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?

Arisbottle Tue 23-Jul-13 17:25:45

If you have big boobs that dress is too low cut for an interview. I would probably pick a safer colour as well

coffeeinbed Tue 23-Jul-13 17:27:23

sorry, no.
that dress won't do.

Blu Tue 23-Jul-13 17:28:18

I think that is fine for an interview - nice dress!

GladbagsGold Tue 23-Jul-13 17:28:27

When I interview people for office jobs I expect them to wear a suit. A lot of them don't tbf - but the best candidates usually do.

Doesn't matter if its supermarket or charity shop but if you can beg, steal or borrow one, I think you should.

Blu Tue 23-Jul-13 17:28:39

UNless you are going for an interview at an undertakers, or something.

DoodleAlley Tue 23-Jul-13 17:29:03

I work in a professional environment and to me smart business dress would mean suited and booted I'm afraid.

Def not a low cut bright orange dress I'm afraid.

But I'm aware my workplaces have always been on the conservative side of things.

CajaDeLaMemoria Tue 23-Jul-13 17:29:39

I thought my boobs helped, to be honest. It holds the top bit quite high up.

Any suggestions then?

I'm very pale, with very light blonde hair, so black and navy wash me out completely and make me look really ill.

My stomach isn't great at the moment as my kidneys are causing a lot of bloating, and my legs are pretty rubbish. My boobs are my only okay feature.

I can't get to a high street so I guess I'll have to find something cheap online, but I don't really know what I'm looking for. Even in a minimizer bra, high necked things look stupid and feel really uncomfortable.

Any advice?

hermioneweasley Tue 23-Jul-13 17:29:55

Sorry, that dress is no way suitable. Is there absolutely nobody yo could borrow some clothes from? How smart do you need to be - would a skirt/trousers and smart shirt work, or do you need a suit/tailored dress?

debsdoodaa Tue 23-Jul-13 17:30:32

Black trousers, white blouse, low heels but not flats. Add a jacket if you can.

CajaDeLaMemoria Tue 23-Jul-13 17:31:27

It's a PR related job, if that matters. I haven't been to the workplace before.

It's taken so long to get to this stage, and now I feel really embarrassed. I feel like cancelling sad

Smart business dress to me means a skirt/trousers, shirt/blouse and jacket if it's not too hot.

I am a size 8-10 and a 32f so totally feel your pain. However that dress is not smart business attire. I am maybe a bit over-conservative as work in extremely male dominated and old fashioned profession but I would not wear anything that bright or low cut to work. I think similar, in black, less low cut would be fine. If you like colour use your accessories for this just don't go ott. What industry are you in?

coffeeinbed Tue 23-Jul-13 17:33:44

Don't even think of cancelling.
Beg or borrow something.

CajaDeLaMemoria Tue 23-Jul-13 17:33:49

Sorry, cross-post.

I don't know how smart. It just says 'smart business dress'.

I wouldn't be able to afford a suit, or trousers, a top and shoes, I don't think.

I was struggling enough to afford a bag and shoes to go with that dress blush

I know nobody here. It took 4 hours on the train to get to DP's mum, and her suit is a '70's throughback and is far too big. I can't get it taken in because she still uses it for weddings and funerals.

I'm absolutely hopeless, aren't I? I'm not sure I can save this.

nancerama Tue 23-Jul-13 17:34:17

I think that dress would be fine for an interview in PR. I'd be tempted to team it with a smart tailored jacket though.

CajaDeLaMemoria Tue 23-Jul-13 17:35:37

I could wear the black suit jacket over the top, and team it with a minimiser bra?

I'm tempted to iron it and put a photo up now, but I'm so shy.

nancerama Tue 23-Jul-13 17:35:46

Although my career was in entertainment PR where everyone dressed like that.

If the agency represents accountants something more dull would be more appropriate!

GladbagsGold Tue 23-Jul-13 17:36:04

Don't cancel!

What shoes DO you have?

Whereabouts are you?

What is your budget?

If you are going for a PR job I would go pretty smart, maybe something like this:


with a scooped top (not too low) underneath so you feel comfortable.

BadSkiingMum Tue 23-Jul-13 17:37:03

Don't cancel the interview!

Get yourself to your nearest Oxfam or similar in a half-decent area.

