Tuesday, August 27, 2013

What to Wear | The Interview


How many times have you Googled "what to wear to an interview" in your life?
(My answer: however many interviews I've been to in my life, times probably two, usually in a total panic the night before.)

So while I absolutely don't consider myself an expert on dressing for interviews, I am pretty experienced in how the sh$! Google tells you compares to real life.

Now seems as good a time as any to note that my real life interviews involve mostly county government offices, which is somewhere below big-law corporatism and somewhere above marketing/advertising on the creativity in officewear scale. If your real life interviews involve big firms or super-corporate offices, err on the side of more conservative. If your real life involves casual Friday on every day that starts with a letter of the alphabet, you have wiggle room. It's always better to be a little over-dressed than under-dressed, but you also don't want to be the douchemonkey that shows up in a full suit when everyone else is in jeans. You risk looking super out of touch with the company culture and, you know... douchey. Flip side: if you show up to a super corporate office in leopard peep toes, you risk looking like look like you have no respect for the process.

If you just can't fathom sacrificing even an ounce of your fashion individuality for any amount of time, don't go corporate. Alternatively, take a gander at the economy, be grateful you've got an interview, get over it.

Without further long-way-around-the-barn-ing, a list of the best advice the interwebz has to offer:

General Rule: the rules are for people who generally have issues de-frumping.
Don't be ashamed if this is you. It's also me.
The fact is, the rules are made to lead to a presentable end product: if you look put together, professional, and you aren't totally incompetent, no one's going to care if your shoes are peep toes or if your suit isn't black. If you show up in a black suit with your vent strings on (CUT YOUR VENT STRINGS! GO NOW! we'll wait.), black pumps with scuffed toes, and I can see your granny panty lines, you look like you've got no attention for detail even if you're the smartest person in the building.

The Rule: wear a dark suit.
The Reality: wear a suit that fits you like cray and doesn't wrinkle.
A lot of people, my career services office included, will tell you that you can ONLY wear a black suit to interviews. The super old-fashioned ones will tell you to only wear a black skirt suit, because pants are too modern - to this I say half yes, because I think pencil skirts look 100000x better on everyone, and half no, because it's 2013 and fuck you and the horse you rode in on if some old guy says I can't wear pants.

The truth is, black makes a lot of people look awful. You look awful, you feel awful, and you need to feel awesome. If black washes you out, look for navy or charcoal gray. Again, more casual offices would probably be cool with a light gray suit, a white suit, a completely badass red suit. Your gut reaction is good here - I crushed so hard on a heather gray suit before my last interview, but the thought of wearing it made me wonder if that was okay, and if you have to wonder if it's okay, it's not okay.

(I know, I questioned a heather freaking gray suit? What kind of snoremonster have I become?)

Also, and this is a biggie: tailor, tailor, tailor. I found myself suitless the day before my interview and had to panic-rush myself to the mall, but ideally I'd have the jacket sleeves taken up a bit and some other tweaks here and there. No idea how a suit should fit? What a coincidence, your tailor will. Go in and tell them you bow to their vast expertise.

The Rule: no heels over 3" high.
The Reality: no shoes you can't walk in, no lucite, no platforms.
My Sam Edelman Portney pumps (suck on that 4" heel, Career Services) have been on approximately every interview I ever went to in law school, and no one ever busted out a tape measure. They also aren't platforms, are a conservative pointed-toe shape, and I can run in them if I have to. Do not, do not, do not, for the love of everything holy, ever let me catch you wearing platform heels in an interview. Please. Except maybe one of those covered 1/2 inch numbers.

The Rule: no short hemlines, no deep necklines, no shoulders, no skin-tightness, no panty lines.
The Reality: what they said, with the possible exception of the shoulder thing.
Yeah, if it's 85 degrees outside and the office isn't strict, a sleeveless blouse with a higher neckline is probably fine. Otherwise, I should not see your thighs, I should not see your cleavage (girls with actual boobs, I get it and I hate you, this is ridiculously hard, but minimize it as much as you can without the use of duct tape), I should not see panty lines or bra lines, and the fit should leave everything to the imagination. Because too tight screams things you do not want your clothes screaming, even if the reason is because the bar exam made you fat and not because you're trying to bring all the boys to the yard.

This is not a "defend men from temptation, they can't help themselves" thing, because that is disgusting (see: "... and the horse you rode in on"). It's a professionalism thing. Your goal in an interview is to make them see nothing but your qualifications. It isn't to say I have no personality I'm a sheep, it's to say I know how to read a situation and present myself appropriately for that situation. You wouldn't show up for a bullfight wearing all red, right? You don't ever, ever want to look like you're more concerned with your look than with the job.

