You want my advice? (Pt. 18)

“You Want My Advice?” is a twice weekly feature (Tuesdays and Thursdays) of davisw.wordpress.com. I look at questions of ethics, manners, faith, fashion, geopolitics, science, etc., and offer completely inappropriate, irresponsible and possibly even life-threatening advice. Today, we hear from a reader who’s looking for some fashion and career advice.

Q. I have been working in fashion sales from the same department store for 16 years. Now I am one of several sales associates whose position will be eliminated. We all will be looking for retail-sales job. Should we wear pantsuits (which is what most of us wear to work now) or skirt suits? What about shoes and accessories? What is the rule for shoe color? I always thought your shoes were supposed to match whatever clothing was closest – pants, skirt, etc. What is the best thing to wear for a job interview? – Naked and Wondering

A. You’re asking the wrong person.

I am not someone who is known for their fashion sense. As I look down at my body today while sitting at my laptop, what I see is pretty much a disaster area on the order of the Kentucky ice storm, except maybe with fewer hypothermic horses. I’m wearing a faded “Salty Dog” t-shirt, grey sweatpants about two sizes too large (make that one size – I just finished a sausage and cheese McGriddle), white socks and ten-year-old penny loafers. Above the neck, I’ve got a two-day beard stubble, a windblown comb-over whose tentacles threaten to obscure my ears, and nose hair issues I should probably see an endocrinologist about. But this much I can tell you in response to your question: do not wear sweatpants.

In the eternal debate on pantsuits versus skirt suits, I come down firmly on the side of pantsuits. The last thing you want is a job interviewer who thinks you’re moderately attractive, and wearing a pantsuit will just about guarantee that this won’t happen. As far as accessories, I’d suggest something that’s going to grab their attention so that when you leave the interview, they won’t be able to forget you – maybe something like a live fish around your neck, fuzzy dice earrings, and a black inner tube inflated around your waist. (You can never go wrong with black.)

As for the shoes, you’re right that they should be matching whatever clothing is closest, which in my case is the white socks. However, it’s well known (even by the fashion-challenged like me) that you’re not supposed to wear white shoes after Labor Day.

Frankly, it’s probably just going to be easier for you to go on welfare.

If you had been paying any attention at all during your years working in fashion retail, you should be able to answer these questions yourself. What were you doing while customers were trying on clothes in your changing rooms – training for a career with an actual future? If you had any sense at all, you would’ve reached over the wall, stolen their old clothes, and then worn these when you showed up at McDonald’s to apply for the only position you’ve got a hope of getting in this economy. Might I suggest you order the sausage and cheese McGriddle to let them know how serious you are about your new career.

 

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One Response to “You want my advice? (Pt. 18)”

  1. E.F. Misanthrope Says:

    Harsh words of advice from Davis W, making fur fly on the fashionista catwalks of Bloggsville. The piece inspires EF Misanthrope to attempt to revive the Chairman Mao suit, but in the current economic climate, he couldn’t afford to buy one. Re interviews, E.F. always does them by phone, allowing him to fool potential employers into believing he’s the kind of man with more than two pairs of trousers and a nose hair trimmer.

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