A few weeks ago, I unexpectedly received an invitation to interview for a job. I foolishly assumed that my black pant suit was in the closet and ready to go. The jacket was there but the pants I normally wear were nowhere to be found. Yikes! I rifled through my closet and found two more pairs of black dress pants. Phew! It seemed like I was in luck….or was I?
I normally wear heels with my suits when interviewing (because nothing makes an initial impression quite like a 6’5 woman waltzing into a conference room), but I decided to wear these Tory Burch pointed toe flats since I’d be taking public transport and walking quite a bit to and from the interview.
The first pair of black pants from my closet were a good length for flats but the clasp had come off the waist. They also looked a bit wonky and had an overall frumptastic vibe. I was not interested in giving off a wonky/frumpy vibe and I was reminded of why I hadn’t worn these pants in years. They were definitely out! The second pair of black pants were so long, I would have to wear heels with them. Normally this would be a good problem but not this time!
With both pairs of black pants out of the running, I turned to my one skirt suit – a navy number from Ann Taylor with some peplum detail at the hem of both the skirt and jacket. I felt like the skirt was a little too bootylicious for an interview and I just wasn’t feeling comfortable in it. If there’s one time I want to feel comfortable and confident, it’s during an interview! Here is a photo I took several months ago to show you what I’m talking about. Were I to wear it for an interview, I would of course roll the sleeves all the way down, wear a nicer top and probably wear nude hosiery instead of black but you get the idea.
At this point, I was just a few seconds shy of a fashion meltdown, and I decided to go to the store to look for a simple black skirt (because there was certainly no hope of finding long pants at a regular store). To make things even more fun, it was a Sunday and most stores were closed. I did manage to find one store that was open and I scored a black skirt that ended up doing the trick. I also bought a pair of nude nylons that were one size too small (naturally they were out of my size), so I had the oh-so-comfortble and joyous crotch sag that comes with ill-fitting hosiery.
Here is what I wore to the interview:
Tall Puff-Sleeve Blazer: Banana Republic
Orange top: Loft
Skirt: Some random, obscure brand
Pointed Toe Flats: Tory Burch
Pearls: Tiffany & Co
Hosiery: Don’t ask! They didn’t fit.
By buying the black skirt, I broke my 2015 Tall Specialty Shop Challenge rule of only buying clothing that comes from tall specialty boutiques. Sigh! But I was desperate and really had no choice so I don’t feel too bad about it. This certainly wasn’t a frivolous cheat!
This scramble to find something suitable to wear to my interview brings up the long-standing issue of tall women not having easy access to clothing when we desperately need it. While I think I looked presentable in this ensemble, the skirt did not fit me very well and my interview prep would have been a WHOLE lot better if I had been able to pop into a shop with tall sizes to buy a pair of black pants (or a whole pant suit for that matter) AND hosiery that fit properly like a normal-height person. Sure, sure. Tall women can buy suits online but this is often a challenge because 1) suits are expensive which makes buying them online seem more risky, and 2) it’s even more difficult to find the perfect fit for two coordinating pieces.
Long story short, I would prefer to try on a bunch of different styles of tall suits in person rather than undergoing the hassle of ordering suits online (or buying non-tall suits) and possibly having to return them. (Update: I was able to do just that in March 2016. Check out my write-up on the tall black pantsuit that I bought from Long Tall Sally here).
Have you ever struggled to find the appropriate outfit for a last minute event? Do you own any business suits? If so, where did you buy them?