Summer interview attire

I’m baaack! I hope you guys all got a chance to check out my travel blog while I was on my road trip – I had an incredible two weeks, and I’m so glad I had such an amazing opportunity to explore the United States.

Being back in Boston is wonderful – it’s finally summer in beantown, I missed my roommate and all my friends, and it’s wonderful to not be living out of a suitcase and wearing wrinkled clothes! Of course being home also means being thrown back into reality – I’m once again interviewing and applying for jobs and internships, which can definitely be a nerve-wracking process. And now that it’s summer all of us job-seeking young women are faced with one important question: what do you wear to a job interview when it’s 90 degrees and humid outside?

Remaining professional is incredibly important, but not sweating to death through your suit before you even get to the interview is also important. After successfully (at least I hope!) dressing the part to both of my interviews, I decided to write about what I learned.

On Tuesday it was 92 degrees and incredibly humid – the type of heat that just standing outside in makes you sweaty and uncomfortable.  I contemplated a number of outfits, including pairing a blazer with a short sleeve Forever 21 dress and wearing grey suit pants with a short sleeve button down. Instead, I ended up choosing one of my favorite Banana Republic dresses – a classic, sleeveless beige shell that is knee length and form fitting but not too tight. I paired the dress with a skinny black patent belt, my white pearl necklace and earrings and pulled my hair up in a tight, neat bun. I wore flip flops on my commute but once I got off the train I slipped on my black pumps and a three quarter sleeve black cardigan. Even though I was a bit sweaty by the time I got there, I think the outfit worked well. I was worried about not being in classic “suit” attire with slacks or a skirt and a blazer, but I figured in the sweltering heat my interviewer would understand, especially since I still felt incredibly professional and put together in my outfit.

It was much cooler today and I had rented a zipcar to drive to my interview, so I wore a white tank top underneath a black blazer and my favorite skirt from Express, a high wasted pencil skirt with a small black and white checkered pattern. I pulled my hair back and wore my other pearl strand which alternates white pearls with small sections of silver chain, and my pearl stud earrings. I kept the blazer off and hanging in the back seat until just before I entered the building, and was able to stay cool by blasting the air conditioning during my drive.

While I was trying to figure out what to wear, I tweeted about my dilemma. A few of my friends made some great suggestions, many of which I hadn’t thought of myself. Danielle suggested a wrap dress, which would have been excellent had I owned a good one – I need to remember to invest in some of those! Marrisa reminded me to wear dark colors so that if I did end up sweating it wouldn’t show through too much, and Catherine emphasized the importance of layers.

Dresses and skirts can be great in the heat as long as they are paired well and don’t show too much skin or cleavage. Bringing a jacket or cardigan that you can carry and then slip on right before the interview is a good idea, and if you have a big enough purse, bringing a mirror, some cover up and deodorant to reapply right before you get into the building can be a great way to touch up and feel fresh before you meet with your potential employer. Do you guys have any other good suggestions?

May 27, 2010. Fashion. 5 comments.

J Crew interview update!

I posted last week about my job search with J Crew, and I realize now that I never updated about the interview! Since I’m supposed to hear back from them some time this week, I figured I’d let you in on the experience thus far.

I headed over to Copley in the pouring rain last Monday afternoon and managed to make it there only slightly soggy. I was wearing my grey leggings, a long, navy blue J Crew argyle cardigan & my newly found pearls (I raided my old jewelry when I was home over spring break & found three strands of pearls I’d gotten as a teen and totally forgot about – score!).  I was also rocking my bright yellow target rainboots. I was there incredibly early, so I spent some time checking out their spring collection and wandering the store. I immediately noticed how many sales associates they had working at one time – I counted at least seven or eight just in the front of the store, and it was a Monday!

I met with Erica, the hiring manager, who gave me lots of great information about the store, dress code, what it’s like to work for J Crew and we talked about me, my fashion sense, my availability and my past retail experience. I think the conversation went well, and she informed me that she’d be calling me in a week to ten days to let me know if I had been picked for a second interview. I’ve never interviewed for a retail job that did second interviews, and to be honest I was pretty shocked – I didn’t know the process was so selective! She said they had a lot of applications, which I definitely do not doubt, and that she’d be in touch.

I’m hoping I hear back soon – although I’d be pretty surprised if I didn’t get a second interview, I guess with that many applicants you really never know. If it doesn’t work out I won’t be heartbroken, although I think working there would be great experienced and I know I’d have tons of fun helping and dressing customers at the store.

Anyways, I’ll be sure to keep you guys posted when I do hear back!

March 23, 2010. Tags: , , . Fashion. Leave a comment.

Boston Globe Interview!

