Ask Angie and everyone: Business Casual wardrobe help (ETA shoe pics)

The baby siting job I got didn't end up leading anywhere. But I have applied for two jobs this week. One of them is at the British Council and starts on July 1st. I have no idea if I will get the job, but I do think I have a chance of being called for the interview. And the interview will probably be soon, because the job is scheduled to start in 10 days!

Would any of my wardrobe work for an interview/business casual setting? I am thinking my Benetton brown and yellow dotted blouse, my purple and lime half sleeve cotton shirts and my Zara white shirt that would work well as tops.

I am wondering what kind of bottoms would work with these tops and any other tops I may purchase? I would need to buy bottoms, since none of the pants I have would work for an office environment. White jeans/pants (not denim, nice thick cotton), dark wash jeans or a pair of trousers? What colour would you suggest for trousers? Also, would my red pants work? They aren't denim, they're a nice thick cotton. I am not that comfortable in skirts, so I don't have them on my must have list. If I find a nice one, I will add it in.

I do think I am set as far as shoes and toppers go - I can wear my nude and pink oxfords, my black and floral flats plus I already have a black blazer, a cream blazer, a turquoise cardigan and a striped cardigan. Once it gets hotter, I am not sure I will be wearing toppers anyway. I do want to look for a pair of black leather flats because the crochet/lace ones aren't as dressy. I would also love to add in a pair of animal print flats!

As for a bag, my satchel will work for sure. Once I can afford another bag, I would love another satchel, a coloured/colour blocked one to add in some fun.

As far as jewellery/accessories are concerned, I would really like to add in a necklace or two, plus some bracelets in fun summery colours.

What do you think? Am I missing anything? I would love your ideas/suggestions, especially on bottoms. I know I haven't got either of the jobs yet, but I want to look my best for an interview. Plus, if I do get either of them I don't want to panic and end up getting crappy stuff. The sales start next Wednesday so it would be a good time to pick some stuff up.

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16 Comments

  • Kristin L replied 5 years ago

    For an interview, I would err on the conservative side. Maybe black or khaki slacks for bottoms. I think the red pants would be fine for after you got the job, but they may be a bit much for an interview. Do you have plain black or brown shoes? That's what I would go with for footwear. Good luck with your interviews!

  • Meredith1953 replied 5 years ago

    I agree with Kristin that black slacks are always good to have on hand. They go with anything. A black skirt of some sort would also be good to own. Because they are basics you should be able to find both of them pretty easily! Good luck with the hopefully upcoming interview! The Consulate job sounds interesting.

  • Jjsloane replied 5 years ago

    I would start with basics (I would recommend at least one skirt if you can find one you like) Black, grey, navy, tan, brown, white. All neutrals to match with any of your tops. A suit goes a long way at any interview IMO. It can be separates that look like a suit. Also if you have any jackets that can dress up most things enough for business looks. Good luck on the interviews.

  • Angie replied 5 years ago

    You have many blouses and shirts that will work, Kirti! Even the odd frock, blazer and skirt.

    I'd slot in some straight leg trousers and a few more pencil skirts.

    I am not sure that your footwear will work though. It's very casual. You might need dressier flats.

    May I suggest starting a separate thread for your interview outfit - perhaps slot in some photos.

  • Kirti replied 5 years ago

    Thanks Kristin! I will look out for black trousers now! :-)m

    Thank you Meredith! I will start hunting right away!

    Jjsloane: Thank you! I sill look out for some neutral bottoms, probably in black and white or charcoal to begin with. I do have 2 blazers and one is black, so I may do a faux suit with black pants if I find them!

  • Kirti replied 5 years ago

    Angie: I have 4-5 work appropriate blouses/tops, some blazers and cardis and a grey sheath dress. All the skirts. I bought recently went back because they kept riding up as I walked in them :( this is why I have sort of ruled out skirts, although I would not say no if the perfect one came my way.

    I agree that my ballet flat collection is super casual and that I need to invest in some dressier pairs. But would my oxfords work? I have the nude Clarks (pic 1), brown two tone (pic 2) and pink (pic 3). I am also wondering if my floral flats might work (pic 4)? I do plan to buy one or two dressy flats, maybe a pair of black ballerinas and a metallic loafer.

    Sorry to bombard you with questions, but could I wear my red pants to work?

    Thanks Angie! :-)

  • Angie replied 5 years ago

    I'm sure you'll find fab skirts :)

    I think the oxfords will work if you dress them up with non-denim.

    Just not sure about the floral flats. Very casual.

  • Transcona Shannon replied 5 years ago

    Looks like Angie has you well sorted Kirti - just wanted to wish you all sorts of good luck!

  • Kirti replied 5 years ago

    Thanks Angie! I shall be on the lookout for trousers, dressy flats and skirts. I will definitely incorporate my oxfords into my work wardrobe (if I get either job) since I love their vibe but I will give up on the floral ones.

    Thank you Shannon :-)

  • rae replied 5 years ago

    Just popping in to say good luck! I think the advice given is what I would have said as well. I am not familiar with the British Council, but it *sounds* conservative. If you happen across a great suit, I wouldn't leave it behind. :)

  • christieanne replied 5 years ago

    Wanted to add my positive thoughts to you and hope the interview happens. I know you will impress them!

    You might look for a small wedge heel instead of a dressy ballet flat. I picked up some 1" wedges and they seem to work with skirts (sometimes flats are too frumpy) but also have that nice easy to walk in effect.

    One suit and a few pairs of slim legged trousers would give you a great start. You could add some accessories - necklaces, scarves, belts - and then play from there?

  • Kirti replied 5 years ago

    Thanks rae! It isn't too conservative, but it never hurts to have a suit right? I'll keep my eyes peeled.

    Thank you christieanne! I hope it works out too! I will look out for a suit as well as some trousers. :-)

  • replied 5 years ago

    Best of luck to ya! When I went on some job interviews 3 years ago, I didn't own a suit (i.e. pants or skirt with matching jacket), but managed to create a nice conservative outfit by combining a pair of black trousers with a black v-neck top and a taupe blazer. Some black slingback pumps and understated silver jewelry (necklace and earrings) completed the look. I felt great, but not overdressed for the positions I was applying for. Hope this helps!

  • Kirti replied 5 years ago

    Thanks so much Ruth! That really helps :-)

  • replied 5 years ago

    One more thing: If you can't find a matching suit, I think it's better for the blazer or jacket to be a different color than the pants or skirt, but one that coordinates well. That way, you won't be wearing different shades of the same color and look like you tried to make a suit but missed the mark. You know what I mean? There are different shades of black, etc. and if the jacket and pants aren't sold together as a set, you might end up with a mismatched outfit that looks "off." That's why for my interview outfit, I went with a taupe blazer rather than with a black blazer.

    I'm sure you'll be able to put together the perfect interview outfit, Kirti. Good luck! :)

  • Kirti replied 5 years ago

    Ruth, that makes a lot of sense! Thanks again :-)

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