You will probably find a smart women's work shirt for under £10. Combine with supermarket trousers. Or, look for a smart summer dress, nothing too tight and knee length.

Or do you have any similar-sized friends?

Where are you caja?

WipsGlitter Tue 23-Jul-13 17:39:16


I'm a PR manager and, as long as there was no cleavage showing, I'd think the dress was ok. I'd put a jacket over it though.

vitaminC Tue 23-Jul-13 17:39:45

Depending on the PR firm/sector, you could maybe get away with the orange outfit if you added a black or white cami top underneath and wore lowish black heels but you really need to know the firm well to decide on this.

Otherwise I would suggest you buy a grey pencil skirt or trousers and a plain white blouse and dress it up with existing accessories, jacket/shrug etc.

Good luck with the interview!

SolomanDaisy Tue 23-Jul-13 17:40:35

I think if you wore a jacket with it that dress would be ok for a PR interview, but it depends how low cut it is. If it's anything like the picture it is too low.

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.



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.
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


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.

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

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.

thaliablogs Tue 23-Jul-13 18:01:26

Sorry just realised my first post auto corrected cami to camp. Hope it makes more sense now.

coffeewineandchocolate Tue 23-Jul-13 18:01:51
flowery Tue 23-Jul-13 18:03:12

I find it strange that an employer whose business is PR is requesting "smart business dress" in the first place tbh, that seems a bit odd.

Either way, that dress is far too low cut for an interview imo.

coffeewineandchocolate Tue 23-Jul-13 18:03:17
coffeewineandchocolate Tue 23-Jul-13 18:05:09

are you sure they didn't say 'smart business dress' as opposed to 'a smart business dress' ?

badguider Tue 23-Jul-13 18:07:11

I think you could just about get away with the orange dress if you put a black suit jacket over the top (and arrive with it buttoned).

Everything else should be very low-key (shoes, bag).

Unfortunately PR is to some extent about appearances so is less forgiving to an interviewee without an interview outfit than other jobs.

CajaDeLaMemoria Tue 23-Jul-13 18:08:43

Oh, I know I don't need to wear a dress, but I own it already so I'd hoped it would be okay. I can see that it won't be, I'll sell it or something.

I'm looking through the links now. It's tough because DP isn't paid til next week either, and it's been a really hard month. I do appreciate all the advice and suggestions, though, thank you all.

GummyLopes Tue 23-Jul-13 18:11:03

I think if you like and feel comfortable in that dress you should wear it - from the pic you posted it looks lovely on and very adaptable with accessories without buying a whole new outfit in a panic. If you have thick dark tights and eg a stripey blue and white blazer, and wedges.

SolomanDaisy Tue 23-Jul-13 18:12:28

If you use somewhere like Next you won't have to pay straight awAy, maybe you could do that. Having seen the photo I wouldn't wear that dress.

GummyLopes Tue 23-Jul-13 18:14:06


I think it would be more that OK Caja and I disagree with most of the advice on here, I have to go now but will come back.

The other thing you could do as pp suggested is tack the collar together and dye the dress black. Use nylon, easy to do, cost you £3. Bargain? grin

CajaDeLaMemoria Tue 23-Jul-13 18:16:39

I'm 90% sure that I wouldn't get away with this, but DP is convinced I will.

I own this and I'm only 5 ft so it comes to just above knee length. DP thinks with a black jacket it'd be fine, I think it's casual. MN opinion?

I love the Phase 8 wrap dress. I'm just trying to work out if I can afford it. I'll have to wear it with black ballet shoes - they aren't very comfortable but the alternatives are high nude wedge sandals or trainers, so I think it'd do?

CajaDeLaMemoria Tue 23-Jul-13 18:21:42

Or one of DP's friends has offered me this blue dress or this but she couldn't get them here for me to try on til Thurs morn, so I'd have to be confident.

She is the same size as me...

munchkinmaster Tue 23-Jul-13 18:26:15

Oh dear. Your DH doesn't really want you to get this job does he. All these frocks are totally unsuitable. The orange is the best. Those short jersey ones are not suitable.

Ballet flats or nude sandals both fine with the phase 8 dress.

hermioneweasley Tue 23-Jul-13 18:28:19

The superdry dress looks v short. You say it comes "just above the knee". Anything too short is a no-no so make sure yo try out sitting down etc and see how far it rides up. With a black jacket, smart jewellery and shoes it coukd work. Ditto the blue dress if not too short. A no to the myleene colour block one (for anything ever)

MrsBertMacklin Tue 23-Jul-13 18:28:29

Found this in the Jaeger outlet in an 8, just looking to see if there's anything else.