Ten General Tips You May Have Heard Before & Some You Haven't
1. Bring copies of your resume and other important things in a portfolio. Throw down ten bucks on a cheapie at Walmart, don't show up with a fistful of loose paper or a manila envelope.

2. No rings on your shaking hand. I had the pleasure of having a cocktail ring on at a networking event where a lovely gentleman introduced himself by trying to break every bone in my hand. I woke up with a ring-shaped bruise.

3. Buy a half-decent steamer on Amazon. I hate to iron and wrinkles happen, and you cannot cannot cannot show up wrinkly. Get one of the cute little handheld ones you can throw in your car if you have to.

4. Clean out your purse beforehand. When you go to dig for your pen, you don't want to flash your tampons and gum wrappers and ten thousand receipts.

5. No perfume. Stick a baby travel-size deodorant in your bag (the zippy part! Don't need to flash that either) if you get sweaty when you're nervous.

6. Keep your jewelry as minimal as you can. No jewelry looks a little less put together, but simple earrings and a watch are a good compromise. Necklaces, dangly earrings, bracelets, and rings are easy to fiddle with when you get nervous.

7. Speaking of... if you're a fidgeter, remove as many fidgeting opportunities as you can. No clicky pens, no jewelry, pull your hair away from your face, no hairbands on your wrist. Whatever you have to do to not look like a poster child for ADHD.

8. Take a drink of water and have a mint before you go in. No chewing on gum, no chewing on mints, no coffee breath, no Diet Coke breath.

9. We talked about suits, not so much what goes under the suit. No cotton tees, no tight tank tops. You need a dressy material that doesn't wrinkle or show lines, a color (or even a pattern! I KNOW! I SHUN THE RULEZ!) you like that makes you look amahzballs, and a length that doesn't look screwy tucked in.

10. Pay attention to details. Cut your vent strings, wear Spanx, make sure your toes/heels aren't scuffed, don't have orangey fake-bake hands, get a mani (or at least file your nails and take off your crazy polish), get the dog hair off, turn your necklace clasp back around, check that there's no lipstick on your teeth. Don't let the little-picture things screw you over.

Hit us with your best tips in the comments, I'll keep updating this list, and together we'll have an ever-evolving answer to the most boring outfit dilemma ever.


JACKET: THE LIMITED | SKIRT: THE LIMITED | TOP: THE LIMITED (OLD) | HEELS: SAM EDELMAN PORTNEY

My real-life suit and I. Aren't you excited that my camera's coming out of storage soon?!
Real-life pro tip: take off the Wild Turkey phone case, or you know, amputate the iPhone from your hand and leave it in the car.

Real Girl Style Link Up 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Outfit of the Day | (Fake-ass) Rockabilly

SHIRT: J.CREW FACTORY | JEANS: APT. 9 VIA KOHL'S | SANDALS: SAM EDELMAN | WATCH: FOSSIL | NECKLACE: NORDSTROM RACK

This outfit feels a little industrial-retro-ey something I can't put my finger on-ey. Shit happens when you  party naked decide to wear all of your favorite things at once, mirrors be damned. I am so hardxcore.

Also, I ombre-d my hair about a year too late. Such is life when you really, really need roots to be in because you juuuust can't afford highlights right now.

Let's all play a fun game! You ready? It's called "go check your spam box to see if my email about winning the Target gift card landed there." Especially if your name is Taylor :) And then eeeemmmaaaiiiilll mmmeeeee baaacckkkkkkkk.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Outfit of the Day | The Gym is My New Boyfriend

TANK: KILROY'S ON KIRKWOOD (REMOVE MIND FROM GUTTER!) | SHORTS: NIKE | SHOES: SAUCONY KINVARA 3
TEE: THE ESTEEMED UNIVERSITY OF INDIANA | SHORTS: C9 BY TARGET

^^^And this is why July was the month where outfit posts went to die. Thiiiiis is what I wore.
Turns out the bar exam does this fun thing where it wrecks your brain and makes you fat. Cool bro, cause I was actually just thinking how I have just waaay too much going for me.

ENTER: SAM'S TOTALLY AWESOME 5K TRAINING.
This is a lie. I hate to run. But I like what running does to my skinny jeans, so I bitch my way through it. Did you know they have 5Ks at night? With glow sticks?! I'm cautiously optimistic.

I'd rather spend money on clothes I don't sweat all over than the ones that I do. I'm just built that way. But if my workout clothes are crappy and black and gray, I'm not going to wear them, ergo I'm not going to work out.


