BUSINESS ATTIRE

This is the second company who e-mailed me an appointment for a job interview, specifying in the e-mail that I was requested to “dress professionally”, wearing “appropriate business attire”.

Halifax fashion is an oxymoron. Women walk around mostly wearing flip-flops and cut-off stretch pants. Many look as if they have walked out in their pyjamas. Sometimes you see women wearing ill-fitting jackets with short tight skirts WITHOUT tights, which do not look sexy and glamorous, merely sluttish and unhygienic. Coming from a country where women use style and fashion to make a political statement and push for human rights, (at least, so says the BBC!) and coming from a fierce office where colleagues made comments if you wore the same thing two days running, this sort of slobbing around was at first restful. My suitcase full of office-wear lay in the back room, untouched.

Then, I began to miss dressing and making up in the morning. I began to feel a bit sick wearing the same army green cords and red sweater on cold days, and blue tee-shirt and brown capris on fine days. I began fantasizing about what I would wear to job interviews before I even had any offers…The e-mail injunction to dress professionally was welcome.

I wore a sharp white pressed blouse, tucked in at the waist and with pointed collars, which I had got last year at my Mecca, Istanbul. A black velvet-cord A-style skirt just below the knees, with one big pleat in the front. Thick opaque black tights, and Italian court shoes. A small pink and cream flowery silk scarf knotted round the neck. Make-up: light green eyeliner framing the eyes all way round, with some black kohl on the inside of the lower rim. Sparkly dark pink (kashmir) eye-shadow. At the last moment I added mascara. Pinky-orange lipstick. Big silver and mother-of-pearl earrings and matching ring on my right hand. Typical outfit I would have worn in my old office in Tehran if I had been having a meeting with outsiders, but a bit too fancy for a regular office day. I listened to French rap (K-Maro) getting ready, and I really enjoyed myself. In fact, Ièm enjoying myself now.

And I enjoyed myself also on the bus, going for the interview. I enjoyed the feel of the sharp clothes- the underwired bra, the broad white cuffs matching my ring, the constricting hug of the waist of the skirt, the view of my feet in the lovely shoes. I felt more defined, and it was nice to wear these office clothes but not be in that office, riding on a bus in downtown Halifax, looking at the Atlantic.

Anyway- the recruitment was a  huge thing, with groups of people coming in for tests. Ièll have to write about those tests later- such a joke. I was doing tests in a group of three. The other two were young men, wearing faded torn jeans and sloganned t-shirts. I donèt know whether they didnèt read the e-mail properly, or whether  this was their professional dress. One of them had long hair falling into his eyes, the other one had a shaven head. One of them had tatoos on his arms (no-not as extreme as H.I.M). But I was the misfit. Most of the company staff (it was a big company, with about a hundred small partitioned cubicles in a huge area, with head-setted people crouching over computers) were dressed like that. Some of the women were wearing beige or cream cotton pants- that was about as professional as it got.

I didnèt complete the job interview. They needed teams for weekends and evening shifts, and I couldnèt do that. Plus, I donèt want to spend my summer in a cubicle looking at service plans for clients. But- it was an interesting vivid little exercise in different interpretations and that sort of thing.

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4 comments

  1. scentedswamp

    Wow! That sounds like a fabulous outfit! I wish I was there to see you in all that stuff … I think they would be blind not to give you the job. 😉

  2. PayaM

    hehehe That was so interesting and kinda funny! I like your blog, dude! its fabulous! (youre a dude right?! 😛 )

  3. thenewcomer

    Thanx for the compliments, payaM, but I am a dudess, not a dude. To the scentedswamp: youève seen me a hundred times in those clothes. And read to the end of the post: I didnèt complete the interview because I couldnèt fit the times…

  4. These days it takes going to any lengths to get noticed. Dresing sharp certainly helps and if you look good you feel good. Feeling good will certainly help in an interview. Nice post.

    Larry

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