Tuesday, September 21, 2010

All's Fair

Back to the grind after my nice long weekend!

After work today, I'm headed off to a job fair that a local company is holding. Having done my research on them, I know they have a very casual environment, so I don't want to stick out like a sore thumb in a suit and heels.
Hence, boots, a dress and a jacket. Minimal accessories (earrings and a ring only) aside from the belt. It's still a bit too warm for tights and I didn't want to look like an old lady in nylons (this company is very "young" in outlook).

Practicing my HR pose:
"Why yes, I'd love to work for your company!"

Would you hire me or pass me over, solely based on this outfit? Keeping in mind that this is for an IT-based company, every day is Casual, very laid-back environment. What would you do differently?

Edit: Hey, all, thanks so much for the feedback! I do appreciate it. I did forget to mention in the original post that I had to walk about 1.5 km to get to the job fair, so that's why I went with the low boots - purely functional (and funky).

Also, it was interesting to see how other women dressed for this. It was a mix of jeans/sneakers/hoodies/backpacks and way overdressed (suits and very high heels). I seemed to have made a good impression and many people commented on the bright green of my ensemble. I deliberately chose this dress because of the colour and the ruffles (which, you may recall, I refer to as "lettuce") - it's all about making a memorable impression, right?

Dress (Taylor, consignment), suit jacket (Jacob, consignment), boots (Aldo, consignment), belt (Gap).


  1. I wasn't initially sold on the boots, until I read that it was an IT company, and it was like bells went off - you definitely got the exact right vibe!!

  2. I closed the browser to make supper and then I found myself wondering: would you mention your blog in an interview if it came up?

  3. I think you look young and hip and interesting. You'll fit right in. Good luck!

  4. Great outfit! (I've been out of the job fair scene too long so don't know if those ruffles would fit the casual scene or not!)

    At a personal level, I like how you've teamed the dress with jacket, belt & boots....

    Wishing you nothing but SUCCESS in the hunt!

  5. Hi Sheila!

    Long time reader, first time poster.
    I really think you hit it on the head with the outfit...from the knees up...
    I hate to say it, but, to this early 30's folk, the boots send you into "old" category--I'm not a fan at all of the riding book with 'interview' type outfits.
    The outfit would have been fantastic with the shoes you wore on days like Sept. 15 or the 8; or if you wanted to stay in the boot world, boots like the ones you left in London (Paris?) would have been fantastic, or you could have done your brown wedge ones.

  6. This outfit suits that environment. And I love the skirt!

  7. I think the outfit suits it perfectly. And the color gives you the perfect amount of memorable impression. I think the jacket enough to "business" it up. After all you always want to be over dressed for an interview, so I've heard.

    Wishing you much luck and hope!

  8. I’ll hire you instantly! Your outfit looks polished and laidback at the same time. Having the color green shows you are an original and creative person. The jacket shows you know how to keep it formal and business-like. Boots= fun loving and easy going and friendly.
    How do you like me as your new boss?! Hee hee hee!

  9. Beautiful outfit! I don't know much about professional environments, but this seems to fit a casual, laid back vibe (something I imagine would be similar to Anne's company?) Dressy enough to be serious, playful enough to fit in with existing norms. I like it. I'd hire you!

  10. I love this outfit - it's smart enough to make you look like you've made an effort, funky enough to make you look like a trendy young thing, and the fabulous green and black contrast will make you stand out from the crowd :-). Great work lol!

    How did the job fair go?

  11. I completely agree with Sonia. From the knees up -- great! The boots look odd with this outfit. Almost like two different outfits put together. I like her suggestion about the shoes from Sept. 15th. They're hip, young and cool, but blend better with the dress. You want the focus to be on you and not on people trying to figure out your outfit.

  12. Oh my gosh, good luck! Do let us know how it goes. And I think the bold green and black are dynamite together.

  13. Love the skirt and boots! I would say you'd bring a lot of positive energy to the company.

  14. hmm. i don't have a heckuva lot of professional experience - but a lot of it was at a computer co., also a lot working next door to Pixar. so, fwiw, i 'd say this outfit looks good - you look creative and funky but pulled together enough that you're not trying to look 22 (if that makes sense). i can't imagine anyone ever at an IT co. in anything remotely resembling the 9/15 shoes. but it's been a while. an oxford might fit the vibe more, i think. again, this advice is worth what you paid for it....

    crossing my fingers for you! i'd be interested if you want to post any (appropriate) info on how it went. steph

  15. I'm on board with this BA ensemble. All I'll add to the above positive comments is that riding boots are supremely trendy right now, and I totally agree that you've hit the right note by pairing this trend with the bright pop of colour and the profesh jacket.

