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Ideas for interview outfit in a uber cool creative company

(22 Posts)
Liveinthepresent Sat 10-May-14 08:45:28

help! my best friend is transitioning from corporate life to the world of design.
she has at short notice got her first job interview next week and is having the predictable outfit crisis - clearly a suit isn't right but neither is her weekend wardrobe.
can anyone give her any ideas?
she will probably be able to go high street shopping if required.
she likes H&M.
she is about 5 4 and probably a 14.
thanks in advance for your help.

BIWI Sat 10-May-14 08:50:22

Nothing wrong with a suit for an interview - even if it is in a creative company! (I work in a design-related company)

It's always better to err on the side of smart rather than trying hard to be casual/creative.

What about teaming up the suit with a colourful, less formal top/shirt/blouse? And on arrival at the interview, take the jacket off?

HermioneWeasley Sat 10-May-14 09:33:43

Agree, a suit with a stylish top and some great accessories will work well

flowery Sat 10-May-14 09:38:18

I disagree. I normally think you can't go wrong with a suit, but if she's transitioning from corporate to uber cool creative there will be a concern about that transition and I think turning up in a suit might undermine her attempts to demonstrate she is suited to working in such a different environment and understands that difference.

What do people working in the company wear to work? I think one level smarter than normal working attire in the business is a pretty good guideline, although there will be many more fashion-aware people on here who will be able to advise on actual outfits as I am clueless..!

JustAboutAdeqeuate Sat 10-May-14 09:48:17

I like this, still a suit so smart but the colour isn't 'corporate'.

OnaPromise Sat 10-May-14 09:56:09

I was talking to someone about this recently and she said her boss in creative company said he would write someone off immediately if they appeared in a suit. (However, she in fact, had worn a suit for her interview.) How old is friend?

Roussette Sat 10-May-14 10:02:42

My DC works in that sort of field and I think a suit would be WAY over the top. She needs to wear something cool and edgy, not formal and stuffy. Seperates of some sort but nothing all matchy matchy.

Amethyst24 Sat 10-May-14 10:18:15

This is so difficult! At the companies in this field where I freelance, EVERYONE wears jeans to work but clearly that's a non starter for an interview! I would wear a dress with interesting shoes or non-matching trousers and jacket.

BIWI Sat 10-May-14 10:18:48

It depends, obviously, on the type of suit, I think. If it's a plain black/navy boring suit, then don't wear it. But if it's a well-cut suit in an interesting fabric it doesn't have to say 'boring' or 'uncreative'.

What kind of role is your friend interviewing for?

SuperFlyHigh Sat 10-May-14 10:37:27

You can get away with a pair of black trousers/skirt and jacket (don't have to match) with colourful top, accessories etc for interview.

I worked for 2 architects' firms - first one huge and very trendy, wore black suit, 2nd interview wore blue sheeny Karen Millen suit and got the job (skirt was very short, I was very young, man was interviewing!).

2nd firm - can't remember what I wore but got the job.

In places like this - if you wear suits - you have a meeting or interview, no one wore them otherwise.

You can wear suits but you do need to look smart or different. Cos would be a great hunting ground. My SIL's SIL works for Damien Hurst and can't think what she would wear but interesting accessory, dress etc would work well.

SuperFlyHigh Sat 10-May-14 10:38:39

Does the friend have time to go to the office and spot what they're wearing going in and out?

SuperFlyHigh Sat 10-May-14 10:39:48

VenusDeWillendorf Sat 10-May-14 10:53:42

At size 14 and 5'4" she's stuck a bit for choice of very sleek trendy things to wear, as she hasn't got the height, and at size 14 she's probably a bit lumpy and bumpy in places.

So, she should dress to suit her figure, and herself -if she's hourglass shape, a v neck or wrap dress with a jacket and if she's an apple, a tunic over suit trousers and suit jacket would work.

All this talk of being a super hip and groovy creative job, and needing a super hip and groovy outfit to "go" with that makes my teeth itch, tbh.
It's your brain that's creative, not your wardrobe.

If she's going for a job as financial controller, she should wear whatever is appropriate. If she's changing her career, and leaving corporate life behind in every respect, she should dress as everyone else in that office dresses if she wants to blend in. If she doesn't want to blend in, she should wear something different!

If she's going for a job as a creative, she could make her clothes! Or wear a collage of vogue magazines and mood boards with little velcro tabs round the back to hold them on.

I work in a creative job, and we wear office appropriate clothes, with smart tweaks / accessories for meetings. Our MD wears black polonecks and jeans, everyday, day in day out, and shirts and jeans for summer, with black poloneck if its cold.
I wear dresses, as I'm 5'4" and size 14, lumpy and bumpy, and prefer a non tailored feel: comfort and stretch room is important to me.

It's our brains that do the creativity, not the clothes.
It's not a good sign to me she's more worried about her clothes than what she's there for tbh. But wishing her luck, and faith in herself.

flowery Sat 10-May-14 11:24:49

"It's not a good sign to me she's more worried about her clothes than what she's there for"

I don't think the OP has given any indication that that's the case at all. confused

First impressions count, rightly or wrongly, and it would be naive of her to think what she's wearing doesn't matter. It does. Yes of course it has no bearing on whether she's actually the right person to do the job, but in an interview it's much easier to reinforce an initial favourable impression than it is to overcome a negative one. People like to be proved right in the views they form about others.

