Biz Makeover

Photography by Alex Stafford By Jackie Rogers September 30, 2011

BEFORE: Casual coed best described Debbie’s old style.Debbie Ellis is working on her master’s in mental health counseling at Eckerd College, wearing the standard uniform of a student: jeans and flip-flops. As she gets ready to interview with employers in her field, she needs to impress them the second she walks through the door.

Task: Taking Debbie from comfy student attire to a polished—but approachable—look for interviews.

Debbie’s goal: “The biggest challenge comes down to a lack of confidence when pulling an outfit together. I want to find a great interview outfit that gives me a comfortable fit and self-assurance.”

Jackie’s approach: “When selecting an interview outfit, know what message you want to convey and how to dress for your particular work environment. In mental health counseling, Debbie needs an approachable, warm look; color and texture can help achieve that. I selected blue, not only to brighten and bring out her eyes, but also to create the openness and warmth she needs to show. I added a belt over the cardigan to define her waist, and a great pair of python-embossed kitten heels and bag that shout confidence.”

Debbie’s reaction: “There is no doubt in my mind that when I walk into an interview with this outfit on I will feel very confident, which will match the confidence I feel in my ability to do the job well.”

AFTER: The black denim pant is a modern fit, suitable for the office and for a night out—a must-have for any wardrobe.Where to buy

Gorjana gold hoop earrings, 14K gold-filled, $88, Joe’s Jean’s denim pant, $168, all from Lotus Boutique. Blue cami, Willi Smith, $19.99, blue cardigan, Willi Smith, $24.99, Rampage bag, $49.99, all from TJ Maxx; Marjorie Baer woven belt, $105, blue topaz ring, $85, from Samba; shoes, Royal by Paul Mayer, $225, T. Georgiano’s.

Styling by Jackie Rogers

Make-up by Bethany Holmstrom of Fresh Salon & Spa

A cardigan and multicolored scarf are another option for smart interview style. Michael Stars soy/cotton cardigan, $118, Italca Italy silk and viscose scarf, $62, Lotus Boutique.

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