    Bring it, woman! And please reward yourself with delicious and comforting alcohol-based drinks upon your return. Such intensity during the day MUST be balanced with soothing drinks in the eve. (I think it might be the law.)

  16. I think you look great. I worked in IT for years. I think the boots are great. Good luck! Let us know how it goes!

  17. How very cute Sheila !
    I hope it all goes well... I am sure you MUST be a pleasure to be around and work with. Good lucK!

  18. I strongly disagree with the posters who think the the shoes from September 15th and 8th would have been a better choice. Both heels are too "polished" for an IT-based company, every day is Casual, very laid-back environment. In fact, I would never wear heels that high or in such shinning material or even open toed for an interview at a formal company, never mind a "young" company.

    I like this whole look, I think what you did with the jacket is perfect, maybe, like someone suggested, boots with some heels. But I'm okay with the boots, I don't associate them with "old" people and it is a very popular look these days.

    What I'm unsure about is the frills at the end of the dress. They are kind of too festive/informal for an interview? Maybe an A-line skirt?

    At any case, you look confident like always and I wish you all the luck! There is a new job coming for you!

  19. Thanks, Cara! Unless I was applying for a job where fashion or style was an aspect, or I had to maintain a company blog, I would not bring up this blog at all. I only just let on about it to my VP - and I've known him for nearly a year.

    Thanks, Cynthia!

    Rebecca, I hear ya, it's been a while for me as well. Thank you!

    Hi, Sonia, thank you so much for reading and for posting! I did have a reason for the boots (see updated post), but I would NEVER wear a 6" heel to anything work related (at least not until I had the job). The JLos are far too sexy and are just not appropriate for this occasion. The Fluevogs, maybe, but only with pants. That's funny you mention the ones I left in Paris - these are nearly identical, actually! I can't walk very far in the wedge ones, but I like those very much - again, would not do over a 3" heel for anything related to job searching.

    Thanks, shybiker!

    Megan, thanks. I was definitely on the more dressed-up side of things in this ensemble.

    Aw, thanks, Aradia! You'd make a great boss - you got all the messages I intended to send.

    Thanks, Iris.

    Rad, thank you. That's what I was going for.

    Thanks, Tat. The fair was good - I think I made an impression, which is hard to do out of more than 100 people!

    Monica, thanks. I don't agree that a 6" heel with a short skirt is appropriate for a job-hunt environment. I felt that the boots didn't distract from the outfit overall - most people noticed the green up near my face, which is where I wanted them looking! Thanks very much for your opinion.

    Thanks, Sal, will do!

    Thanks very much, Ann!

    Steph, thanks. Based on what I saw people who actually work there wearing, I was slightly overdressed. The few younger women wearing sky-high heels looked inappropriate to me, so hopefully, this outfit did its job.

    Thanks, A-Dubs! I will reward myself with some alcohol-based bevvies later on the week. I'm sure it's the law.

    Thanks, Alison, I will.

    Aw, thank you, Lorena. I'm a fun coworker. :)

    Raquel, thank you, I agree. I do think that once you have been hired and have sussed out a workplace (and have passed probation!) you can expand your workwear to push the corporate envelope.

  20. Love that shade of green on you! Your outfit looks individual, which is the most important thing at a fair, really. I'd say it hits about the same note as my boss's typical 'making an effort but not to the point of having to impress a potential investor' outfits, and, well, I'm at an IT company so that seems exactly the right note (though UK norms may differ from those across the pond - I sometimes get the feeling that unless we're a bit more casual in general over here).

    Good luck with the job :)

  21. Thanks, Cat! I think I definitely stuck out (in a good way). Most companies, in general, over here are very, very casual. My own usual style is much more dressed up than what I see around.

  22. For IT, love it! Im jealous....

    It's fun but not frivolous.

    For law, it would be a complete disaster. I wish I could funk up my wardrobe like you do... reminds me of the stuff I did in school!

  23. Thanks, lawyerdoll - I totally agree, I would have gone very conservative for a law office. I hope you can do some funkiness in your "off" time. :)


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