Congrats – you got the interview! Don’t stop there, though. Now you’ve got to find the killer “don’t-you-want-to-hire-me-as-your-(insert job title here)” outfit. No, this is not going to be another boring article on what not to wear. Prepare for your mind to be blown in three,
The 80s might be making a comeback in fashion, which is scary in and of itself because it feels like I’ve just walked into a scene from Footloose whenever I go shopping these days. Like most things in fashion, some items should stay in the decade it originated from … like neon, mesh, parachute pants, and mom jeans. But it doesn’t necessarily mean everything should. Just most.
Corporate clothing has come a long way from shoulder pads, tent blouses, and the Top Gunlook this over-the-top and exaggerated decade produced. One of the best things about fashion is that a lot of looks get recycled. So, before you start rummaging through your closet trying to rid yourself of all things that could possibly be 80s, allow me to show you how some of the best trends of the 80s are making a strong comeback in the corporate workforce and will actually work.
Once a cooler way to make a man look more business-y in his Miami Vice-inspired outfit, skinny ties are here to stay. Creating an elegant and sleek and polished look, you are guaranteed to impress a prospective employer with your style. However… Just because you like seals or Mickey Mouse doesn’t mean your hiring manager wants to know, too. You can’t really go wrong with sticking to neutral colors like charcoal, navy, or plum hues or patterns that include stripes or zigzags.
Ah, thank you Wall Street – I think everyone still wants to be Gordon Gekko after this movie was released in 1987. Yet, you can modernize your power suit with a skinny tie, banker’s collar, and suspenders to make it sharp and classy. Pinstripes also make for a good pattern to wear – just don’t go overboard with it, though.
SWEATERS & SWEATER VESTS
As long as you avoid sporting something that Theo would from The Cosby Show, sweaters and sweater vests can look real sharp paired with a crisp collared shirt underneath. I recommend a tie, or better yet, a skinny tie to complete the look. However, if you are interviewing for a position that would require you to wear a suit day in and day out, don’t shortchange yourself – go all out and wear the suit with the most amount of class you can find.
THE BLACK & WHITE ENSEMBLE
Pairing an all-black suit and a fresh white shirt with a skinny black tie will never go out of style. Classy, sharp, and good-looking, the Black and White Ensemble will make your confidence rise and your anxiety decline.
Once a staple for preppy footwear back in the glorious days of the 80s, penny loafers have made the biggest comeback yet. Exhibiting style and class, these handsome shoes can work with any outfit for an interview.
Gasp – I said it! Modern designers have redefined this fad and have actually made shoulder pads look … well, cool. Just don’t go for the linebacker look. The secret with shoulder pads is to ensure that it fits your shoulders correctly. Before you purchase (or pull from your closet) the blazer you want to wear, try it on and lean up against a wall. If it scrunches, your shoulder pads are sticking too far out and you can stand for a better fit.
And they’re back! Accenting your waist, these pants have made a really strong return in the 2014 workplace. Paired with a silk blouse, matching blazer, and heels, you can look stunning in this long-lost fad.
PANTSUITS FOR LADIES
There’s been such a huge resurgence of ladies’ pantsuits ever since Hillary Clinton slid into politics. Honestly, they can work and look spectacular if you just avoid what she does. Casual yet classy and refined, a khaki blazer paired with matching pants will complement a silky white blouse, skinny black belt, and black heels. Avoid brightly colored or patterned pantsuits – they distract the eyes and take the attention off of you!
Madonna rocked huge earrings the best in Desperately Seeking Susan, so it’s a good thing we can wear them once again, too. It’s preferable to avoid over-accessorizing, but having one piece of statement jewelry can work. You will want to opt for earrings that don’t make noise, aren’t super flashy, and aren’t too distracting. You’ll also want to make sure that you don’t wear any other piece of jewelry with them, too! Good colors to stick with here are earth tones like gold, bronze, silver, and pewter.
GIVE IT TEXTURE
Often giving instant style, class, and sophistication, adding texture to any outfit will please the eyes if done correctly. Tweed, lace, suede, corduroy, and silk are all good examples of pairing texture to a killer hire-me-outfit. Just don’t make your whole outfit matchy-matchy; it’s ok to draw outside of the lines!
THE COLOR WHEEL OF FORTUNE
Let’s stick to the basics, guys: Colors convey emotions and meaning. Navy, plum, charcoal, light grey, black, khaki, and white can never steer you wrong. Ever. The reason these colors work is because they suggest having an honest persona. Avoid neon colors at all costs – these are one of the items left in the 80s Pandora’s Box that will stay there. It’s ok to be bold with a chartreuse collared shirt… as long as everything else in your outfit is calm and conservative, as well as being minimally accessorized. You want to be remembered for how perfect for the job you are – not your outfit!