Q. I'm about to graduate from college, and have been doing a lot of interviewing at New York City PR firms. I know you're supposed to dress pretty conservatively for interviews, but wearing a suit to an office where most people are dressed fashion/casual seems a little silly to me. What can I wear that is both fashionable and appropriate for my interviews?
A. Before you head to the interview, do some research on each PR firm regarding their client list. If their clients are fashion, beauty, media, internet or alcohol related then you can skip the suit. If the firms cover medical, financial arenas or products that you don’t necessarily know much about, then go slightly conservative. I haven’t worn a full suit in years, I don’t even think I own a suit anymore. For most PR firm interviews, I would suggest wearing separates like a stylish top, jacket and flat front pants with heels or wedge. You can also consider a skirt and top and, if not revealing, a dress (meaning: it has sleeves and doesn’t show cleavage). If you choose a suit, then be sure it fits your body well, isn’t boxy, and wear a colorful top or shirt underneath the jacket.
Here are some suggested looks:
Try a pretty cropped jacket or cardigan with a skirt or slim trousers.
French-stripe peacoat sweater, $180 at jcrew.com; Semantiks 'City' Denim Pants, $68 at nordstrom.com; gyptian-cotton printed Katie cardigan, $95 at jcrew.com; Nanushka Pleated Skirt, $198 at nordstrom.com
This white cropped jacket can be paired with a full polka dot skirt or cropped pants and patterned underpinning for chic alternatives to a suit.
Semantiks Sateen Pintuck Jacket, $138 at nordstrom.com; Necessary Objects Full Skirt, $44 at nordstrom.com; Retro dot cashmere shell, $89.99 at jcrew.com; Michael Kors Crop Pants, $69.50 at nordstrom.com
If you do opt for a suit, be sure to wear a colorful feminine top underneath to keep the look young and fresh.
To The Max! Notch Collar Jacket, $138 at nordstrom.com; To The Max! Pencil Skirt, $88 at nordstrom.com; Silk/cotton pintuck blouse, $64 at bananarepublic.com; Silk dot-print blouse, $68 at bananarepublic.com