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Job search apparel

I'm a very t-shirt, jeans and converse kinda gal, and the job I've been at for the passed 2 years is EXTREMELY lax on what we wear to work. I'm now in the process of looking for a new job, and I don't know what to wear LOL! I'm not going for anything super professional, mostly clerical office filing jobs. Either way, I know I need to look professional. So, I'm wondering...

Can I wear khaki slacks and a button up shirt? Are flats good or should I have something will a small heal? Do blazers really matter? If I'm going around with resumes, what kind of bag should I carry with me? Is it better to wear your hair up, or is straightened ok?

I know some of these questions seem strange, but people think I'm 16, I'm 28 btw, and sometimes when they see me they don't take me seriously because they assume I've just graduated HS or something LOL, so I want to look 'older' therefore I'm trying to put extra thought into my job search wear.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Answer Question

Asked by brandy0827 at 10:52 AM on Mar. 2, 2011 in Money & Work

Level 9 (335 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • I've been job searching myself, and I have one interview outfit. It varies a little, but it's basically the same every time. It changes a little depending on where the interview is, but here's the basics: I wear a pair of black dress pants, and either a nice shirt by itself or under a black jacket (the jacket is usually for more "dressy" places). I wear appropriate jewelry (a necklace or some bangles), and I wear a pair of black patent flats I have - because I don't drive, I usually have to walk from the train/bus to get to my interview, and I want to be comfy.
    There's no harm in dressing a little nicer than it might be expected at the actual job - it shows you're serious about it.

    Answer by AdensMama0308 at 10:59 AM on Mar. 2, 2011

  • Flats are fine, but I would go with dress trousers (like in black or grey) and not khakis. And maybe a cardigan if the weather calls for it.

    Answer by CraftingMama at 11:00 AM on Mar. 2, 2011

  • I am answering this having applied for teaching jobs...and gotten them..(Not necessarily on my appearance.The credentials I had , years of experience and the employer's needs had a lot to do with it. but dressing well completes the package.
    I always dressed in a classical style.and carried a nice -looking briefcase- looking thing that had my papers in it. plus my purse...I had my right hand ready to shake the prospective employer's hand.-even if she was a woman.
    As far as clothes...for this one occasion skirt, loose sweater or pressed blouse...simple jewelry NO PIERCINGS, solid colors. You can pull off slacks with a blazer, Shoes-what is comfortable for you.
    Take a second look at your hair and determine if it could be changed to make you look older...
    Wear a huge smile on your face...Walk with that air of confidence you have to get that job.
    Good luck, mama...I'll be thinking of you....

    Answer by VeronicaTex at 11:14 AM on Mar. 2, 2011

  • If you're just going place to place turning in applications or talking to someone, then you can dress a little more casual, but obviously clean and well put together. Flats are fine, hair down is fine, just so that it looks groomed. A small bag is fine, or you can just take in a folder with your stuff in it.

    If you get an interview, obviously you'll need to dress up a little more. The rule of thumb is to dress one step higher than the job you are applying. So if's a clerical position where business casual is ok, then you might need a small heeled shoe, black, gray, or navy dress pants usually work better to say "professional." You can pair those with a white button down, small heeled shoe, minimal jewelry, and you'll look very nice. You don't want to look like you're trying too hard, but you don't want to look like you don't care.

    Answer by SherriPie at 11:22 AM on Mar. 2, 2011

  • Black slacks; nice shirt; coordinated blazer

    Answer by rkoloms at 1:09 PM on Mar. 2, 2011

  • Business classic - black slacks or shirt, white or solid colored shirt, blazer with flats or low heel.

    Answer by tasches at 2:47 PM on Mar. 2, 2011

  • I agree with everyone else, I actually went to an interview for an office job in a skirt suit, jacket and all and the interviewer said I was overdressed, I got called in for a second interview and I wore dress slacks and a nice shirt, and as was said before I don't think they go so much by what you wear but more so by your credentials. And this place was big on attitude and whether or not I would be a good fit for their team. BTW I got the job.

    Answer by april1967 at 6:39 PM on Mar. 2, 2011

  • A skirt and blouse is the most appropriate. No loud colors. A little makeup is ok, but don't go overboard. It doesn't matter how you wear your hair so long as it's neat. Avoid perfume. Stick to a neutral colored bag and make sure it's clean and in decent shape.

    Answer by HotMama330 at 12:07 PM on Mar. 3, 2011

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