January 20, 2010

Dress for Success (Part 1)

    Last Wednesday we had our "Dress for Success" program held by our Career Services and Women's group at the law school.  I took part as one of the models and also set up my camera so that one of our Career Services ladies would be able to take pictures.  For the event, we had three panelists critiquing our suits, shirts, shoes, hose, jewelry, hair, etc.  We did this so that the women in the first year law class who would be interviewing for the first time for summer law jobs would know what is expected of them and what is appropriate for interviews and firm outings and events.  A few of the lovely ladies have allowed me to include their pictures in this post so that I could let all of *you* know what works and doesn't for law school summer jobs and events.  

    Melanie, the president of the organization and one of my best girl friends, modeled a beautiful gray sheath dress and jacket.  Even though it was all the same shade of gray, which could come across as boring, the panelists commented that this was a "Boys, I'm here to play and kick your butt" type of look. (quote from a judge!)  
With regard to the sleeveless dress, the female attorney on the panel commented that as long as she was in the office doing work and there was no danger of clients seeing her without a jacket on, she would be fine working in the sleeveless dress.  However, she would always put the jacket on to see clients as well as to go to court. 
    Personally, I love this dress and am trying to convince Melanie to go buy it.  It's a simple dress, but has enough details, the black belt and ruffles on the sleeves, to keep it from getting dull.   To make it interview appropriate all you have to do is add the matching jacket.  But to give it some more personality, you could of course just add a statement necklace (or pearls if that's more your style), great pair of heels, a cardigan, a scarf, a brooch, a different belt, etc.  The advantage is that with a sheath dress in a dark color that flatters your figure like this does on Melanie, you can really add any accessory to dress it up or down because the foundation of the outfit is simple, classic and flattering. 
   I also wanted to add this picture of Melanie because the outfit is from her own closet and has the added bonus of showing that lawyers aren't always clad in gray.   This is a look that *anybody* can try as its just a few simple basics (black pencil skirt, white blouse, black heels) paired with a flattering blazer in a bright color to keep the outfit from getting boring.  This pale blue blazer takes the outfit up a notch and happens to make Melanie's blue eyes stand out. 

How do you all approach interviews and interview appropriate attire?  Would a sleeveless sheath dress and blazer be appropriate for your field?  How about the pencil skirt + non-matching jacket combo?


Thank you Melanie for letting me use your pictures!

(P.S. Most of the suits that we modeled were provided by Dillard's)  

4 comments:

La Historiadora de Moda said...

Both of these looks are great for interviews - professional, classy, and serious.

A-C said...

Even though I agree both outfits are great, the second one would not be appropriate for a law school interview. It's more of an everyday in the office look. For interviews, we are told to ALWAYS wear a suit. No matter what. And it makes sense for several reasons. If everyone else is in a suit, not being in a suit will work against you (ie in questioning your judgment). Also, interviews are very formal and as such an interviewee needs to be dressed formally. I'm not saying I'm 100% behind the idea, but they're the rules of the game.

What Would a Nerd Wear said...

oh i love these! both looks are so flattering on her, and are professional without being boring at all.
terrific advice!

A-C said...

I'll let Melanie know as she was a bit self-conscious about posting her pics. :)

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