This morning I got out of bed, showered & instead of throwing on jeans or leggings, I put on my suit for my last first co-op interview. I know, that wording was confusing. I’ll back track. Here at Northeastern, we alternate periods of 6 month internship and regular semesters. I’ve already completed two co-ops, and I will be doing a third, and final, co-op starting in July. Today I had my first interview with the Boston Globe – a position that you could easily say is a dream job.

I’d be working in one of the Globe’s bi-weekly regional sections, either South, North or West of Boston, as a full time writer – pitching pieces, covering meetings, helping other reporters and editors in the office. The position is absolutely ideal for me – I’d be writing for a huge corporation, but I’d be able to publish content online and utilize my technology skills from Tech Target (my last co-op) and at the same time be able to work in a small newsroom that focuses on a smaller community, which is what I really loved about my first co-op at Bay Windows & South End News.

Dressed up & ready to go for my Boston Globe Interview!

So why am I telling you all this? Well of course, it ties into fashion. I wanted to share my outfit this morning with you, so I snapped a quick photo in my mirror. The quality isn’t fabulous, unfortunately my roommate was already at class otherwise I would have had her do it.

I bought this pencil suit skirt from Express for $24 on sale, and the red button down also at Express for $12, also on sale. The suit jacket is from Ann Taylor, which I scored at the outlet for just $50. All in all, not a bad look for less than $100!

I’ll be sure to keep you posted on the process, but for now I think the interview went really well! The woman I spoke with assured me that I’d definitely be pushed through for a second round interview at the beginning of April, so until then it’s just a waiting game. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

March 9, 2010. Tags: , , , . Fashion. Leave a comment.

Giving in to jeggings

Thats it. I’ve done it. I’ve given in. At the outlets with my best friend on Friday, I purchased my first pair of jeggings. And I have to say – I love them.

Lately, I’ve been so sick of jeans. I’m in between sizes where 0’s are just too tight that they’re uncomfortable and 2’s are a bit too loose. I feel like all my jeans give me love handles, and I’m uncomfortable sitting in them for too long in class. All I want is to wear leggings all day every day, but of course, that’s not always realistic with the freezing weather of Boston. I think I’ve found my happy medium.

I discovered the Joe’s brand black “Ponte Ankle Chelsea” jean leggings, which retail for $140. My best friend & I each got a pair for $60 instead, and I really did fall in love with their look and feel. They’re black, so when I wear long shirts with them you cant even tell that they aren’t just really nice, thick leggings. At the same time, I can wear a cropped shirt and feel like I’m wearing jeans, without the horrible feel of jeans. They look great with flats and boots, and I already plan to wear them out when I’m back in the cold.

Anyways, I promise there will be pictures of me in them to come but its spring break, I’m home in LA with Dan & I’ve promised him I’d stay away from this thing, as it dangerously eats up my time. Of course I just had to share my exciting news – I’m sure with Dan by my side there will be plenty of other purchases to report when I return. Have a good rest of your week!

March 3, 2010. Tags: , , , . Fashion. Leave a comment.

Dakota Fanning

Last night, my roommate pointed me to this Yahoo! article  which pokes at Dakota Fanning’s recent fashion choices. My roommate, who also grew up in LA, went to the same private high school that Fanning now attends, and saw this picture and immediately began to laugh out loud.

Campbell Hall requires all of it’s students to dress in uniform – girls are required to wear skirts and white button downs. They are allowed to add three things: scarves, hats & tights. While I cant say that I’m a huge fan of this outfit, I do have to admit I love when paparazzi get it wrong.  They even mention the school in the article, so clearly they missed the memo.

But hey Dakota, please lose the ridiculously ripped leggings – you can do so much better. And please, don’t grow up too fast.

February 25, 2010. Tags: , , . Fashion. Leave a comment.

A perfect day for a walk

Saturday in Boston was absolutely beautiful, a balmy 50 degrees. As a California girl, I never thought I’d say that, but in comparison to the freezing cold of January, it was beautiful out!  It turned out to be a perfect day for a walk down Newbury Street for a bit of shopping with my friend Dan.

Our first stop was Club Monaco, where I found Dan a great black crew neck cashmere sweater on sale for $59 (instead of $120!) and a black crew neck waffle tee for $19. Awesome tip: Club Monaco offers a 20% student discount off all merchandise, which meant Dan scored both tops for $65 – not bad!

I’m currently on the hunt for a new pair of flat black boots. I have a great pair of flat black leather boots that I’ve had for a few years – they’re starting to fade, and they’ve got gold buckles, so I can’t always wear them with everything. My favorite pair of boots right now are flat brown boots from Target, which of course used to come in black. After a look on their website this week, turns out the boots are no longer available, and I’m totally bummed – they’re so cute & comfortable (and cheap!) and would have been perfect. Anyways, we looked in Aldo and Charles David but saw nothing, so we made our way to J Crew, where Dan made out like a bandit, and I applied for a job. I’ve decided a tiny (strange) part of me misses retail, and the manager said they were taking applications and currently in an interview process, so I’m crossing my fingers!

