting black trouser suit there (sold as separates and you'd get away with no jacket in hot weather!)

GummyLopes Tue 23-Jul-13 17:58:36

I think it could really work. It's a good dress and you could wear opaque tights (it will be getting cooler). A big chunky necklace would distract from cleavage issues. I think that would be really good.

thaliablogs Tue 23-Jul-13 17:59:57

This? Only £34 so just about your budget. To be on safe side put a little cardi with it
www.houseoffraser.co.uk/The+Department+Ponte+shift+dress/181366189,default,pd.html

Do you have ballet flats? A pair of plain black heels? You should not need to shell out for shoes if you do.

hermioneweasley Tue 23-Jul-13 18:00:13

I think it's too tight and too low cut, but I am pretty conservative in my dress

GummyLopes Tue 23-Jul-13 18:00:26

Plus a jacket.

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