+ Work Wednesdays

Work Wednesday: Creative and Casual Interview Attire

Last week, we discussed interview attire for a conservative/professional environment.  But what about the ladies who work in a creative space (PR, design) or a casual field (tech, construction)?

Whether you’re dressing for a professional office or a more relaxed one, the fundamentals are the same: jacket, skirt/pants, heels, bag.  But you can remold this foundation using color, texture, print and metallics.

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Necklace: Meghna Green Carved Pendant ($145) // Bag: Ivanka Trump Dome Satchel ($175) // Top: Otte NY Binding Tank ($179) // Skirt: Sofia Pleated Skirt ($153) // Jacket: Rebecca Taylor Inset Jacket ($425) // Shoes: DvF Bethany Pump ($325)

For this outfit, I chose a pleated skirt with hints of cerulean and chocolate-brown on a navy field.  Then, I added a coordinating blue blouse and topped it with a white jacket.  The peplum shape on the jacket complements the pleated skirt, and the tortoise shoe pulls the hints of brown out of the skirt’s print.

I also consider this Clover Canyon skirt in a geometric print with coral, tan and aqua.  I would have paired it with this sleeveless henley from Target in a similar soft aqua.

While I could have gone with a simple tan satchel and this long snake pendant, I wanted to add another color to the mix.  Emerald and blue play well together, so I went with green.  I also chose a long pendant with substance so the green color would really get its due and pair well with the bag.  It really pulls the accessories together.

Need more tips on dressing for a more creative office?  I thought this Oprah article had some good advice.

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Earrings: Big Bang Fan Studs ($90) // Bag: Danielle Nicole Cobalt Satchel ($98) // Polish: Jin Soon Azurite Nail Color ($18) // Top: Mirror Slinky Tee ($56) // Pants: Minnie Twill Pant ($90) // Jacket: Slim Peplum Zip Jacket ($96) // Shoes: Steven Caydence Ankle Strap ($99)

Truth be told, it’s been over a decade since I worked in a casual office.  It was a water delivery company, and everyone just wore jeans.  I, the freshly graduated, adding politico killing time before grad school started, wore jeans and jackets with flats.  So for this outfit, I tried to think about what I would want to wear if I was interviewing at Living Social or some other tech start-up.

Again, I took the fundamental elements of interview attire and changed them up.  The jacket is sweatshirt material with a zipper detail and a peplum.  The top is not a blouse, but a graphic tee.  (I also thought about a Zoe Karssen message tee.)  I finished the look with a slim trouser (you could wear jeans, if it’s that kind of office, but I would do so with great caution), and I added a killer metallic-foil shoe to the mix.

For the accessories, I added a cobalt bag to pull hints of blue from the pattern in the shirt.  I then chose an earring that had a complementary geometric print.  A pyramid stud would also be a good choice.  And finished it off with a really cool, dark blue nail polish from Jin Soon.

With the nail polish, it’s perfect for a hip, trendy office.  However, if you’re interviewing in a casual office that also happens to be traditional (a construction company for example), I’d skip it and go with bare nails.

If you have any tips on dressing for casual and creative interviews, please leave them in the comments.

LEAVE A COMMENT

    6 comments

  1. Joules says:

    I work in the technology industry and I’d just like to commend you on your creative outfit. It looks fab and would be great at my office! 🙂

    Style by Joules

    March 26, 2014/Reply
    • Caroline says:

      Yeah, I find myself wearing outfits like this (though I tend to lean more towards skirts). I work mostly with older men, and even after 8 years I still have no idea what’s appropriate to wear. My only female coworker, who just retired, wore some variation of khakis/polo shirt/fleece pullover every day, but that simply isn’t my style. Most women in my office wear something like that (or replace the polo with an ill-fitting button-down). I prefer pencil skirts and heels but often worry I’m being too dressy/fashionable/feminine.

      March 27, 2014/Reply
  2. SLG says:

    I work in marketing at a tech company with a culture that’s Living-Social-esque, for lack of a better word, and I occasionally interview candidates. Either of these outfits would be good for an interview.

    I also echo Belle’s advice to wear jeans to an interview only with great caution. I wear jeans to work all the time, but if a candidate showed up in them, that would seem a little odd.

    And if I could put in a word to all those interviewing: If they’re calling you in for an interview, they already think you’re qualified. 🙂 If you look professional and appropriate but a picky interviewer has a problem with some detail of your clothing, you probably don’t want to work with them anyway. Dress professionally, be confident, focus on explaining how your skills can benefit the company, and you’ll do great!

    March 26, 2014/Reply
  3. Megan says:

    I love the outfits you put together but that Oprah article you linked to is not realistic. Sure the outfits look good, but seriously, what law intern can afford Louboutins? I seriously question Oprah’s reality schematic after reading that.

    March 26, 2014/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Obviously, I just thought the ideas (printed jackets, dresses with blazers) were helpful. If your intern is wearing Louboutins, that is probably not a visual you want voters to see.

      March 26, 2014/Reply
  4. RoseAG says:

    Those are really nice creative outfits that definitively do not leave professional behind.

    As to Oprah: magazines and stylists get freebies and perks from using certain brands in photographs. If it costs more than I would even consider spending I ignore it and think about the style or color. If you know what you’re looking for it’s amazing how you’ll see it at lower price points.

    March 26, 2014/Reply