The reason for being so concerned with an outfit, (as some of you will know) isn't just about what that individual will think. It isn't about being shallow or vain. It's about potential work in the future. I'm sure Alan probably couldn't care less about what I was wearing, but there were may other people there to network with, and making a good first impression is the difference between getting the job and future work or not.
So here's how my day went, what I chose to wear as well as my tips on how to choose the perfect outfit for a meeting/interview and whether wearing a neon pink beanie was really a good idea...
The creative industries are brilliant in the fact that we can pretty much wear what we want. We don't have to put on a suit for meetings and interviews. But getting that balance between your style and being appropriate for the occasion can be difficult. Especially when you're making the transition from the 'wear-what-the-hell-you-want' student to being a professional working individual.
So here I am, stood outside the property ready to try and awkwardly charm the pants off of everyone inside. I decided to go with my fail safe monochrome (but mainly black) outfit. Any of you that have been following my blog for a while will know that wherever I go, the colour black swiftly follows. And this is where my first bit of advice comes in, for choosing the perfect outfit for those important meetings/interviews.
1. Wear what you're used to
This may sound silly at first, because of course everything in your wardrobe you brought because you like it. But for interviews/meetings, you don't want to go for a completely different look. You'll probably be more self conscious as you haven't worn that 'neon leopard print jumper' before. This will also cause you to make more bathroom mirror/shop reflection stops to make sure you look okay = making yourself more nervous. Take a step back. On a regular day would you wear this outfit? If the answer is no, leave that neon Leo jumper at the back of your wardrobe, today is not the day to be experimental.
I wore this outfit because I'd wear it on a regular day. I know that it suits who I am, it reflects my everyday style, and I wouldn't be constantly worrying about what I looked like. This meant my meeting went smoother, and I was more relaxed because I hadn't given myself more things to worry about.
Vintage Crop Top, Beyond Retro // Skinny Jeans, Topshop // Longline Blazer, £69.99 & Bag both Zara // Neon beanie, H&M, £7.99 // Statement Necklace, Topshop // Studded Boots, Boohoo.com
(I have to apologies quickly for looking slightly odd in my photographs. It's not obvious at first, but the left hand side of my face is rather a lot bigger than usual. I had a mini operation on my mouth last Friday (Ouch) and this was the first day I could venture out not looking so much like Quasi Modo's pet Hamster.)
2. It's all in the Details
Dressing for a meeting doesn't have to be boring. My black skinny jeans, white vintage crop and long line blazer may not look too individual or make me the most stylish person they've ever seen, but it's me/my true style. Instead of blinding them with prints, patterns and all sorts, let your personality/style shine in your details.
Instead of my plain ankle boots that I wear everywhere, I went of my slightly higher studded pair instead. These obviously are a little bit more stylised than my other pair, and the details gave my look more individualism. Little details like this really do make the difference from a normal everyday day outfit, to something a bit more special.
Nailart is a brilliant way to add some life to a smarter outfit. The previous day I had my first attempted at leopard print nailart (above) I was for and against removing them and giving them ago again at the weekend, but as I knew i was wearing quite a neutral outfit (as always) I decided to keep the nails. I guess they show that even though I want to be professional, that I don't take myself too seriously. I attempt quite a bit of nailart - just check out my instagram for more as I don't tend to put them on my blog! @hcfashioninsider
Along with my boots and nails, I decided to add my outfit fail safe: a statement necklace. Having built quite a collection now, I love a statement necklace because they can instantly transform an outfit. See my previous blog post on statement necklace styles here - there's one for everyone!
I went with my perspex clear studded necklace, to tie in my studded boots, but as not to overpower the outfit and have a statement accessory war with my beanie. Beanies are a big trend in London at the moment, and I love my neon one as it adds a pop of colour to my outfit without over doing it.
So details are perfect for reflecting an individualism and my personality into an outfit, but they are far from screaming 'fashion professional'. This is where your statement 'smart piece' comes into action. No matter what your style a tailored garment really does transform an outfit from 'casual intern' to 'fashionable and professional individual'.
3. One smart element can transform your outfit
For work or meeting friends I'd probably just throw on my staple leather jacket. However, I recently purchased this longline blazer from Zara. I'd be looking for a dust rose pink one for ages, but the cut and details of this one was perfect so I couldn't let it go.
I layered my blazer over the top of my leather waterfall cardigan, and it instantly smartened up my look. The fact that it's longline makes it a bit different from your standard blazer, and the material had a slight sheen making it more dressy. Blazers can work magic, but you could also try a tailored coat, or trouser if blazers aren't your thing. Here are some of my top picks to wear to fashion interviews/meetings of the moment:
1. The classic Trouser // ASOS Peg Trouser, £20 // Get them here
2. The Printed Trouser (Hot for S/S'13) // Topshop Block Print Skinny Trouser, £42 // Get them here
3. The Colour Pop Blazer // ASOS Textured Blazer Coat, £75 // Get it here
4. The Versatile Jacket // ZARA Combined Coat, £69.99 // Get it here
For those of you working in fashion, what is your key piece for meetings or interviews? For those of you yet to have your first fashion meeting/interview I hope my advice helped, it really is about sticking to what you know! Let me know your thoughts/feelings and if you'd wear any of my fashion picks!
For those of you that are interested I thought I'd share a couple of snaps from my day. It went really well and Alan was such a great bloke! I was so happy with where my work was placed, hopefully it'll sell with the house! Fingers crossed!
Me with my portrait shoot 'The Equinox' in the living room. Proud moment.
A shot from my final major project shoot 'Heart of Glass' in the kitchen.
Me 'playing' Alan's Drum kit... Come on... I had to!
Another book I was wishing was amongst my collection.