The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

“Is skirt off sick?”

Scarlett Whittell advises how not to dress like Bridget Jones in the office.

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Bridget Jones is a cracking girl, bagging Hugh Grant and Colin Firth in one fell swoop. The same admiration is not due, however, for her office fashion, which should be avoided like the bubonic plague. Absent skirts and see-through beige tops (a particularly horrendous choice, Bridge) are brilliant for cinematic humour, yes. They are NOT, however, acceptable in the real world. I’m not suggesting that the perfect interview outfit will guarantee you the job, but showing that you can dress yourself certainly helps with first impressions. To help you out, I’ve made a list of the three worst offenders, most of which are displayed unashamedly by Miss Jones herself. Please, please check your chosen ensemble at least three times (and maybe enlist the help of a brutally honest friend) before leaving the house.

1. Underwear is not outerwear

Bra straps do not enhance your outfit. Neither does a sneak peek of which designer produced your undies. And the worst offender, oh God help me, a crystal-clear view of your brightly coloured bra, which you’ve helpfully coupled with a thin white blouse. I hate to sound patronising, but it’s called underwear for a reason. I don’t give a flying hoot if you’ve blown your entire loan at Victoria’s Secret, keep it under wraps.

2. Thighs are inappropriate 

If you’re the proud owner of the much-sought-after ‘gap’, that’s great and my honest congratulations go out to you. Just a quick thought though … you aren’t going to put it on your CV are you? Right, so don’t try to show it off in the interview room. You aren’t fooling anyone that your knee-length skirt is demure when it has a HUGE slit up the back which perfectly frames your thighs and more. You have two options; check both the front AND back of your skirt in the mirror (ground breaking stuff) or wear trousers. Easy.

3. Impractical shoes

Let’s listen to my Granny on this one. She refuses to take a man seriously if he has dirty shoes – ‘it’s a sure sign of laziness and bad time management Scarlett’. These are two traits you definitely don’t want to portray in your interview. Basically boys, invest in some polish and one of those little brushes and scrub those damn shoes until you can see your reflection. As for you ladies, I am pleading you from the very bottom of my heart, DO NOT WEAR HEELS THAT IMPEDE YOUR ABILITY TO WALK. Signs that your chosen stilettos are too high include constantly bending your knees, almost breaking your ankles and being too afraid to tackle stairs.

It really is quite simple isn’t it. Abide by these three rules, and you’re on the way to a perfect interview outfit. Good luck ladies and gents, I’m sure you’ll nail it.