Sole Story

Dress Code De-Coded

As if any interview wasn’t daunting enough, outfitting yourself for a fashion interview is equally formidable.

The office environment may be creative (after all, it’s fashion!) but your first impression should tip off your employer to your fashion savvy while still underlining that you are a serious applicant and focused worker. Stow away your towering heels and nix the latest runway trends in favor of subtle and clever nods to your fashion prowess. Vince Camuto college brand ambassador Kimberly Coleman demonstrates how to wow your interviewer with your brains and look.

The overarching rule is to keep it simple. The initial interview is not the time for you to bring out your flashiest pieces and it’s usually a turnoff for interviewers who may read your fashion risk as a red flag that you’re not serious about the actual work that will be involved.  Classic pieces like a mid-length trench coat or a shift tank will speak to your understanding of the style fundamentals while a unique-looking handbag or single printed garment will demonstrate your trend awareness.

As for your layered necklaces and arm party? “Jewelry can be very distracting at times so I keep it to a minimum,” cautions Kimberly.  Even worse, the clanking of bangles can disrupt the flow of your responses if you tend to gesticulate frequently with your hands. Instead, a delicate ring or pendant necklace adds a nice hint of shine.

There are a few beauty basics too to looking poised and pulled together on your interview. Clean hair and nails and the no-makeup-makeup look is a foolproof way to ensure you’re coming across as professional. Unless you’re confident in your lipstick application skills, forgo the bright lip which may bleed away from your lip line or onto your teeth which will distract (and detract) from your interview responses.

After you’ve nailed the interview and are settling into your new internship, Kimberly warns, “It’s important to dress to impress. It’s also important, however, to note that you will be actively moving at the job.” Moving around the fashion closet, assisting on set and those unavoidable errand runs mean that you’ll be on your feet a lot. “I recommend that your clothing choice be comfortable. You don’t want your clothes to restrict you from accomplishing any tasks.” While you may need to slip on your favorite Vince Camuto Ellen flats, add personality with jewelry and an eye-popping handbag.

Beyond the need to look the part of the fashion-set, the best thing you can bring to the interview is your go-getter personality and winning smile. Dazzle your interviewer with your confidence in your own skill set and eagerness to learn and you’ll be sure to earn that coveted position. Good luck!

Photography by Christina Tainter.