Interview Chic: how to land that job and stay individual!

We’ve all been there: you have to look smart for an interview but want to stay stylish and let your uniqueness shine. The question is, how do you strike a balance between the two? As it happens, I found myself in exactly this predicament recently, so I thought I’d share with you how I coped with this age-old conundrum.

My complete interview look

My complete interview look

As you can see, I didn’t stray too far from the time-honoured skirt suit. I teamed a classic black blazer with a patterned midi pencil skirt and a sheer cream blouse with a basic vest underneath. I felt that the midi length was perfect for an interview, and it’s always a good idea to wear layers, e.g. a jacket which you can remove, in case you get given hands-on tasks or assignments during the process. The off-white colours in the skirt tied in nicely with the cream blouse and I brought the overall look up-to-date with a statement (but not too dramatic) necklace and the collarless detail on the blazer, which I thought was really unusual and individual.

A closer look at the outfit’s detailing

In terms of accessories, for job interviews one has to be practical. This means a bag big enough to carry any documents you might need (CV, qualification certifcates, ID, etc), as well as essentials like a bottle of water which never go amiss in more nerve-wracking situations. This one has several useful pockets and compartments, so there was no embarrassing fumbling in the bag during the interview. I am a firm believer that a heel gives you that added confidence boost in an interview, but obviously you don’t want to be tottering around the office or worse, risk tripping up in front of the panel! That’s why I plumped for these chunky mid heel cut-out boots, which are a funky cross between a court shoe (or pump, if you’re in the U.S.) and an ankle boot. These shoes would be perfect to wear in all but the harshest of weather conditions, so I suspect they’ll become a regular feature of my work wardrobe!

Shoes and bags can make or break an outfit!

Shoes and bags can make or break an outfit!

Here’s where I grabbed my interview outfit:

Collarless Blazer, £34.99; Aztec Print Midi Skirt £14.99; Sheer Shirt, £16.99 and Cut-Out Boots, £24.99, all New Look

(I was lucky enough to be able to source almost my entire outfit from one store, which left plenty of time for coffee and gossiping with my shopping buddy. I only had to pop elsewhere for the basic vest and the super stylish and businesslike tote bag!)

Basic White Vest, £3.99, H&M

Large Black Tote Bag, £45, TopShop

Obviously, you don’t need to stick to my rules of interview style, maybe you’re more into statement earrings or prefer to leave the clothes classic and let your shoes do the talking. Whatever your preference, I hope that this post has managed to show that work style does not have to mean boring clothes; if anything, it can add a whole new unique dimension to your closet repertoire!

Oh, and did I land the job? I’m pleased to tell you that yes, I did! 🙂

Handbag Review: Accessorize Hoxton Neon Satchel

I didn’t go out with the intention of having a big spend-up; it was just one those impromptu sprees. You know the sort, you nip into town for coffee with a friend, take a casual wander through the shops and before you know it, the credit card has scorch marks from all that swiping. Personally, these are my favourite kind of shopping trips, ad-hoc, unpremeditated, and quite often deliciously irresponsible.

Among my many and varied purchases from Operation Unexpected Spend was a hot pink Hoxton Neon Satchel from Accessorize. I adore bright colours, especially pink, and I find that satchels are a great combination of stylish and practical, so I knew as soon as I set eyes on this titillating tote that it was destined for my wardrobe. I was instantly drawn to the realistic leather-effect of the material and the gold embellishment, as well as the handy inner pockets for phones, make up and general nick-nacks (I find bags with just a single compartment in which everything just floats around frankly pretty stressful). As if these fab features weren’t enough to have me rushing to the till, it was also not the bank account-basher I was expecting; I braced myself for the seemingly inevitable wince at the price tag, only to find to my pleasant surprise that it was a mere £25, which further cemented my belief that the bag was, indeed, made for me.

I rushed home to complete the laborious task of transferring all my things from my previous handbag to my new shiny pink dream and immediately took it for a spin. I was delighted to find that the bag was the perfect size for all my essentials (purse, phone, make up, etc), without leaving room to fill up with weighty but unnecessary items (endless receipts, water bottles, magazines, etc), which is ideal for someone like me with hoarding tendencies. The bag was lightweight (is there anything more annoying than a bag that weighs a tonne even before you put anything in it?), the quality of the bag in general felt excellent, and I especially liked the gold clasp on the front, which I felt gave added security and, perhaps more importantly, class. One small issue (although by no means a deal-breaker) that I’ve found with the bag is that unlike other satchels I’ve owned, it doesn’t tend to keep its shape well when not done up, which can be a bit problematic if, for instance, you’re trying to do it up in a shop one handed, with an armful of purchases. This also means that once it’s full, it really is full- there’s no walking around with the bag undone and things rammed in the top (although my mum has always told me off for doing that anyway and at least wear and tear should, in theory, be reduced).  Also, the bag may not be suitable for everyday wear purely because of it’s colour which, although fabulous, mightn’t suit every outfit.

Overall, though, it’s safe to say that I’ve officially fallen for this snazzy little satchel. It’s managed to strike the right balance between quirky and classic and is an easy, eye-catching addition to my daywear. You can expect to see it surgically attached to my shoulder for the foreseeable future!

(The bag is available in Accessorize stores or at http://uk.accessorize.com/. It is not, as far as I know, available in any other colours).

Thrift Shop Find: Warehouse Chain and Mirror Drop Earrings

Sometimes good fortune is found in the most unexpected of places. This section, Thrift Shop Find, is here to show you that it’s possible to get glam without getting broke.

This week’s TSF is a brand new pair of Warehouse drop earrings that I picked up for two pounds (original price ten pounds, if the label on the back is to be believed, which I imagine it is). It was one of those ‘I’m buying these and nobody can stop me’ moments; no umming and ah-ing, just straight to the till! Take a look at my new beauties below:

A steal at £2

As you can see, they have a substantial yet subtle square mirror stud at the top which ups the glam and both gold and silver chain work, which means that they can be paired with pretty much any other accessory. They are finished off with a second glass stone within the chains, which really adds some depth to the design. Despite making serious impact, these earrings are surprisingly lightweight, which is great if you want to wear them for dancing all night! Another thing I love about them is that they are so versatile. Here, I’ve created three very different looks which are all offset perfectly with my latest thrift shop addition; a sultry LBD and leopard shoes combo which would be great for night on the tiles; a more ‘street’ look with layers of skull print tops, skinny jeans and wedges (for shopping without the tottering!) and finally an elegant jade and cream vintage look with an oyster-coloured clutch (now when’s that summer wedding, again?) It is my firm belief that you can’t really go wrong with a stunning pair of danglies, so why not check out which gorgeous sparklers await you in you local thrift shop today?