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Looks like I have a job interview next week - for a technical/engineering/IT type firm- I am being considered for a project manager role. Company is mostly male dominated.
Have just had a looooong career break and, looking through my wardrobe, I realise that all of my old work clothes look badly out of date and fit badly (may have lost a little weight and certainly clothes don't tend to be that "loose fitting" anymore...).
I kind of want to look professional, smart and attractive (but in a professional manner). I am early 40s, slim (size 8/10) and well toned/fit.
Am wondering if I can get away with a nice Ralph Lauren knee length jersey type material dress under a tailored jacket. Dress is short sleeved, but would keep the jacket on. Have the same style in either an abstract (yet very tasteful) monotone print or a plain conservative colour.
Or should I look for a more tailored dress (LK Bennett/Hobbs... open to suggestions) or should I really go down the trouser suit line?
In normal everyday life, I am a slim jeans or slim cropped trousers person, but always dresses for smart wear.
Am keen for suggestions for the interview abc for a working wardrobe (brands etc).
I'm not in that field, but the dress/jacket combo sounds perfect. I don't think suits are now a requirement in interviews. I worked in an engineering company in a PR role for a few years, and my outfits were much the same as they are now - dress/opaques/brogues, blouse/black skinny jeans/ankle boots type stuff. I used to organise quite a lot of fancy black-tie events for the company, but other than that it was fairly relaxed - the majority of the blokes were in jeans, managers trousers/shirt/tie, but seldom proper suits.
Dress & jacket sounds fine, although I'd probably go with the conservative dress colour rather than the print. I work as a Programme Manager (in financial services so very male dominated) and usually wear jersey type dresses (they don't need ironing!) with a smart jacket and scarf/statement jewellery. Must admit that I tend to wear all black to interviews. Partly because it errs on the side of super conservative and partly because if I get nervous/careless and pour coffee on myself, it doesn't show!
AhAgain I get most of my jersey work dresses from Jaeger, either an outlet store or online when they're having a sale (which seems to be almost all the time these days). I find that often they look quite dull/frumpy on the hanger but when you put them on, they're cut very well and are very flattering.
Massimo Dutti may have something suitable too. LK Bennett do superbly cut trousers and jackets and you could look at Whistles or Jigsaw. I like cigarette trousers for interview with a good quality shirt. If it is a hot day you may wish you didn't have to keep the jacket on. I would look for a dress that you can wear on its own and ditch a jacket that is an afterthought and isn't matching. A dress, good shoes and bag and decent jewellery say more about your personality than a jacket.
Managed a shopping trip today and must admit that I was rather disappointed with a lot of what I tried on - quite frumpy and shapeless mainly. I also wonder if the shops where I live arw generally favouring "wedding"/"holiday" dresses as opposed to work ones,
Tried LK Bennett, Jigsaw, Whistles, Hobbs and House of Fraser. Ended up with a black and cream wrap dress and black jacket from Hobbs, Flattering, smart, conservative and works without the jacket. Saw some other things that would work for work clothes, but maybe not conservative enough for an interview (where I want to play safe with colours and patterns). If I get the job, will go back for the black trousers that go with the jacket.
Sounds good! Make sure you break your new shoes in before your interview (I'm only saying that as I went to an interview earlier this month wearing new shoes and was worried I'd go skidding across the company's very shiny lobby floor in my perfect new leather soles. Duh!)
Good luck for your interview. Please let us know how you get on.