Please stay away from the 2 dresses your DP has said will be ok, especially the second one! Both very nice, but not suitable for an interview!

MrsBertMacklin Tue 23-Jul-13 18:30:21

This in a size 8, 40? I actually own this, so be polite...!

hermioneweasley Tue 23-Jul-13 18:32:41

MrsBert, both of those are great, and a fantastic price. Jaeger lasts really well and is good quality so £35/40 is a bargain

specialsubject Tue 23-Jul-13 18:34:24

too much boob on the model, let alone the well endowed. Needs a higher neck and a jacket over it.

charity shop, plenty of work clothing there. You don't have to be covered to your chin but that cut is not professional.

tidy shoes (no stupid heels, you need to walk not waddle), bag OR document case, not both. Not smelling of anything (no excessive perfume), and a firm handshake, not a weak girly one please. Whatever makeup you normally wear.

that's my definition of professional. You need to be more interesting than your outfit.

The jaeger dress is lovely, and a complete bargain (apart from the fact it is dry clean only).

Depending on the op's coloring the pink may be good with the jacket over the top to break up the colour a bit?

eurozammo Tue 23-Jul-13 18:35:39

I think your partner might be thinking about what he would like women in the workplace to be wearing...

The blue FC dress might be ok with a black jacket over the top. The superdry one is too clingy. The Myleene one is a definite no-no!

specialsubject Tue 23-Jul-13 18:35:57

that stripey dress is ok, again with a jacket over it, and ONLY if it is not too short.

thaliablogs Tue 23-Jul-13 18:36:02

I own that first jaeger one and don't love it, it is pretty clingy jersey material and, IMO, does not therefore feel that smart. It's ok, not great. However I am a hippy size 14 so OP will undoubtedly look better in it than i do.

No no no to your superdry dress or the 2 loaners, they are not suitable. Remember PR is all about image so you need to be chic.

Ballet flats absolutely fine esp in this weather, I notice all the younger women in our office wearing them at the moment (sheesh I am old).

CajaDeLaMemoria Tue 23-Jul-13 18:36:44

The superdry dress is just above the knee sat down. I can pull it down to knee-length with a done up jacket over it.

The blue one is knee length on his colleague, I'm slightly shorter. No idea about the Myleene one, it looks itchy, but I didn't want to rule anything out.

DP's colleague works with him in dresses like that, so I guess he's thinking if it's okay for them, it's okay for me.

I like those Jaeger. Is black the only acceptable colour really? I love the pink, but I'm thinking that my taste in clothes is pretty terrible.

(Thank you again, everyone. I really appreciate the honest opinions, even if I feel quite self conscious now!)

Get a little woods account. They do free delivery, free returns and interest free credit if you pay over 20 weeks. Fast delivery too. They have loads of dresses at £35 or under which comes in at £5 a month.
this in grey
this in black
this is good
this would do and cheap

CajaDeLaMemoria Tue 23-Jul-13 18:39:55

DP has a Very account I could probably use, if keeping it under £30 is going to be impossible.

Gosh this is hard. I felt quite confident in the bright colour, but now I'm not sure I should be allowed to dress myself.

HandMini Tue 23-Jul-13 18:40:15

The Asda one that coffee linked above looks great for someone of your size and figure. Only £18 as well!

Alwayscheerful Tue 23-Jul-13 18:40:29

NO to The french connection and the Myleen Class dresses. Only wear them if you do not want the job.

The jaeger dresses are great.

What colour shoes and handbags do you have ?

BIWI Tue 23-Jul-13 18:40:38

Whilst I like that orange dress, it's really not suitable if they've specified 'smart business dress'. The whole way it's cut (never mind the size of your boobs!) is to emphasise your chest/cleavage.

I like the Superdry one, and if it's long enough on you (which it should be if you're only 5ft tall), and you have a black jacket to wear over it, I think that would be fine. If it's a PR company, something a little less boring than just plain black should be well-received.

thaliablogs Tue 23-Jul-13 18:40:50

No it doesn't have to be black, but black is safe and is what is available, lots of the other colour ways sold out and the autumn stuff not yet on sale. Fwiw I also found you this one but think its too far out of your budget and is more of a personal choice.


