By Jamie Ducharme
Photos: Paul Inkles via Flickr
Co-op is great for many reasons, not least of which being that it saves us from our broke college student lives for a blissful six months. But even with the promise of a (hopefully) paid co-op to soften the blow, dropping cash on interview outfits is no fun. So before you kiss your savings goodbye at Ann Taylor, here’s how to dress for an interview using clothes you already own.
Adding a few strategic pieces to your tried-and-true basics transforms them for the situation and instantly makes you look like you put in effort. Your pencil skirt is a little too short? Add opaque tights. Your button-downs are all a little wrinkled? Throw on a blazer. Your best dress is sleeveless? A cardigan is your best friend.
Even if your outfit is a little blah, high-quality accessories can make you look professional and pulled together. Add a well-tied scarf, a wristwatch and your nicest handbag to your so-so outfit and you’ll look the part.
You know how girls who dress all in black automatically look chic? Use that principle here. Wearing all dark colors makes you look sophisticated and mature enough that you can get away with wearing pieces that maybe aren’t professional enough on their own. Just make sure to mix textures, so you don’t look like you got dressed in the dark.
Build from the bottom up.
Nothing gives you away like the wrong pair of shoes. Pick your classiest footwear, and build the outfit around that, first choosing your bottoms, then your top and then finally your accessories. It’ll ensure you have a cohesive outfit that all works together.
Stay away from prints and graphics.
Busy patterns can quickly veer into cheap territory, so play it safe by reaching for solid basics, which are often easier to dress up. A simple pencil skirt and monochromatic T-shirt can be interview ready with the right accessories and shoes.