For my entire career I've been dressing up the same way for a job interview in Hollywood. I wear what I call the "publicist's outfit." What is the publicist outfit? An all black suit, black purse, black portfolio, black pointy-toe heels, flats or boots, and a non-black collared shirt with at least the first button undone so it creates a V-neck shape for my necklace to show through.
I chose this outfit for several reasons.
1) Wearing all black has a commanding presence & makes me feel more "in charge."
2) One solid color from head to toe makes you look taller.
3) Pointy shoes make you look taller.
4) Everyone's publicist on the red carpet was dressed this way at any event I worked at.
5) Black never goes out of style.
When I was interviewing to work for a Chairman/CEO as his office Executive Hostess where I greeted clients, served beverages, and was in charge of catering for office functions, I was told what to wear by the girl I was replacing. She wanted me to get the job and she got the same advice from the person before her. That outfit was black slacks and a matching sweater/cardigan set. Why that outfit? It's the same outfit my supervisor, the senior assistant would wear.
Once, my agent/recruiter suggested I wear an all red suit to a job interview. I thought that was too bold and didn't take her advice. Not to mention, I didn't have that outfit. I even consulted my mentor about this and she agreed it was too much to wear red from head to toe.
My dad brought up an interesting point about attire. He counsels all his trainees to always wear a suit, even if the job is for a car mechanic. The logic is if a car mechanic dresses impeccably, the idea planted is "when I work on your car, I'll be extra clean, detailed, and won't leave oil marks on the seats. I'll leave your car pristine."
I once had an interview and was at a loss of what to wear because for the first time the weather was 95 degrees outside in the dead of summer, and I live near the beach! This means that my publicist outfit wouldn't work even if I wore a summer suit because I'd still be wearing an all black thinner long sleeve suit jacket, a shirt underneath, and capri pants. I'd have to factor in I'd be even hotter from "running" around that I'd be profusely sweating if I wore that much clothes. Keep in mind, its also about 10-15 degrees hotter in the Valley where other entertainment companies are.
I've also had interviews at clothing stores. And I know that dressing "creatively" with a "unique" style is encouraged for different industries. The publicist uniform was out. I had to find something that was fashionable, yet appropriate office attire. I settled on a black designer dress that was calf length with cap sleeves and very low red pointy heels. I also decided to pull all my hair back, except I didn't put it into a bun. I figured this would give me a more polished corporate look to balance out the red shoes and dress. I wore jewelry - Tiffany necklace, Tiffany ring, diamond cocktail ring, and an orange rubber bracelet (a la Lance Armstrong Live Strong) except mine was for a different cause. The only pieces that weren't part of my daily attire were the Tiffany ring and the diamond cocktail ring.
Now that I've blogged about this, I wonder how do people dress for interviews in different parts of the world and for traditional or non-traditional jobs? And how different is your outfit when it's pouring rain (Seattle), snowing (New York winter), and in the desert (Vegas)?