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Via The Irish News : Fashion: Tips on how to look the part when you’re going for a job interview

Want some advice on what to wear to a job interview? Katie Wright asks fashion historian Amber Butchart for her advice

INTERVIEWS can be extremely nerve-wracking affairs, especially if you’re in the running for your dream job, so doing everything you can to boost your confidence is a good idea – and that includes your outfit.

“A job interview begins with first impressions, and your clothes and grooming are a key part of this,” says Amber Butchart, a fashion historian and expert who has appeared on the BBC’s Great British Sewing Bee.

Butchart is working with careers app Debut on its ‘Dress to Impress for £10’ campaign, which is currently running and involves more than 650 charity shops.

Representing 42 different charities, each shop will curate a selection of workwear staples priced at £5 each in order to help jobseekers find affordable interview clothing.

“Overall, it’s really important to wear something you feel comfortable, confident and smart in,” Butchart says.

“Your clothes can affect your body language and the way you project yourself to future employers, so it’s of utmost importance that you feel like the best version of yourself.”

Follow the fashion expert’s advice and you can achieve just that. Here, she shares her top tips for sartorial success…

Research the dress policy of the company

“This will not only allow you to turn up to the interview properly attired, but will show you’ve taken time and consideration before you’ve even arrived.”

Don’t be afraid to wear colour

“…but not too much. A shock of colour can help to make you stand out and make a bold statement, but avoid clashing prints or colours unless your interview is working in the arts or creative industries. (While I am a huge fan of clashing colours and prints, I’m aware not everyone shares my passion!)”

A suit isn’t essential

“Smart separates can be better than an ill-fitting or poorly-made suit, so don’t be beholden to the idea that a suit is an essential.

“However, a well-fitting suit in a contemporary cut is always a winner, so don’t be put off by worries that you might look too formal.

If in doubt, dress up

“Remember that the interview is how you’re selling yourself, so it’s not unusual to dress slightly more formally than you would for the position itself.

“Avoid jeans and T-shirts unless you are really sure that the company has a relaxed attitude to dress, or actively encourages casual dressing (for example, the tech industry). Even in these cases, it might not be appropriate for an interview.”

Choose your shoes carefully

“Shoes are important, but there’s no need to spend a fortune to look appropriate. Avoid open-toed shoes (flip flops are absolutely out), but white, low-rise sneakers (think Adidas Stan Smiths) have become something of a fashion classic in recent years, and can add a fresh, contemporary element to your professional look.

“Don’t feel you have to wear high heels to an interview, but if they make you feel confident, wear them with pride!”

Be presentable

“The details matter: make sure your socks match and your clothes aren’t creased as otherwise this could reflect poorly on your organisational skills.

“Everyone should avoid clothing that is too tight or too baggy or too sheer. You want to feel comfortable, presentable and professional.”

Via Quartz : Who do you dress for when you dress for work?

This is a story of sartorial glory and dressing for success, yet not to impress the boss or anyone in your office. It’s a tale for the internally driven and the growing number of us who work from home.

Last year, more than 5% of US employees worked from home full-time. A 2016 survey of 15,000 people found that 43% of workers spent at least a part of their time working remotely. That means nearly half of us could labor naked if we chose to do so. No one would ever know.

So why bother getting dressed?

Clothes do not truly make the man or the woman. Still, psychologists have found that what we wear impacts our thinking. A 2015 study in Social Psychological and Personality Science measured how subjects performed on a series of five cognitive tests when dressed in both formal and casual clothing. Dressing elegantly, it turns out, increased abstract thinking, which is associated with creativity and long-term strategizing.

Researchers believe that the reason for the improved performance in formal clothing is that people simply feel more powerful and capable when dressed for business. “The findings demonstrate that…the clothing worn influences cognition broadly, impacting the processing style that changes how objects, people, and events are construed,” they conclude.

Style and substance are intertwined. Form and function work together on an unconscious level. Besides sending signals to others, what we wear influences self-perception, so wherever you work and whether or not anyone shares the space, it’s worth trying to make a good impression on the one person you’ll never escape—you.

The associations we make with garments affect cognitive processes, a phenomenon psychologists in 2012 named “enclothed cognition.” Wearing certain things gives us a sense of competence, and even how an item is characterized will change the way we perform in it.

