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Old 02-16-2013, 02:35 PM   #1
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Women's interview clothes

I am seeking a teaching position and the competition is fierce. I am going to buy some new clothes. I am plus sized and busty. I always feel uncomfortable in a suit jacket. Do you think it is necessary to look professional? I have been wearing work clothes to interviews. I don't know what to get. I'm working hard to lose weight and hate the idea of spending too much on clothing in this size.

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Old 02-16-2013, 02:39 PM   #2
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I still think a suit is the way to go. I have several busty women in my office that do wear suits and, if they find the right style, they look great. My supervisor is incredibly busty and she somehow manages to really find things that work well for her.

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Old 02-16-2013, 02:43 PM   #3
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suit, all the way.
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:44 PM   #4
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I don't think a blazer is necessary to look polished and professional. How about a shift style dress (i think that's what it's called) and coordinating cardigan?
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:47 PM   #5
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I agree that suit is the way to go.
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:58 PM   #6
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I say that if you wear a suit and feel uncomfortable that the interviewer will notice it. In my opinion it is better to wear something that you are comfortable in so that you can come across as very confident during the interview.
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:59 PM   #7
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Do you have a Dress Barn near you? I am on the hunt too and was surprise at how much I liked their work clothes. I had never shopped there before. They were reasonably priced too.

I got. Suit from Macy's. It's Calvin Klein everyday essentials or something like that.


I like it a lot and think it has a great fit. But then again, I have not found a job yet.

Good luck!
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:20 PM   #8
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If you are concerned about spending money; I have found that some of the thrift stores have lots of selection at a really good price.

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Old 02-16-2013, 03:25 PM   #9
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I was looking last year and found suit separates at Macys. I got basic black and the jacket fit surprisingly well. I think the jacket was about $50.

I also went to my local Dillards Clearance Center and found suit pieces there. I got each piece for $6 and then spent about $20 having them tailored and they are the best pieces I've ever owned. I picked neutral stuff and then maximized what I could put together from it - 2 pairs of pants ($3 each!) in black, tan and gray went with the black, tan and red jackets I got.

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Old 02-16-2013, 03:45 PM   #10
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It might depend on what part of the country you live in, but I used to work as a para and worked summer camp, so saw plenty of teachers coming to interview. I'd guess not even half wore a suit. I think a black skirt or even nice black pants with nice shoes a pretty blouse and a nice cardigan would work.

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Old 02-16-2013, 04:13 PM   #11
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I did lots of teacher interviews before my kids came along, as department chair. And in the NY-NJ area, I would absolutely go with a suit-- and pantyhose if it's a skirt suit.

If you're really opposed to a suit, then get a black cardigan-- a good, kind of structured one, and wear it with a fairly conservative dress.

Other things to consider: try hard to be yourself, but your best self. Don't be afraid to make a small joke at your own expense or to ask a question if there's a term you're unfamiliar with. Remember, it's not the right answers they want so much as the right person. The best interviews are the ones where the conversation flows, kind of like a cocktail party minus the wine and cocktail franks.

Also, be very careful to remember: they don't care if it's your "dream job." (As an aside, I really hate that term!!!! I LOVE my job. But it's work, and there are days when it's incredibly hard work. ) Anyway, back to the point, they're not looking to be the good wish fairy; they don't care about your dream job. They're looking for their dream candidate. It's a fine distinction, but an important one.

Do your homework. Know about the school, the kids, the neighborhood. Know about Common Core and other important buzzwords. But I personally would suggest keeping them to a minimum unless they really fit in. I would much prefer a candidate who can say what she means in English than in edu-babble.

The best of luck to you. Let us know how it goes.
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:03 PM   #12
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From a formerly plus-sized gal...get a suit. Either a pants suit or a dress/jacket suit or a skirt suit. Alex Marie at Dillards is a good line.

Your jacket should have at least 3 buttons. My old favorite was one that had it's first button right between "the girls" -- it offered me more coverage and provided a nice V without being inappropriate. I think this jacket had 4 buttons. I paired this jacket with a short sleeved sweater (jewel neckline) or with a nice button up blouse (it also created a V look that was modest). I then put on a nice SMALL necklace or smaller pearls -- though not a choker!

I had nicely tailored pants, an A-line skirt (I can't do the pencil skirts), and a terrific dress that had a small V slit at the neck -- and otherwise was a jewel neckline that all went with the jacket. The pants were black, the skirt was black, the dress had a black/charcoal pattern on pattern and went great with the black jacket!

I don't know how you are built, but I used to have a tummy. I got SPANX (love and hate those devils) and the jacket was able to nip in my waist so I didn't look like one size from top to bottom.

My mom is built alot like me, except that she is horribly short waisted! Rather than looking for something to nip in her waist, she went for the "unconstructed" jacket look. She looked for things that lengthened her (black shoes with a small heel paired with black hose and a charcoal gray suit). She would layer necklaces (though not too long) or wear a colorful scarf to bring eyes up (away from her chest).

Do yourself a favor...go shopping with someone who is very critical. Buy what looks best and then pay the few extra dollars to have it tailored. Make sure the sleeves, pant legss, jacket length, etc, all work for you.

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Old 02-16-2013, 06:40 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Tiggeroo View Post
I am seeking a teaching position and the competition is fierce. I am going to buy some new clothes. I am plus sized and busty. I always feel uncomfortable in a suit jacket. Do you think it is necessary to look professional? I have been wearing work clothes to interviews. I don't know what to get. I'm working hard to lose weight and hate the idea of spending too much on clothing in this size.
A suit is the way to go. Go to Good Will or Salv al.... Can find lots of good suits for pennies....

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Old 02-16-2013, 07:20 PM   #14
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I would wear slacks and a nice blouse, which is a step up from what I wear to school (jeans, t-shirt, and our school vest).

I guess it depends on what grade you teach and the culture of your area. For older grades, a suit seems more appropriate, but for the early grades, it almost seems too stuffy to me. I teach (speech therapy) in a k-2 school, and I am up and down off the floor constantly. I would want my interview appearance to be presentable but also reflect the fact that I am the kind of person who is willing to play and get dirty.

Ymmv, and in all fairness, it might matter more for teachers since there is so much more competition for teaching positions than related services therapy positions. I interviewed for my position on the phone, and was wearing my pajamas.

Hope you get it!
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:32 PM   #15
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My go to suit for librarian interviews until it finally started showing it's age was a charcoal grey double breasted pantsuit with lined pants. The jacket was long and just boxy enough to cover problem areas but nipped in a little at the waist so I didn't look like a lump. I wore it with some patterned silk scarves tucked into the collar that I bought at Ross along with some fake grey pearls. The scarves were cheaper and more flattering than a blouse. I paired the suit with some nice comfortable heeled black ankle boots that did double duty since I liked to wear them with jeans when I went out on the weekends.

I often wore the pants to work in the winter with a nice work appropriate sweater.

I prefer to wear a nice pants suit to interviews because I don't have to worry about pantyhose runs and I could get away with wearing more comfortable boots instead of heels. My outfit stood out in the sea of black skirt suits but looked professional and polished. I also felt less self conscious and was more likely to use at least part of the suit after the fact.

One last piece of advice is to make sure the suit is well lined. It's worth paying for that because a well lined suit will hang much better than an unlined suit.
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