Claire's classic white button up and stretchy slacks helped her land a new job during the pandemic.
Before covid hit, my friend Claire aspired to move to a new city for a fresh start. When the lockdowns started, she braced herself for the tough journey of job searching in the middle of a pandemic. “Of course I didn’t realize how bad it would become. So, it was a lot of video chats and interviews and phone screenings before anything actually happened.”
Claire relocated to Denver back in April, but it took the 26-year-old transplant over four months to land her new gig. Claire is now a seasoned zoom fashionista, a veteran of no less than 20 virtual job interviews. “I never met anyone in person during this whole time… which is crazy. I never even met my boss that hired me!”
Though she could have worn sweatpants without employers being any the wiser, Claire dressed head-to-toe because of a story she once heard in college. “My business professor said one of his students had a video interview, and they asked him to stand up to see if he was taking the interview process seriously. Luckily, he was wearing slacks and dress shoes and everything. But that scared me into dressing fully for every interview.”
For most of her interviews, she paired a classic white button up (Abercrombie & Fitch, $40) with black ankle-length, cigarette style pants (H&M, $20), and polished her look with a pair of beige pointy ballet flats. She stressed that stretchy slacks were important because “you don’t want to be uncomfortable during an interview, then it’s just going to make you more nervous.”
Boyfriend style jeans make a comfy option for working remotely.
Claire likes adding a suit jacket to achieve an extra level of professionalism, but decided to borrow one since it would be worn only once or twice. “I got a jacket from my mom that she sent me over. It had shoulder pads, which was funny,” she chuckled, raising her shoulders to her ears.
Now that she has the job, Claire dresses more casually during work hours. “If I know I have a group meeting with my whole team, I’ll dress up a little more. Sometimes a nicer top, but mostly just basic tees that aren’t too flashy or distracting. I guess I dress up a little bit more because I’m trying to still maintain a good first impression.”
Claire still believes in wearing pants while working remotely, but has one simple trick: “Very comfy jeans.” She recently found a pair of loose-fitting boyfriend style jeans at TJ Maxx for $15. “I bought some that are maybe a size bigger than usual just because they’re comfier. Because I don’t like to sit with really tight jeans. Still looks put together, if I need to stand up for anything. I feel like that’s kind of the look these days anyway — oversized.”