Tag Archives: Dress code

On The Job

I’ll get straight to the point……What do you wear to an interview today and does your choice of attire have to be relevant to the occupation? I am one of a rare breed, I love interviews. I also love going to the dentist, airline food and writing online dating profiles. The latter being a thing of the past now that I’m GeordiesGirl, but I am still called upon by the odd close friend to help ‘advertise their assets’ Wow that sounds totally seedy! I’m just good at viewing the profile as a self-advertisement where as when you write your own your maybe a little more conservative?

Back to interviews…..A good friend of mine went to an interview a couple of weeks ago,  he was hoping to secure the role of Assistant Manager in a retail store and text me for advice on what to wear. It’s been over 18 months since I had an interview but I have attended meetings and open days in that time and so kept my hand in with professional etiquette. Back in the day you could spot an interviewee at 100 paces, proudly carrying their record of achievement in one arm and sweating profusely in an awkward fitting Burton suit. Fast forward ten years and the goal posts have most definitely moved. As office attire has grown more casual with men not being forced to wear ties, and women narrowly getting away with sandals/platforms in some work places it becomes a real nightmare to know what is acceptable and to whom?

Computer

Too Casual? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let’s say your going for an interview to be a swimming instructor, what would you wear? A tracksuit…too casual? Is a formal suit, shirt and tie a little over the top? Your best Speedo‘s and goggles? What about if you were the manager of the Leisure Centre, what would you expect an interviewee to wear for such a meeting? From my friend’s quandry I can appreciate that it is more difficult to judge the situation when the role you’re applying for does not conform to the traditional office dress code. The last resort is to call the prospective new employer (and show lack of initiative) and ask ‘What should I wear’.

After three or four text pictures of suitable smart shirts and trousers combo’s we finally settled on a light blue Paul Smith Oxford shirt, Ralph Lauren navy blue chino-type trousers and Lanvin shoes, exactly what I would consider to be a smart casual look to work in management at a high street fashion store. We agreed that the outfit suggested that he was familiar with high street designers and knew what was currently on-trend in menswear. His choice of footwear was carefully selected to reflect the stores product lines, in my humble opinion it ticked all the boxes.

On the day of interview I don’t know who was more nervous me or him, but when the text came through a long, agonising week later to say he had got the job, I was ecstatic. As I write this my friend is preparing to begin his new job on Monday and probably enjoying his last Saturday lie in for a long time, at least he would have been had I not text him at 7:30am to check he definitely did wear the Paul Smith shirt?

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Formally Yours

It was a whirlwind weekend for social events here in the north-west and whether you attended The Grand National at Aintree, or just placed a cheeky bet at your local William Hill, the chances are you will have seen the hundreds of photographs that have graced every newspaper and gossip site since it all began last Thursday. Unfortunately I was unable to go this year and I’m disappointed to miss out on the preparation frenzy.

Earlier in the week my husband and I were invited to a black tie event to celebrate St Georges Day at his workplace, the dress code is an age-old tradition for any formal event in the forces and strictly adhered to. To top off a week of dressing up we have my sister’s wedding on Saturday, so this morning I am happily slobbing out in joggers and hoody while I write, at least until I have to go out in public later on. I absolutely love dressing up but when I’m in the comfort of my home, dress code’s are null and void much to my husbands dismay.

With so many occasions happening in a short space of time, the main topic of conversation among my friends has been dressing up. The majority are all for it and go all out to complete their look, nails, hair, eyelashes etc. My friends who chose the more casual look are able to effortlessly rock jeans and a top to any occasion, something I have never perfected. Since broaching the subject many different opinions have surfaced focusing on whether a dress code is suggested or enforced. For The Grand National meeting at Aintree the dress code is as follows;

Although there is no official dress code, smart is preferable and is often adopted. Aintree is a spectacle of colour for all three days of the race meeting, with many using their trip as an opportunity to showcase their favourite race day outfits. Hats are optional too, but are frequently worn. Sports clothes and fancy dress are not permitted for the John Smith’s Grand National meeting.

Merely a suggestion and there have been many race goers who have pushed this to the limit, i.e.girls in bikini’s, heels and fascinators. With regards to the formal events at my husbands work, there is no way it would ever be acceptable to ignore the rules of traditional dress. Whilst I doubt that a woman would be asked to leave should her cocktail dress be an inch above the knee, it would certainly be noted and possibly have an impact on future social invitations. To make steps toward rolling with the times, the forces also organise a huge amount of informal events which are equally if not more popular. Lets face it, when you can spend more money on alcohol and less on hiring a tux it’s a no-brainer for most young guys.

But is at all about money? Do you have to spend a lot of money to be able to attend these events? That’s a difficult question to answer than I thought because people have their own opinion on money and what is ‘expensive’. The last time I was at the races (2010) my outfit cost a total of £130 and I spent around £50 getting my hair and make-up done. I think I did okay? Now that I have two kids and more financial restrictions but so many practical outfit options from cheaper stores, I think I could easily create a perfectly acceptable look for around £40. Honestly, have you seen the shift dresses at Florence & Fred, Tesco?

Thanks to some lovely friends I have showcased some races outfits that haven’t broken the bank, including some tailor-made garments and I think they look very glam indeed. Just a small note following all the nasty remarks by the haters in the newspapers and online .. I’ll bet that all of those women looked in the mirror on Friday morning rocking  their carefully chosen outfits with their hair coiffed and nails done and said ‘I look fab and I’m going to have a great time’ ….So don’t hate because you weren’t there.

I will finish with a tweet from Steve Timmins from Liverpool’s Juice FM who I think knocked the nail on the head….

The Ladies Day snidefest really pisses me off. They’re dressed up, having fun. Bore off with your ‘slags in hats’ remarks.

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