MrsBertMacklin Tue 23-Jul-13 18:41:47

I think you could pull off the pink if you put a neutral jacket, bag and shoes with it, yes. See thaliablogs' concerns about its clinginess, though! Have you had a look in the Hobbs outlet?

AphraBehn Tue 23-Jul-13 18:42:34

The Jaeger one in cobalt blue looks like a good compromise to me.

The great thing about littlewoods is you can order several styles and sizes, try them on at home and send back any or all with no cost.

MrsBertMacklin Tue 23-Jul-13 18:43:28

Actually, forget Hobbs. Nothing in the Sale or Outlet under £60 that would suit.

CajaDeLaMemoria Tue 23-Jul-13 18:45:37

Ah, just saw the clinginess comment. That could be a problem...I'm very nervous about my boobs now.

I don't think I can do Littlewoods because we have Very, but if anyone wants to suggest anything from there, I could order tonight and post pics tomorrow?

I'll wear black if I have too. I avoid it because I'm so very pale, so bright colors suit me better, but I will wear it. I clearly have a lot to learn!

I'm v. tempted by Jaegar, too. I'll have to wait for DP to come home to order. Do Jaeger do free delivery or anything?

LucyTheValiant Tue 23-Jul-13 18:47:58

This? Asos I bought it for an interview last week. I'm a shorty too so it's not as short as it looks there - it's just to the top of my knees, and I'm 5 foot 2. Or is it too high necked/casual? (Please nobody say it's completely inappropriate and you would never employ anyone who turned up wearing it, I'm wearing it again for an interview on Thursday! <Prays>)

LucyTheValiant Tue 23-Jul-13 18:48:57

Oh sorry, just saw that you're looking for something from Very... I will have another look this evening if you're still looking when dinner is over!

Jaeger with a bright smart bag ideally, that would be smart business dress for pr in my book, but also show a bit of personality and you sound like you'd be list comfortable with some colour.
How senior is the role? I'm wondering if they've soecified smart because they're fed up of students rocking up in hoodies?

CajaDeLaMemoria Tue 23-Jul-13 18:54:14

If I get the first Jaeger dress in pink, and wear it with the black suit jacket, could I use a toffee bag?

I have this already.

Or is the cobalt one better?

It's quite a senior position. I was under the impression that it had a fairly casual dress code, but the agency have told me to wear smart business wear. If they'd told me a few days ago I'd have been okay, but it's a bit of a rush now...

How about this: http://www.marksandspencer.com/Cap-Sleeve-Peplum-Shift-Dress/dp/B009G6C9GW?pos=PDP_cav_3/10_text&rrClickthru=PDP

I know M&S can be a bit hmm but I had a similar one last year which I wore for my graduation and it was really, really nice. I think in this weather you could be forgiven for not wearing a jacket tbh, which would keep the cost down.

MrsBertMacklin Tue 23-Jul-13 18:57:19

Yes, I think that bag would work perfectly.

You will probably walk in and see lots of people dressed casually, but you have to go smart to an interview. Most of the things I wear at work day to day (smart day dresses, pencil dresses with a print pattern) would not pass muster in an interview.

Jaeger do not offer free home delivery, but if you have a store near you, they will deliver there for free (and quicker).

Alwayscheerful Tue 23-Jul-13 19:03:07

Toffee handbag is great. What shoes do you have?

If it's the interview I am going to on Thursday, yes wear it.
I'll be the one in a drab suit and you'll look awesome.

If its another one, then can you just borrow a jacket to wear with it?

ProphetOfDoom Tue 23-Jul-13 19:11:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Something like this would be fine, and if they haven't got a sale one then this full price one is cheap too.

Please don't wear the orange one, or any of those clingy and bright ones you posted. They are unprofessional and I think you'd feel very uncomfortable. You say that you are shy and then post dresses which are very 'notice me' so you clearly like bright colours, but looking professional and business appropriate means playing safe to begin with and maybe restricting your colour to a bag or shoes.

The bag is perfect btw.

flowery Tue 23-Jul-13 19:15:35

Please don't feel pushed into wearing black if you wouldn't normally or it doesn't suit you.

