What to wear to a job interview when you’re experiencing a flare-up

Ye Gods!  As if interviews weren't difficult enough, quite often this is the time that our skin decides to play up also. It’s a well-documented fact that stress has a very significant effect on our immune system, so it makes sense that a nerve-racking event such as an interview is going to be a trigger for a psoriasis flare up. Therefore, to steal a mantra from the Girl Guides, it is always best to be prepared!  At the very least, we can ensure that what we wear doesn't exacerbate the problem.

The idea is to stand out and make sure that your potential employer remembers you.

When we think of interview garb, we automatically think of a prim black suit. Yet even in my clear skinned days, I never wore anything so predictable to an interview. The idea is to stand out and make sure that your potential employer remembers you. The last thing you want is to fade into a sea of darkly-clad interviewees all trying to make a good impression. And this, my friends, is my long-winded way of telling you to ditch the black!  But don’t panic! In a recent post, I gave lots of alternative suggestions to replace black in your wardrobe. 

The classic suit

However, I am not recommending that you eschew tradition entirely. It is still possible to dress in a conservative way, particularly if your interview is in an area that demands a more formal dress code. One option is a trouser suit and the first one I’ve chosen is the Prince of Wales Check Suit from Marks & Spencer, this would be ideal to wear in a very official and proper environment. The muted grey check will conceal any flaking and the wide trouser should help to ease irritation if there is psoriasis on your legs. I have to tell you, I am itching (pardon the pun) to change the styling of this model. Her trousers are far too short – rule of thumb with wide-legged trousers is that the hem should skim the floor. Heels are usually better with this style, and the overall effect will result in an elongated leg (and when you’re of petite stature like me, that’s definitely a result!)  Pair with a simple silk shirt in white, pale grey, or even pale pink to complete the look.


Go for a less formal look

The second option is a less formal suit that I have to admit I prefer. This is from Zara and is a suit that I would happily wear at the weekend to go shopping or have lunch with the girls. This really appeals to my love of the ‘euro-per-wear’ clothes test!  I am also loving the addition of the brown leather belt. To be fair, this could probably be styled more formally if teamed with a pussy bow blouse, but as it is, I think it would be a super look for an interview if the job was located in more relaxed surroundings. 


Mix and match

However, it doesn’t always have to be ‘matchy-matchy’!  I am a big fan of separates as they will usually get far more wear. A pair of black wide-legged palazzo pants will always be a good investment and this pair from New Look at Asos are a perfect example of a wardrobe staple. These are certainly formal enough for an interview and the loose fit will ensure that your skin is not aggravated any further (quick aside: the sleeveless draped blouse that the model is wearing is also a great buy to wear under jackets for business events. Primark often have these, so keep a look out, but be warned they sell out as fast as they stock them! Cheap as chips but a real life saver when it comes to pulling together a more formal look).
palazzo pants

No post on interview-wear would be complete without including a white jacket and this crepe blazer from Zara is a real winner. With the pleated back, this swing-style jacket is sure to be very easy and non-constrictive to wear, which is so important if your skin is sore and angry. Pair with the aforementioned drape blouse, or a simple cream shell top for a sophisticated, yet comfortable look. 
Crepe blazer


As a firm believer that what you wear affects how you feel, I would also recommend purchasing a really great handbag. Nothing can beat the look of a fabulous new bag to complement your look and it’s always nice to have something lovely to carry your CV and references (or tissues, depending on how things go). As much as I like Mulberry (ok, not so much like, as worship at the altar of!) I accept that sadly, a lottery win would be needed for such a purchase. However, there are still many lovely bags to choose from at a more reasonable rate, such as this gorgeous tan leather ‘Toronto bag’ from Clarks. No interviewer could fail to be impressed by this!
Sorting out your interview wardrobe well in advance will definitely boost your confidence, so don’t let your psoriasis prevent you from following your dream.  Now, go get that job!

UK/IE 2013b/00057e. Date of preparation: August 2015

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