VenusDeWillendorf Sat 10-May-14 12:34:13

Well flowery, yes, impressions do count, but being articulate and relaxed is essential in a creative job.

I can understand the OPs dilemma, coming from a more straight laced environment, but really she should let her work do the talking.

If she's going to be in a financial job in the company she should dress like that.
If she's going to be on the design team, then a dress with a statement necklace would do the trick.

I've interviewed a lot of people in the past and after checking they could do the work, and wanted to do it, we always chose the ones who were team players, willing to clean the loos after themselves, and weren't too up themselves about their appearance.

The one person who we employed who was a bad fit wore a matchy-matchy suit - she had come from a big state organisation and thought she was too special and senior to wash the mugs. She went after her probation was up. Mutual decision. She was in to do admin, and in the end I hired a back to the workforce 40 something mum of two teens who was superbly organised and multi taking in her stead. She dressed conservatively, but washed the mugs.

We had 100% creative people who wore bomber jackets and combats, and guys who wore glow stick necklaces, with Mohawks, but most of the staff had mixed roles, creative and also including sales, and wore a more transferable garb, that wouldn't frighten clients.
They were hired on the basis of their past work, skills and experience in various technologies. I never made a decision based on what someone was wearing, rather what they brought to the table, and whether they could muck in.

I think the OPs friend should stop worrying about her clothes, and concentrate on her portfolio, and her work.

Important as appearances go, let's not forget that she's there to work, not pose about being 'uber cool and creative', and looking like a catalogue mannequin, bringing nothing to the business.

I wish her good luck!

AnnabelleDarling Sat 10-May-14 13:17:09

Something from Cos! Every time I go in there it is teaming with architects and ad agency types. One of their dresses abd necklaces would be perfect. You do need to try them on though, I think they are very hard to buy online because of the cuts. Their sizing is generous too, I am a 10 and wear XS or S in Cos.

I hope she gets the job smile

flingingmelon Sat 10-May-14 13:24:43

I hire designers all the time and I must admit if they rocked up in a less than on trend suit they would be playing catch up with me. If they're properly creative it should leak out of them smile

And if suits are off trend it would be interview death. However I interview fashion designers so it couldn't be more important.

I second Cos, or Other Stories. It's hard to buy an outfit in tree and not look cool at the end of it.

Top Shop boutique is also a good bet but the main line stuff is too mainstream.

flingingmelon Sat 10-May-14 13:25:32

'There', not 'tree'!

wonkylegs Sat 10-May-14 13:30:58

I'm an architect I always wear a black suit (skirt & jacket) with cool or really beautiful shoes or jewellery to job interviews / project pitches.
My favourite outfit is a grey silk top, black pencil skirt suit & jacket with a gorgeous pair of shoes (either my pink silk heels or red kitten heels) and some really individual pieces of jewellery I have. It's simple , I'm comfortable and the jewellery says a lot about my personal style.
Architects are also at home in black!
My sister is a graphic designer and she goes for much quirkier combinations but she instinctively knows what works and looks great in them. She just has a knack I'm not sure you can teach.
Our styles are almost opposite but have both got jobs in cool creative environments.

VenusDeWillendorf Sat 10-May-14 13:44:30

Yes flinging, I run a web consultancy, and the work is creative, but in a back end kind of way.
When I ran a more front end design company we had to have the people with the skills, and who were a good fit, and who expressed themselves well. Some clients were a bit put off with the multiple piercings, Mohawk and no ver boots of one genius designer we had, but he was so charming and eccentric, everyone loved him once they started to talk with him.

I've worked with print graphic designers and am always impressed at their colour use in their vintage clothes. I love a good old Pantone palate as well as the next, but for me mustard is a no no to wear as it doesn't suit me at all, and it's always nice to see some vintage psychedelic prints with brown green and mustard on someone who can wear them well, but it's not essential to how I view the designer as a designer.

I tend to work with those who wear a uniform, iykwim. But then creative coding isn't really "seen".

I suppose it depends on what industry the OP's friend is going into.
For her shape and height, a dress with a complimentary style, in a colour that suits her skin tone would be perfect.
Use accessories as your design leads. Wear something that you care about, and feel free to explain why you find it important.

Floisme Sat 10-May-14 17:51:35

Although this isn't quite my field I have worked with a number of creative businesses and it's not all about looking cool - the key word is 'business'. They may dress down on a day-to-day basis but, from my experience, if they are pitching to a client - especially if it's in the corporate world - then they are as suited and booted as the rest of them.

If I was going for an interview somewhere like that I would want my outfit to signal that I was comfortable in both environments. I would probably go for a smart but modern dress or suit then team it with with interesting jewellry, shoes etc.

Liveinthepresent Sat 10-May-14 18:35:41

thanks so much for the replies - its interesting how wide ranging the opinions were - not a clear cut case at all.
I think she is going to check out Cos - she has her own style anyway and I think she will look great in their stuff. I am going to show her the thread later so she can look at all the ideas. I think this is one of those occasions where she really needs to feel confident as its an amazing opportunity that she wasn't really expecting to come up yet. She isn't expecting to undergo a complete makeover - just not make the wrong impression.
Superflyhigh great idea to check out the other people - I don't know if she has time - but your suggestions are probably along right lines as its possibly in line with architects rather than the world of fashion - its high end garden design - Chelsea flower show medal winning type stuff. Am very excited for her!
thanks all.

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