Call a white cotton smock a doctor’s lab coat and people feel more focused, according to a study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. Yet the same garb, dubbed a “painter’s smock,” made subjects no more focused than they had been wearing street clothes. “[E]nclothed cognition involves the co-occurrence of two independent factors—the symbolic meaning of the clothes and the physical experience of wearing them,” the researchers argue.

Effortless style

If you work from home, wearing a lab coat would feel absurd. And donning a three-piece suit to sit alone at a computer is absolutely unnecessary. Indeed, that level of elegance isn’t called for in almost any setting today, given the casual tendencies of the postmodern workplace.

Silicon Valley in the 1980s brought us not only new technology but the advent of “business casual,” a relaxed approach to workwear that transformed our idea of power dressing. Looking like a billion bucks does not require a business suit anymore. Tech magnates don’t dress up (except when testifying in Congress). They wear turtlenecks, expensive T-shirts and hoodies, or increasingly, vests.

Meanwhile, the rest of us have taken a cue from these dudes who profess not to care about how they dress. For example, Katie Notpoulos of Buzzfeed News tried a one-week experiment wearing a “power vest” to see if it would make her feel like a “tech bro.”

It didn’t work. ”Instead of feeling powerful, I felt like a fucking dork,” she writes. “I’m not the most fashionable person in the world, but I like to look nice and I care about clothes. A good outfit can make me feel good, and wearing a blazer makes me feel professional.” She decided the power vest is a form of male privilege.

As a vest-wearing woman, I have to disagree with this conclusion specifically but not the underlying sentiment. I see Notpoulos’ angle on blazers (wear one over a power vest!) and certainly agree that what works for Jeff Bezos doesn’t necessarily work for the rest of us, especially not women.

Notably, even the seeming carelessness of Silicon Valley superstars is contrived, as stylist to the tech set, Victoria Hitchcock, tells Vox. Her clients spend thousands of dollars to be coached in the art of ”effortless style.” They hire her to create a wardrobe that only seems uncontrived but is actually carefully studied.

“I want my clients to look like they don’t care,” Hitchcock explains. Yet she also wants them to understand that being invested in their appearance isn’t stupid or superficial. It is life-affirming.

The spirituality of superficiality

As Hitchcock points out, dressing well is a recognition of personal value. You could dress to impress your colleagues and probably pull off going to meetings in your underwear with just a shirt on if you work from home. But doing so robs you of the power that a good outfit provides.

It’s also living a lie, as if we exist only in the eyes of others, as if we need to dupe people into believing we’ve got it together while secretly being whatever it is you are when you work in your skivvies. If anything, it’s more important to have a personal sense of order than it is to prove to anyone else that you are somehow normal or appropriate.

Your colleagues probably don’t mind if you wear a ball gown and tiara, a tuxedo or boxers, or your pajamas. But we don’t exist for others to approve of us. Ideally, we do the things we do to impress ourselves and be our best, to express a sense of inherent dignity, whether in a T-shirt and jeans, a power vest, or a dress.

I’ve worked at home full-time for more than two years and no editor will ever know what I wore while drafting stories. The creatures that do see me—a cat, a dog, and a man–do not visibly pass judgment. Still, I get dressed every morning, donning my uniform of the moment. Usually it’s just jeans and a button-down shirt purchased in four different versions which I switch every few months—my last few phases were flowered, all white, then pastels, and I’m currently into overpriced striped T-shirts. Sometimes I wear a dress to sit alone at a desk where no one will see me, and like the lab-coat experiment, I’ll also don a blazer on occasion to adopt a professorial or lawyerly mindset or to channel the writer Ray Bradbury.

Even if my colleagues saw my look, they would probably not be impressed, nor would it register as dressing for work necessarily. That’s not the point. My uniform, though simple, works for me. It demarcates the line between night and day, rest and labor. It imposes order, sends my mind a signal. It’s like making the bed in the morning, brushing my teeth or washing my face, a way to mark the official start of the day.

Clothes serve as meditative aids. Getting dressed is like ringing a meditation bell. The superficial is spiritual. According to the Buddhist teacher Chogyam Trungpa in his classic book Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior, caring for oneself and one’s appearance recognizes that the gift of existence involves upkeep. It’s not egotistical as much as it is mindful—and it doesn’t matter what we wear as long as we choose our clothes carefully.

The 17th century Japanese poet Ueshima Onitsura didn’t dress for anyone else. In a haiku, he put it best. “Though I have no lover, I too rejoice: the change of clothes.”