I like to buy my running shoes (and let's be honest, my heels and my dresses and my swimsuits) from Zappos because oh hi - FREE RETURNS. Le free. I ordered my Kinvaras (best. shoes. ever.) in 8, 8.5, and 9, and I could try them all on just like I'd do in a store, except they're WAY CHEAPER than in the store. Amaahhhhzzinggg.


I'm not a workout in just my sports bra kind of girl, but that doesn't mean I don't want them to be cute as fuhhh. Cue Target, as per usual.

Howww convenient that the $25 Target gift card giveaway is going on right meow. Go forth and enter and then go getchaself some... everything in the world. Because that's what Target sells.


I found this Etsy shop through Pinterest and I want, you know, every single one. I'm buying the legs day tank in bulk and leaving a stack by all of the arm machines. YOU MAD BRO?!

Where do you guys find cute gym stuff? BETTER YET, what's your favorite class to take? I need to branch out. I'm like a little workout shrub that needs to blossom into a... yeah it's my bedtime.

 pleated poppy

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Giveaway | What the Bar Exam Feels Like

(Huge shout out to #whatshouldwecallme for being my happy place all summer.)

10. How you feel when your Facebook frenemies post that they're two weeks ahead of Barbri's schedule and you're drunk:



9. You spend three months actively seeking out absolutely anything else to do:

[source]

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8. Then you try to answer your very first practice essay:


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7. Every time someone (usually your mom) tells you you're going to pass:

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6. When you #epicfail a bunch of MBE questions terrifyingly late in the process:

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5. When aaaaall the gunners start rehashing the questions during the stampede out of the exam room:

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4. Your face when you realize the bar examiners moonlight as comedians and gave you a SURFACE. WATER. ESSAY. QUESTION. (Or, for you Indiana kids, the first admin law question in twenty-four years.)

[source]

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3. Trying to memorize Constitutional Law:

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2. When you decide to skip the bathroom line and wait out the 15 minutes before you're allowed to leave the room once the test starts... and then the test starts.

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1. The SECOND it's over:

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As a teeny tiny, wholly insignificant thank you for all the happy you guys threw my way these last few months, and also in honor of that whole IT'S MY 200th POST (holy mother of shitballs!) thing... a giveaway! One shiny new $25 gift card to the happiest place on Earth. I'll announce the winner on Monday. Good luck love kittens!
Open to U.S. readers only.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Outfit of the Day | My Free Time Has Multiplied Like Rabbits!

DRESS: EXPRESS via TJ MAXX | SHOES: TARGET | EARRINGS: F21 | BRACELET: J.CREW | WATCH: FOSSIL | RINGS: F21

I'M AAAALLLIIIIIIIIIIIVE!
AND THIS DRESS HAS POCKETTTTTSSSSSSSSS!

I am finally finally finally finally done with the bar exam and that all by itself is enough to make up for most anything else. And if that weren't enough, finding a pretty blue snakey-print dress with pockets from Express on the TJMaxx clearance rack for $15 and awesome strappy wedges I've been looking for since birth on the Target clearance rack for $8 would probably take care of the rest.

Plus these babies make me tall. Like, tall tall. Ain't mad at it.

I wore this for my bestie's bachelorette staycation that involved mani/pedis (incredibly poor shoe choice on that front) and wine and sushi and a froyo bar (Orange Leaf? Yogurtini? How have I never heard of this heaven before?!) and a hotel room and a few rousing games of Never Have I Ever. THE THINGS YOU LEARN, MAN. You think you know people and then you play Never Have I Ever...


Could I be more washed out? No. But I needed you to appreciate the wedge on these guys.

TOP: APT. 9 via KOHL'S (THE EQUIPMENT DUPES ARE BACK!) | SHORTS: TARGET | NECKLACE: ASOS

It was too dark to get a full-length shot and it's NOT like you don't already know what shoes I'm wearing. Oh, Target glitter sandals much? Yeah k. And yes that is a picture of wee me in the bathroom, in the bathroom. Irony abounds in our house.

I wore this to go hang out with some of my very favorite friends from my first undergrad (I transferred after sophomore year), two of whom are approximately the cutest married couple ever, and they made us dinner and we made s'mores on the fire pit they frigging built together. Because yeah, be cuter. 

What have you guys been up to? I've missed you! Hint hint wink wink nudge nudge you should deeefinitely check back tomorrow... I have a little somethin' somethin' for you guys in honor of you being fking awesome about my random bouts of absence all summer and if you're anything like me (trust me you are, at least about this specific mecca of awesomeness) you shan't desire to miss upon it.

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