As is probably very obvious, I love to dress people, so I had a blast wandering the store pulling things for Dan to try.

Dan, dressed by me in a purple polo & grey & white stripped jacket

I pulled this stripped hoodie and bright polo for Dan, the combination of which I absolutely love.

He tried on a grey vneck we also liked, but decided wasn’t worth it’s price tag for something so basic, and a marked down blue v neck  sweater that I liked, but Dan decided he wouldn’t wear. With his 15% student discount at J Crew, Dan got two polos, a dark grey long sleeve henley and the stripped zip up for just over $150 – not bad!

Next we headed to Filene’s Basement, where I scored an awesome new purse for $15, a pair of $10 sunglasses and a new umbrella which I desperately needed. At the Marc by Marc Jacobs store I bought myself a new wallet that doubles as a clutch, which I’m absolutely obsessed with – it’s hot pink on the inside!

We wandered to American Eagle next, where I continued to play personal shopper for Dan. He ended up with an awesome outfit:

Dan in Straight leg American Eagle jeans, a checkered shirt & his new shades

He also tried on a pink striped shirt, which we quickly vetoed.

Dan giving a thumbs down for the awkward stripes on this shirt

New jeans, shirt, sunglasses and a few pairs of new boxer briefs in hand, we made our way down Newbury to try our luck at Steve Madden. I found this pair of boots at Steve Madden I thought I liked, but decided looked too scrunched and slightly strange on my feet. Too bad, because I found this pair of awesome purple suede flats that would have been 50% off of their sale price ($15!) had I bought the boots. I’m still thinking about whether the flats are worth their sale price of $30 – maybe I’ll go back for them this week.

Hands full of bags and starving, we headed to Chipotle for dinner – yum!

Our delicious dinner at Chipotle after a long day of shopping!

February 21, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . Fashion. 1 comment.

Designer items… for just a few dollars?

Through a friend, I recently discovered oohilove, an online auction website that sells designer pieces for pennies… literally.

The site allows users to bid on items ranging from Tiffany’s necklaces to Louis Vuitton handbags. In order to bid, you must register (free of charge) and purchase bids, which cost $1 each and are available in bid packs ranging from 30 to 800 bids. Each auction starts at 0$, but every time a user bids on an item the price increases by two cents and the time of the auction is increased by ten seconds. During the final 30 seconds of the auction, the timer will stay below 30 seconds no matter how many bids are placed.

In my few weeks of perusing the site, I’ve seen tons of great items come and go. These Chanel earrings, valued at over $250, sold for just $5. Often, $100 bid packs sell for just a few dollars. Other items, like this Marc Jacobs Hobo, were auctioned off at $26.

Shipping on items valued under $100 is free, and $13 on items valued over $100. For those skeptical about the authenticity of their items, the site offers a two week cash back guarantee.

press release on PRweb.com explains the site, which was launched in December of 2009. A question answer piece on Penny Auction Watch gives a bit more insight into the site.

scathing review on SiteJabber.com, while incredibly negative, makes an important point about how the site makes a profit. For every user that buys a bid pack, the site is automatically making money, regardless of if the user wins an item or not.  It’s important to keep in mind that you’re paying money before you win anything just to bid – every time you place a bid on an item, you essentially lose $1, plus the money you shell out for the item, assuming you win. Using the automatic bidder can be dangerous, as it will cost you lots in bidding. Waiting until the very end of the auction seems to be a user’s best bet, but can also be tricky since the time of the auction continually increases the more bidders are trying to win the item.

I’m no math major, but some quick division on my blackberry calculator shows that on a Tiffany’s necklace that sold for $6.92, the site made a profit of $346. Considering the item is only worth $100, they sure are making a killing.

Currently, I’m a member of the site and was given a single free bid for joining. I used it in an attempt to win a bid pack, and lost, so I’m waiting to see if I decide buying a bid pack is worthwhile. I may buy a smaller pack just to try it out – I have my eye on a certain Marc Jacobs bag, and if it crops up again I may just have to try & snag it. I’ll keep you posted.

Happy bidding, & if you are interested in joining the site, please use my invitation page!

February 19, 2010. Tags: , , . Fashion. Leave a comment.

Rihanna’s fashion

Rihanna, at a performance in the UK. Photo Credits to Flickr user MiKeARB

I have long been a fan of Rihanna’s music, and her new single, Rude Boy, is one of my new favorite songs. I haven’t paid much attention to her otherwise, but recently her bold, edgy fashion sense has caught my eye.

