This week, we have a question from Alexa, who is apparently thinking of fleeing the corporate life for something more creative.
Question right up your Corporette alley – after years of working in BigLaw, next week I have an informational interview with a PR agency. So what do I wear??? And where do I go buy? Am I thinking a Theory suit? Or should I try something less… severe than a black suit? A neutral suit of some kind? Where are those? Help!!
Youch, good questions. Our advice here is to go with something that oozes confidence — and yes, that probably will be a black or gray or navy suit. You want to look:
- polished, put together, not an embarrassment to the client
- professional (not upstaging the client)
- creative enough to write press releases and come up with new angles
- totally capable and in control of the situation
All this — but for the “creative” part — is exactly as it was for your BigLaw interview. So yes, we would say go with a power suit. For the “but I’m creative too” vibe, however, go with some interesting colors beneath the dark suit. Pair a yellow blouse with purple heels, for example, or wear royal blue jewelry with an orange bag. You want to show taste and discrimination with creativity — work in your comfort zone and be confident in what you put together. If the PR company happens to represent any of the brands you’re wearing, all the better.
If your bag is brightly colored, though, you may want to stick to more demure shades — crisp white or gray shirt with black heels, perhaps worn with a funky cocktail ring (not one that’s snagalicious, but serious — maybe something like this.)
Finally, because you want to exude an “I can do anything” veneer, sensible shoes are out. Unless you’re tall enough to pull off flats with the same regal attitude Carla Bruni does, go for a tall heel, designer if possible. Avoid frilly and girly, unless the PR company represents those kinds of brands. Note that because PR is a much more fashion-sensitive profession than the law is, you will want either the latest season of an expensive brand, an all-time classic, or, if you’re really daring, an up-and-coming designer from a little shop in Brooklyn that Barney’s buyers haven’t yet discovered.
For more ideas, we hate to say it, but check around JCrew.com for ideas on colors. For ideas of the creative “spirit” check around The Sartorialist. We’ve been trying to think all morning of a movie or television show to direct you towards to watch a character, but nothing comes to mind… we’ll keep thinking for you. (Readers, if you have suggestions, please send ’em in!)