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25.09.2012- The M&S Style Challenge: Part One

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

With the job market being more competitive than ever at the moment, there's no denying that making the right impression at an interview has never been more important. Having myself left university last year and having since applied for what feels like every entry-level position under the sun, I'm acutely aware of how tough it is to make yourself stand out to potential employers, and have experienced firsthand the dreaded wardrobe dilemma of what to wear to an interview. We all know that first impressions are hugely important- turn up for work in scruffy jeans and a t-shirt and the chances are you're not going to get much further than a few disgruntled looks and some quizzically raised eyebrows. Having said that, it's almost impossible (if not hugely expensive) to put together a new outfit for every interview you go to, so it's with this fact in mind that I've been invited to take part a very special M&S style challenge. The premise couldn't be simpler- over the next four weeks, myself and a selection of other bloggers will be styling a staple dress or suit from Marks and Spencer for a variety of workplace scenarios, proving how it is possible to make one core piece work for a range of different contexts. Not only is it a challenge which is really (spookily in fact!) relevant to where I find myself at at the moment, but it's one which I also hope will encourage me to make the most of a handful of forgotten gems from my wardrobe. So, without any further ado, the challenge for week one is as follows:

Creative but classy- create an interview outfit for a fashion role at a well-known UK fashion brand.

Dress- c/o Marks and Spencer
Jacket- River Island
Top- River Island
Collar- c/o Marks and Spencer
Tights- ASOS
Bag- Accessorize
Shoes- Topshop

The dress which I've chosen as my staple piece for the four week challenge is the Limited Collection Textured Contrast Dress, and for this first challenge I was really keen to experiment with how it can be styled. For this week's brief, I thought it was important to create a look which was smart but which also captured a sense of trend awareness and creativity, so I opted to layer the dress with a separate top. Not only does this stop the outfit from being too bland by breaking up the grey, but the scalloped detailing at the hem is quite fashion forward- perfect for demonstrating some style savvy to your potential employers. On top of this, I dressed the look up a little bit with this beautiful peter pan collar from Marks and Spencer, which again helps the outfit feel on trend and adds another layer of texture. After recently re-discovering this jacket from River Island in my wardrobe, it seemed like the perfect piece to tie everything together with, especially as the loosely tailored fit lends a less structured feel but still keeps everything feeling smart. Lastly, I chose to finish this look with my oversized bag from Accessorize (perfect for carrying around any paperwork or a portfolio should you need them for your interview) and some simple loafers from Topshop, picking up on the tan accent colour which runs through the pattern of the dress.

Do you struggle with putting together interview outfits? And do you have a selection of staple pieces which you wear to work?

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)

7 comments:

  1. This is the perfect interview ensemble! It's so important to capture your personality in what you wear, after all, first impressions are SO crucial in interviews. And being comfy too, you look really relaxed and "you" in this outfit :) <3

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  2. I love this outfit for an interview. It's smart but still individual. I wore a super boring suit to my interviews a few years ago but I'd definitely wear something a bit more "me" these days. x

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  3. I love this and the shimmer and collar are fun and make you stand out. I really dislike peope who don't inject personality into their interview clothing. It's not very important in my role but how you look/looking professional makes a big difference in some spheres x

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  4. you look so awesome <3 i do love this look and your dress is super cute <3

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  5. Wow! nice outfit) like your blouse so much)))
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