Next Friday I am going to go into a room with a copy of my thesis and let two professors tear it apart while I gibber and shake. And then hopefully they're going to tell me I have not totally failed my PhD.
Customarily I believe people wear suits to do this. Or at least something very smart.
I hate trouser suits. I look an idiot in trousers.
I would love to find something that looked a bit 1940s/vintagy - something I would actually want to wear, as opposed to 'corporate uniform' style. Like, if Vivienne Westwood made skirt suits. Which she doesn't, AFAIK. It's allowed to be a bit quirky. At this stage, desperation and the large credit card I've just been sent mean you could probably push my budget quite a long way if you show me the pretties.
I am 5'4ish, size 12/14 with about D/DD bust and a bit of tummy. Dark hair and eyes.
There was a lot of suit wearing going on in the 40's but if you hate suits then I would suggest a tea dress which is any dress with a nipped in waist that flares out with toning tights and high Mary Jane courts or bare legs in summer. Smart and elegant and still appropriate for work without the need to wear a suit. Can be worn with a cropped cardy in winter. Patterned or plain with buttons down the front or not, long or short sleeved...all variations on a theme of fit and flare dresses.
Oh, I don't hate suits - I just can't do trouser suits. Or trousers at all. I own two pairs of jeans but other than that I have not worn trousers for about five years and probably owned all of two pairs in this millenium. They really, really do not work on me.
I love tea dresses, but I would quite like a suit just to feel grown up, I think. I know it is more formal than I strictly need, but hopefully I can find something I will wear and keep.
I had a similar situation recently - first interview in about ten years and am currently a SAHM!
I went for a dress (cheap-ish but I love it and will wear again) and a really good suit jacket that will be forever useful.
Maybe that's an option? Get a VW jacket you love from the website, then take it with you shopping and try on lots of lovely dresses. Maybe a bright shift, or a DVF type wrap or drapey thing, whatever floats your boat. I'd personally avoid floral prints - big flowers or 'ditsy prints' <shudder> as I think they look a bit chaotic, but most day dresses with a good jacket, opaques and good shoes (maybe Mary-Jane or a small chunky platform, or a basic court if you'll wear it again?) will be a better investment. Plus if you start sweating during your viva you can remove the jacket and be wearing a fab dress! Just a watch, or a statement necklace if a plain dress, and you'll rock it. Good luck