Being a college student studying Fashion Merchandising, looking good every day is nearly critical. But with what income? I started thrifting in high school and it has carried with me to my junior year of college to keep my looks fresh on a budget. Now that I am in my junior year, the hunt for internships is in full swing. I wanted to bring you all some of the tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way from my classes to look (and feel) your best in an interview!
Here’s what I will be covering:
- Do's and Don’ts
- Styling Tips
- Doing It on a Budget
Do's & Don'ts:
This is the first thing to read about when searching for that perfect outfit. The last thing you want is to wear the wrong color or give off the wrong impression on an important day!
- Make sure your clothing fits you! Since you can save so much shopping secondhand (especially on brands like Ann Taylor, etc.), you have the money to get some alterations done on the things that need to be fitted.
- Make sure you know what colors look good with your skin! Use this guide as a start!
- Wear colors that could be off-putting to interviewers. Red, for example, is too bold of a color for an interview and could send across the message that you are maybe too confident.
- No open-toe shoes! This is a workplace, not a beach. Save that for your next trip away.
While you want to add your own personal style so you feel confident, you still want to look professional! Avoid wearing garish colors or loud prints. They are interviewing YOU, you don’t want your outfit to be the center of attention! If prints are more your thing, opt for a soft and subtle print.
When it comes to jewelry, the less the better. Add a simple necklace or a plain watch. This can be a way to add your personal style while keeping it minimal.
Want to paint your nails? Avoid crazy colors like red or black! Choose a light pink or nude to look polished (no pun intended) and intentional.
Touching on makeup, you will want to keep that simple and clean as well. Again, they are interviewing YOU and do not want to be distracted by a KISS inspired look.
Be caught up on the company. Not okay with tattoos? If you have visible ones, make sure you can cover them in style! Small wrist tattoos can be covered with a watch, while a blazer can cover most others.
Doing It on a Budget:
Who says you need to buy a whole wardrobe of just professional attire? And who says it has to cost an arm and a leg? Neither of these are true! In my experience, I have been able to find nearly all of my interview pieces at Goodwill. I still feel great even though I didn’t spend Ann Taylor or The Limited prices! Though you are able to find these brands at Goodwill if you are willing to hunt, you can find brands you may not have heard of before!
It is also important to get a few simple basics of professional attire that can be mixed and matched, not just with other professional clothes, but with jeans or other pieces as well so you don’t feel like you are buying a whole new wardrobe. If you keep your choices small, you will avoid over spending.
Here are some examples I have put to the test in my interviews!
While this is more casual compared to some looks, I felt confident and comfortable! The pants on clearance at Target, the necklaces from family, and the blazer and tee from Goodwill! This was such a cheap way to look professional anwere
If you can’t tell, I love using printed pants to spice up my outfit. These houndstooth pants from Goodwill are the perfect interview pants. They are comfortable so I won’t be worried about not being comfy when I’m already nervous. Add a basic black tee and black blazer with slides and your outfit is complete! This outfit is more professional than the previous one, but still extremely comfortable! (Don’t keep your hair ties on like me!)d put together. Even though I am wearing a printed pant, it is simple and doesn’t take away from the rest of the outfit.
My name is Sophia DeComo and I am a junior Fashion Merchandising major at Kent State University. I am double minoring in Marketing and Sustainability. I have been thrifting for more years than I can count, and this has helped in my decision to make Sustainability one of my minors. I am so excited to start partnering with Goodwill!