Recruiters often face a parade of black suit/white shirt combo after black suit/white shirt combo or black dress, and everyone blends into one.

It's perfectly possible to do smart professional business wear with colour and I would say for PR, showing you are not just one of a crowd and have personality is a must.

Wear a colour that you like and that you feel confident in. No cleavage, not lots of leg, and not clingy.

katatonic Tue 23-Jul-13 19:25:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I think that very ponte dress looks cheap. The John Lewis dresses wouldn't flatter the op due to her self confessed large norkage. She is also petite, so needs something not too revealing, but which also balances out the proportions of her body and flatters.

Round or slash necked tops don't tend to suit as you just end up with a 'shelf' of fabric below the neck which is less than flattering. A v neck or wrap round, or button down with the top couple of buttons tend to be the most flattering as they add definition, and break up the proportions.

So this kind of shape would be good.


I'm also a 32E and that kind of shape is a disaster on me, Accident. Slash necks work much better for me, perhaps because I have a very bony collar bone, so v necks make me look scrawny and then with huge norks?

OP - do you possess a jacket at all? Or any skirts?

katatonic Tue 23-Jul-13 20:16:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I am wearing this M&S dress a lot at the moment. I have changed the belt though.

Definitely not the beach dresses or the party orange one. My vote is for the jaeger.

Tweet2tweet Tue 23-Jul-13 20:34:42

I interview a lot and I would not be impressed at that dress, though lovely, as it doesn't look 'the business' IMO. However I can highly recommend charity shops if you are on a budget, you can get a suit for £10. Primark also do suits and Next have a sale on at the mo. With your colouring perhaps light grey, pastel colours etc would work.

I really hope you are successful, a big well done for getting to the interview stage- that's fantastic. Remember getting an interview means that you've met all the criteria, now it's just about getting to meet you.

babybarrister Tue 23-Jul-13 21:20:10

I also interview a lot - dress too low cut and wrong colour IMO for any industry if you want to be taken seriously.

Pale grey suit with 'fun' colour top ( not low cut) perfect I am sure BTW I also have large norms but still do not wear really low cut stuff for work - v neck fine just not too low ...

Good luck in the interview too!

Nyancat Tue 23-Jul-13 21:47:12

If you search for m&s biker dress. I got it for about 30 in the sale recently but I am large of nork and the asymmetric zip really works as you can position where most flattering and it's a lovel shape on and just a bit different from most of my standard black work dresses

BadSkiingMum Wed 24-Jul-13 09:51:33

Any further forward Caja?

Curious as to what kind of office your DH works in grin

Justinepants Wed 24-Jul-13 10:11:15

I'd go for the red wrap dress from the charity shop with a black cami, black jacket and black ballet flats. You'll look coordinated, have a bit of a bright colour and not too much black, and not have spent too much money. Save the investment dressing for when you've got the job.

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 24-Jul-13 10:13:34

I would use ebay to buy a suit/dress suit for next time.

Borrow a jacket to cover the dress and try and hide the cleavage.

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 24-Jul-13 10:35:39

I wouldn't wear a suit unless you are interviewing for a receptionist job.

But I also wouldn't wear an orange dress to an interview. Even a modest one. The dress in the photo is way too cleavage showy to wear in any office, I'd say, even once your are well established, although it might look less up front, as it were, on you. Other than the cleavage, the dress itself would be fine for someone with the right colouring, in the summer, I think. It's not short, it looks smart, bright colours are fine for established people. But not for interviewees.

BadSkiingMum Wed 24-Jul-13 11:48:13

Forgot to add - they might be a bit hot for this time of year, but M&S do some very useful vests in a fine cotton for covering akward cleavage gaps.


I think that, whatever you do for this interview, you need to budget some money so that you do have a suitable outfit hanging in your wardrobe. Much less stress all round.

GummyLopes Wed 24-Jul-13 15:31:17

Har! I clearly have terrible taste as I seem to be the only one thinking it could work. Either that or I'm right at the cutting edge, fashion-wise grin

Good luck with the interview, Caja.

LucyTheValiant Wed 24-Jul-13 16:54:36

Did you manage to get anything, Caja?

