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Published: 17 Oct 2018

Dress for Success: Affordable Interview Dressing

Extra
Amber Butchart giving a candidate advice on interview attire

Dressing appropriately for a job interview is a key concern for jobseekers  as well as a financial burden. Charities in Britain and the US are empowering job hunters by providing low-cost and rentable clothing and accessories for interviews.

Recent research has found that UK graduates spend £58 ($77) on average on a new interview outfit – an amount which is unattainable for many (Barclays, 2017). But career-finding app Debut and fashion historian Amber Butchart have collaborated with charity shops across the UK to launch a new initiative: Dress to Impress for £10, providing a whole outfit for just a tenner ($13).

More than 650 charity shops have committed to the enterprise by dedicating retail space to interview-appropriate clothing. Store volunteers will also be on hand to share styling advice from Butchart to allay any concerns.

Similarly, in the US, the New York Public Library has extended its offering beyond books by launching the Grow Up Work Fashion Library in August 2018. The fashion library focuses on accessories, offering items such as professional bags, briefcases and ties for three-week loans. It also has information sheets suggesting interview tips, career resources, books and websites – including those with advice on professional attire.

The two initiatives illustrate how contentious the issue of workwear has become. While professionalism is often associated with traditional tailoring, a recent survey reveals that only one in 10 people wear a suit to work (Travelodge, 2018).

As working life adapts to societal shifts, affordable, high-functioning clothing will be in demand. For further insight into the future of workwear, see Fashion's Workplace Challenge. For more on navigating the changing workplace, see our Macro Trend The Work/Life Revolution.

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