Via Harpers’ Bazaar : What to Wear To A Fashion Internship

As told by our very own Harper’s Bazaar Arabia assistants

Making a good impression at your first day on the job is always important – when it’s in a fashion office, you’re expected to bring sartorial your A-game. Ahead, four Harper’s Bazaar Arabia assistants reveal how to look polished and professional without compromising on your personal style.

Angelique Gourdon, digital assistant

“Never wear more than one statement piece. I also usually don’t wear more than two colours. Simple-chic is my motto.”

Top by Zara, Jumpsuit by Fashionnova, Bag by Stella McCartney, Sneakers by Puma Fenty Top by Zara, Denim Pants by Fashionnova, Denim Jacket by Levis, Collar Necklace by West LA, Bag by Burberry, Slides by Zara T-shirt by Fiorucci, Skirt and jacket by H&M, Body Chain by Forever21, Lace-up pumps by Zara

Jude Bawalsa, fashion & beauty assistant

“Don’t be afraid to mix casual with formal. Grab your fanciest skirt and throw in a graphic tee with sneakers – that’s my go-to outfit.”

Top is Yeezus concert merch, Skirt from Asos, Bag is Vintage Dior, Sneakers by Golden Goose (picture 1) Bodysuit and fanny pack by Topshop, Skirt by Zara, Gladiator sandals from Stuart Weitzman (picture 2) Off-shoulder shirt and midi skirt by Zara, Bag by Balenciaga, Sandals by &other stories (picture 3).

Georgia Withers, digital assistant

“For work I always go for ensembles that are feminine mixed with smart-casual. Accessorising with a nice belt and good shoes goes a long way and makes outfits more versatile. If you want some height then opt for midi block heels, so you can last the day.”

Blouse and Jeans by Asos, Shoes by Gucci (picture 1) Top by H&M, Dress by Zara, Belt by Gucci, Shoes by Public Desire (picture 2) Top is vintage, Belt by Gucci, Skirt by H&M, Shoes by Public Desire (picture 3).

Natasha Law, events assistant

“I always go for a minimal and clean aesthetic at work. I think it’s important not to surrendor to trends and just dress according to your body type. I love to mix it up with a smart all-black look and comfortable flats for out-of-office meetings. On a more relaxed day, I’d wear a pretty printed linen top paired with white smart-casual pants and delicate sandals. It’s so hot in Dubai so layering isn’t much of an option.”

Top by Zara, pants by Aritzia, sandals (pic 1) Black t-shirt by Banana Republic, pants by Zara, sneakers by Balenciaga (pic 2) Blouse by Zara, pants by Marlene Birger, black flats (pic 3)

Via MENSXP : 5 Ways To Look Good At Work Without Breaking The Dress Code

While some people have the freedom to wear ALMOST anything at work, the vast majority actually works at organisations that have a strict dress code in place. This makes things a bit complicated for those who want to look their fashionable best in office as the options tend to be limited to just formal wear.

But wanting to look your stylish and modish best is something you should never compromise on, and as it turns out, there are things you could do that will help you achieve that without having you flout your company’s rules. So on that note, here are five ways you can look fashion-forward at your workplace WITHOUT breaking your organisation’s dress code:

1) Get Creative With Your Choice Of Formal Shirts

A formal shirt is basically the go-to staple for all men who have to comply with a dress code policy at work. So when you can’t get away from them, why not embrace them in a creative way? While you have to wear formal shirts to work, there are no restrictions at being a bit creative with your choices. So opting for unique colours, micro ditsy prints and checks and unique patterns, as long as they aren’t completely overpowering, is highly advisable.

Pro tip: If you wanted to invest in new formal shirts, but happen to be on a budget, then here are some of the best formal shirts for men under Rs 1,499.

2) Go For Unique And Complementary Colour Combinations

As there are countless ways in which you can team up a formal shirt with a pair of formal trousers, going for unique but complementary colour combinations can never hurt you. So opting for combinations like navy blue and white, beige and sky blue, brown and pink (yes pink!) will surely make you stand out from the clutter of basic whites and blacks.

3) Get The Right Pair Of Formal Shoes

In many ways, having to wear formal shoes to comply with a dress code can actually be a blessing in disguise. After all, if worn in the right way, formal shoes can help you adorn an incredibly stylish and fashion-forward ensemble. As such investing in brown brogues, black derby shoes and even navy blue oxfords will give you the right footing (pun intended!) to look good.

