Dressing for a job interview can be very stressful. But think about how you can find your perfect look, appearing professional but still letting your personality shine through. Photo/ MCT Campus

To make a little bit of extra money I went to work with my dad all day Friday doing some secretary work and odds and ends around his office. I met a lot of new people and even got a summer job offer, which made me realize just how important networking is.

I spent the day fantasizing about how nice it would be to work somewhere more professional over the summer, allowing me to get away from my normal summer job in retail. That lead to a chain of thoughts that sounded like “I would love to have steady hours,” “This would prepare me for a job after college” and of course “I would be able to dress in more professional clothes!”

The idea of a new job really interested me since I’ve been working at the same place since I was 16. And then I realized it has been years since I’ve had a job interview.

So I started thinking right away about what kind of clothing would be appropriate for a professional job interview. While office attire is not as standard as it used to be, I wanted to think of some looks that would be appropriate for work but also still let my style shine through.

Just because it’s a job interview does not mean we can’t still be creative with how we dress. Below are my starter ideas for some stylish and sophisticated office looks.

Basics

For those who want to remain slightly casual, dress pants and a top could be the way to go. My favorite dress pants are either very flared (great for pairing with high heels or wedges) or high-waisted. Both kinds are flattering in their own ways and both can be purchased in some great neutral colors, such as black and taupe. Pairing a shirt with this can be pretty easy. Try a blouse in a brighter color since the pants are usually going to be dark. Stick with a button up if you’re feeling safe, but if you would rather have more fun try something with lace or with a bold pattern.

Skirts & Dresses

For those who feel that something dressier is the best way to go, skirts and dresses can be very effective (and even fun to wear). As far as skirts go I prefer ones that are less standard. I like asymmetrical cuts and high waistlines.

My favorite work dresses would be the ones with collars or bows at the top. Try looking for ones with skinny belts around them as well. With choices like these are you practically unlimited with the different colors and  patterns. Have fun with it to let your personality shine through.

Shoes

Ah, now for my favorite part. For frequent readers of my column I have talked many times about how much I love shoes. I prefer heels for an office setting but since you don’t want to be uncomfortable all day my advice would be to stick with a lower heel or even a cute kitten heel.

Small heels can do a world of difference with your outfit by making it more sophisticated. I know that heels are not everyone’s favorite shoe choice, and I’m not going to argue that the perfect pair of flats can also look great with any work outfit.

If you choose to go the flat route it might be fun to dress in darker colors and wear a bright pair of flats to make them pop. Pair these shoes with some equally bright jewelry for even more flair. Even try a cute cap-toe pair of flats in duel tones.

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Haley Twist is the former Niner Times Editor-in-Chief. A Religious Studies student who worked with the Niner Times for two years, she has previously served as the Lifestyle Editor and the Arts & Entertainment Editor for the paper. She is a 2012 recipient of the Randall Beavers Memorial Award and a 2013 recipient of the Shameka Smith-Hamilton Award.

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