First published on jennyrebholz.com
A woman always knows when not to go shopping. When she is broke, when she is bloated, or when she is having a bad hair day (nothing looks good when your hair looks horrendous). So, of course, two days before my first ‘post employment’ interview, I started to freak out about what to wear and decided… broke, bloated and while having a bad hair day, to go shopping.
As you may imagine, this did not go well. First of all, everything I have ever read about interview attire started playing through my mind as I walked through the stores. Things like “always wear a suit,” and “navy blue is a power color.”
So, I was at the Banana Republic outlet store with a pile of suits, too expensive for someone in my financial situation, in one arm, and a pile of navy blue clothes in the other, and with these I marched into the dressing room.
First off, do not, I repeat, do NOT try on suits when you’re bloated! Wow, this was a low moment in my life and I realized in that instant I am not meant for suits! I am a short, plump, little woman, and instead of looking like Dr. Lisa Cuddy (from the show, House, for those of you who don’t know) I just looked frumpy. Granted the bloating and bad hair played a role in this, but I digress.
I moved on to the navy blue. I had in my hands some very tailored blue pants, blouses, sweaters… and after a few quick changes I realized that along with yellow, navy blue is a color that I apparently cannot pull off. Something about my extra fair skin and freckles just doesn’t mesh well with the dull hue of navy blue. Cobalt, now that is another story. I stood in front of the mirror, looking at myself in a fabulous cobalt blue blouse (which I grabbed against the protests of the interview attire voices in my head), loving what I saw, and I started to panic… for real. Could I wear cobalt? Does that break the rules? Would this shirt be enough to make up for the lack of a proper suit and an aversion to navy blue? Would I totally botch this interview based on my outfit??!!
In a moment like this, my friends, seek help. I dug in my purse, found my cell phone, and started pushing buttons. My text message went something like this: “I am freaking out about what to wear to my interview… please help!”
And thank goodness, Julie #1 came to the rescue. Her response: “Since you don’t need to appear “designer-y” some nice black pants, a sweater and a scarf should be fine.”
Duh. Yes. Pants. Sweater. Scarf. I love scarves!
I left Banana Republic with a few things in my bag, none of which was a suit or anything remotely resembling navy blue. The next day, for the interview, I put on some black pants and a grey sweater over a white blouse. When I walked in and shook hands with Jessica, my interviewer, I took notice that she too was wearing black pants, a blouse and a sweater and I breathed a sigh of relief. At that moment I was off to a good start, at least with the outfit…