Pro tip: You can never go wrong with brown shoes, so get as many brown shoes as you can and you’ll be good to go.

4) Upgrade Your Beard Game

Unlike their female counterparts, men have the advantage of investing in their beard and mooch game to look good at their workplace without breaking or flouting the dress code. So get your hands on the best beard oils, the best beard trimmers and the best moustahce waxes out there to upgrade your beard game and become super desirable.

5) Minimalistic Accessorising Can Be A Boon

Understandably, you cannot over-accessorise at your workplace without flouting its dress policy. But minimalistic accessorising can actually be a major boon, especially if you’re creative enough to do it the right way. So wearing a wrist watch that matches your shoes, a tie that compliments your shirt and trousers, and even the type of glasses you wear to work can make a huge difference in making you appear modish and super desirable.

Via The Balance : What Is Business Casual Attire for Work?

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Business Casual Attire for Work?

Business casual refers to a particular style of business attire for the workplace. Business casual is adopted by organizations that have decided employees will more comfortably work wearing clothing that is less formal than the clothing that dominated the traditional workplace.

The definition of business casual varies from organization to organization as each has its own workplace standards and expectations. Companies that rarely host customers or clients may offer employees a casual work environment. But increasingly, even workplaces that host customers offer employees the option if it’s just in the form of a casual Friday.

Advantages of Business Casual

Employees experience these advantages in a business casual environment.

  • More comfortable clothing at work. This can have a positive impact on employee morale and motivation.
  • Some employees may find that they can get ready for work more quickly in the morning and that they can make the transition from work to a variety of other activities without having to change clothes.
  • Business casual clothing can cost considerably less than formal attire. In addition to the basic cost, the cost of maintaining the clothing can be lower with fewer trips to the dry cleaners.
  • Employees may express their individual personalities and creativity through the clothing they select for work.
  • Business casual may lower the status barriers between levels in an organization’s hierarchy with the price and appearance of business attire less strikingly different between well-paid executives and other employees.
  • For employees who favor casual work environments, the creativity of expression, comfort at work, and less stratification among levels of employees, business casual is a powerful recruiting tool and an appreciated benefit.

Disadvantages of Business Casual

Business casual presents disadvantages as well as advantages for employers and employees.

  • Employers may need to establish detailed dress codes if employees see business casual as an opportunity to wear anything that they want to work. In fact, it is smart to start with a dress code so that employees know the expectations from the start. To piecemeal guidelines after the fact damages employee morale.
  • This can also create the need for policing to make sure that employees are treated equally and fairly with respect to their work attire. This can damage work relationships.
  • An employee may project an image to customers that is at odds with what customers expect from their firm. Legal firms, consulting organizations, and banks come to mind as poor locations for business casual. In different settings, it may be advantageous to adopt the business attire of customers and partners.
  • Employees may express their individual personalities and creativity through the clothing they select for work. Both an advantage and a disadvantage depending on the individual and the workplace expectations.
  • Some managers believe that business casual encourages a casual attitude from employees about work, attendance, productivity, and professionalism. I’d be happy to see genuine research that proves this one way or the other.

What Is Business Casual Clothing?

Business casual clothing for men means a shirt with a collar such as a casual shirt, a polo shirt or a golf shirt worn with pants whether khakis, Dockers, or similar good looking brands. For women, it means casual skirts, dresses, pants, and blouses.

Both men and women wear sweaters, vests, casual jackets, and accessories. In this environment, you will only rarely see suits, ties, and dress shirts which are worn to formal meetings outside of the workplace.

In general, denim, spandex, sweatshirts and pants, t-shirts, exercise clothing, sundresses, and sandals are inappropriate in a business casual workplace. This workplace business casual dress code provides a more detailed description of the expectations employers may have for employees in a business casual environment.

If an employer is comfortable with even more casual attire for work, this casual dress code describes these expectations in detail.

The Proliferation of Business Casual Work Attire

“According to a 2007 Gallup poll, the most recent data available, 43% of workers said they regularly wore casual business attire at the office, up from 32% in 2002.”

According to a Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) 2011 Benefits study:

“More than one-half (55%) of companies offered casual dress at least once a week, 36% allowed casual dress every day, and 24% allowed seasonal casual dress, which permits employees to dress casually for extended periods during the year. While many companies may consider casual dress part of their organizational culture as opposed to an employee benefit, employees appreciate the opportunity to wear more comfortable clothes.”