Snog Wed 24-Jul-13 20:24:03

Visible cleavage is a total no imo
You can still wear a flattering v neck - even a plunging v - with a camisole underneath so that no cleavage is on display

Any skirt length sorter than knee length is another big no

lougle Wed 24-Jul-13 20:45:03

Caja, are you anywhere near Hedge End? Apparently the Cry Charity shop is excellent.

Alternatively, Bishops Waltham has the Rowan Hospice Charity shop, which has some lovely stuff. It's not your normal charity shop, they set the clothes out in colours, just like the shops.

Bishops Waltham also has a big second-hand clothing shop - they take clothes for sale on a 60/40 commission basis from customers. They have some really smart stuff in there.

Beaverfeaver Wed 24-Jul-13 23:01:24

I would pick someone in an interview who was confident and dresses to show it.

A bright orange dress would definitely make me remember you.

Go for it and stand out amongst the others!

Good luck

QueenCadbury Thu 25-Jul-13 08:57:21

What about something like this dress. With your smart bag and nice shoes I think in this weather you would look professional enough without a jacket.

Going off on a complete tangent I wonder whether you're in the right bra size (I've obv been reading too many bra threads). I'm a size 8/10 and 30f but my boob aren't too obvious even in low cut things (unless I choose to wear a push up bra).

Good luck with the interview.

QueenCadbury Thu 25-Jul-13 08:59:04

Or this one would work well too.

CajaDeLaMemoria Thu 25-Jul-13 10:07:07

I seem to have pneumatic boobs. Even in minimiser bras. blush

Okay, so the pink Jeager dress came today. It's nice. It's wrap-style but with a modesty panel built in, and it's brighter than it looked. I can't think of how to describe the colour, but it works in giving me a bright boost! I've got the toffee bag out and will empty it and clean it.

But, I just heard from the interviewers, and they want to move it 'til next week. I was up for hours over the past two nights trying to swot up and working on the presentation so I would look confident. I guess I can't say no...

I'm glad there are people who don't think I'm a nut for not wearing (or owning) much black, and I'm going to budget for some work clothes as soon as I can and go back through this thread. It's been invaluable for someone who has never worked in an office environment.

Thank you all flowers

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 25-Jul-13 10:23:09

Caja I live in black, and I get criticised for it. Not massively, and I'm sufficiently senior that actually I can wear what I want and get away with it (although to be fair, what I want is pretty low key, with the emphasis on comfort and warmth), but occasionally I get comments like 'ah Russians, another symphony in black today......' I work in, as I said, a very senior role in the city and most of the (few) women at my level do tend to wear bright colours, especially the younger ones. (I am now old sad )

flowery Thu 25-Jul-13 11:13:11

Dress sounds great OP. And actually interview being postponed is no bad thing, because you are all ready in terms of your presentation and will now be able to make sure you've had plenty of sleep.

I don't wear any black. It doesn't suit me and I manage to look perfectly smart. For suits I wear blue with usually a bright coloured top. Dresses I either wear darkish blue, or bright colours. As long as they fit well and are smart dresses, colours are great because if they suit you, you feel more confident and that comes across. Plus you don't look like everyone else.

BranchingOut Thu 25-Jul-13 11:43:06

I am the opposite and have no black in my wardrobe at all!
But, you can still look really smart and well-turned out by coordinating carefully and choosing the right clothing for the occasion. It sounds as if the pink Jaeger dress might be a keeper!

Sometimes it is actually easier to coordinate colours than black. Two shades of brown or grey might work well together, but if you have blacks that don't match then it can look awful, especially if fading is involved.

Nice one Caja! Just a thought - have you been bra-intervened? If you are wearing the wrong size that might make it more difficult to look professional.

I have no black at all in my wardrobe (and a vested interest in removing it from others' wardrobes!)

WhiteBirdBlueSky Sat 27-Jul-13 12:03:35

I think the pink dress with your bag will be perfect. Good luck!

Lucylloyd13 Sat 27-Jul-13 13:39:02

Depends on the job, but the dress is proably not quite right.

You cant beat a skirt suit, plain blouse and 2in courts.

SofaCanary Sat 27-Jul-13 13:56:36

Good luck, hope it goes well flowers

A bra intervention sounds like it'd be a good thing - I'm a 12-14 and 30G so as an 8-10 I can't see how you'd take a bigger back.

I mention it because I saw you said you are a 32 E/F, and I doubt that. I am a size 12 and 30E. Expect you are more like a 28H.

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