Some people, like this recent BumpShack post about Rihanherna’s Pre-Grammy party outfit, heavily criticize her fashion sense. Others, like RihannaDaily.com, have dedicated an entire style page to Rihanna’s fashion choices that enables readers to imitate her outfits.

In searching for images of Rihanna’s fashion, I stumbled upon this great photo compilation on FabSugar that documents her change in style throughout the last four years.

There are a number of her fashion choices that I find slightly… questionable, this recent suit being one of them. Most of her outfits seem very runway inspired, as shown in RihanaDaily’s style page. Personally, I could never pull off her look, nor would I want to. But sometimes, admiring a celebrity’s bold fashion choices doesn’t necessarily mean you have to wholly imitate them.

However, taking pieces from their collections, like these awesome green jean leggings or a summery polka dot dress & belt duo, is always a great way to pick and choose what inspires you.

February 17, 2010. Tags: , . Fashion. Leave a comment.

Revisiting the flannel trend

Recently, I was reading through some of my older blog entries when I stumbled upon a post I wrote in March of last year about the up and coming flannel trend. A year later, I have grown much more accustomed to the look, and figured I’d share my thoughts.

Me, wearing one of the "flannel" shirts that I own before heading out to the bars with friends.

I can now say that I own three “flannel” style tops, although I don’t exactly picture myself wearing them with cowboy boots out on the farm. While I am a huge fan of over-sized shirts and leggings, I’ve decided to keep my checkered shirt collection shorter to wear with jeans.

The shirt pictured to the right I bought at New York & Co on Black Friday last year. You can’t really tell in the picture, but it has a few frills near the top buttons and thin silver stripes. Not only was it incredibly on sale, but I decided I liked the fit and would be able to wear it both to class and out with friends.

When I was home in LA over winter break, I got a multicolored checkered shirt from Target that I absolutely love. It was $15 and the bright, fun colors are right up my alley.

Yesterday, Erin and I did some retail therapy damage at Forever 21, American Eagle and H&M. We found these great checkered tops at American Eagle. They were marked down in the store to $19.95, and we had an additional 40% off coupon which meant we got them for $12 each. Erin got the blue one, and I decided to go for the green. The colors are more Spring like, but the material is soft and comfy, and will be a nice bright top to pair with dark jeans.

I think the trick is finding a pattern that isn’t too traditional (I’d suggest avoidng red and black checkers) and can be worn with a solid tank top underneath. Finding the right size is also key: make sure that it fits well but isn’t too tight or too loose. Adding a girly touch, like the silver stripe or the frills near the buttons, can also benefit the look.

So there you have it – I’ve officially been converted. Of course now that I’ve warmed up to the trend, I’m sure it will be on the “that is so last year” list.

February 14, 2010. Fashion. Leave a comment.

How to properly wear your leggings

Lately, everywhere I turn I’ve been seeing girls wearing leggings as pants. It’s painful and embarassing to see, as this great article from The News Record points out. In fact, there are thousands of blog posts on the subject of leggings and precisely why they shouldn’t be worn as pants.

Now don’t get me wrong – I love leggings. I would gladly wear leggings instead of jeans any day, I practically live in them. I own a half dozen pairs in black, grey, navy, turquoise, purple and even bright blue. So instead of just criticizing, I’ve decided to compile a list of the five best ways to flaunt the trend.

Flickr user Idhren shows how to pull off the legging trend well! Photo reproduced under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.

1. Keep your leggings simple and in one piece. Seeing ripped leggings like these ones makes me want to cry.

2. Always wear a long top, sweater or dress with your leggings. Rule of thumb: your entire butt should be covered at all times. My trick is to always wear a long, layering tank top underneath whatever top I’m wearing. My favorite is the boyfriend tank from American Eagle which I buy in a bigger size so it’s longer on me.

3. If you’re going to wear brightly colored leggings (which I am all for!) be sure to pair them with a simple solid color like black or white. Wearing a bright green top with purple leggings can be a bit of an eye sore.

4. Keep your outfit simple. When I wear leggings, I try to stick with solids. Often, all you need is a pair of leggings, a long tank top and a basic long sleeve sweater to pull on over. What makes the outfit is your scarf, necklace, earrings or shoes. Even if you’re wearing black leggings and a great sweater, make your outfit pop with a bright gold necklace, like this one from Forever 21.

5. Pair your leggings with boots or flats – when wearing my leggings with flats, I often pull the leggings underneath my heel to create a different, unique look.

February 9, 2010. Tags: , , , . Fashion. 1 comment.

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