How to Dress for Success (& Deal with Disappointment)

Getting rejected isn’t easy, but you can define your own success with a positive outlook, and a smashing outfit.

I have never been rejected more in my life than I have in Sweden. It sounds comical to say, considering my life is filled with so much love, but it’s been 4 years now and I am still searching for success (and a career.) That said, I have become a master of dealing with disappointment. I truly believe that if you look your best- you will feel your best, even if things don’t turn out the way you had hoped for! So today’s post is about dressing for success, (even if you don’t always find it.)

I recently interviewed for what I thought would be my “dream job”. The first round went amazing and they said immediately I had made it to the next round. They wanted me to come in for a second interview, this time in person. My heart skipped a beat with excitement- and my next thought was “What should I wear?!

Picking an outfit for a new job interview might be the most stressful aspect. Crafting a carefully thought-out image with your clothing to portray the right impression to your potential employer is not as easy as you think.

How to Dress for an Interview

In North America, we would say you can’t go wrong with a pencil skirt and a blazer for professional-looking office wear. Swedes, however, are the masters of effortless style. Jeans are considered acceptable office wear (if no holes are present) paired with a blazer or a cashmere sweater accompanied tied around the shoulders. Muted colors are always preferred over brights, with greige, navy and black being the widely accepted dress code by the Scandinavian people. Dresses are paired with impeccably clean, white designer sneakers and the latest designer handbag for an effortlessly chic and put-together style.

Knowing this to be the socially acceptable attire for a well-put-together, successful person in Sweden, I choose to go with an approach that felt a little more “me”. A vibrant floral blazer paired with an off-white, pleather pencil skirt and a kitten heel. I felt confident because I knew these items were giving the most authentic representation of me: bold, bright, and a little unconventional.

While I can always recommend a blazer and a pencil skirt for a job interview, the best thing one can do to dress for success is to be comfortable in your own skin. Don’t dress for the person you think people want to meet- dress for what makes you feel happy. When you feel your best, you will be your best. What more could a potential employer ask for than an accurate representation of the wonderful you?

Dealing with Dissapointment

A few weeks later I got the news that I did not get the job. I could have done nothing differently, but that someone else just had more experience than me. I was disappointed as this job would have been a great opportunity for me to grow and learn as a professional.

The truth is that I have been rejected from so many jobs since I graduated! I know I am not alone in that feeling as many of my fellow graduates struggle to land their dream jobs out of school, especially in a foreign country. Nevertheless, I am still here and remain optimistic about the opportunities this country has to offer me.

Defining your Own Success

I decided I would turn my disappointment into an opportunity instead. An opportunity for connection and created a blog post! My outfit was absolutely smashing and it deserved more than a disheartening memory. Success truly is what we define it and today I am choosing to define my success here, with all of you and the fabulousness this outfit deserves.

Tell me in the comments below about a time when you had to deal with disappointment and what helped you overcome it. Looking forward to reading you answers.

12 Responses

  1. Sorry to hear you didn’t get the job, but you certainly chose the perfect outfit, and from what it seems made a really good impression. 💖
    I must confess I love that we have a more casual approach to office wear than many countries. I love a more edgy streetstyle look (acting, or dressing, my age isn’t my strong suit 😉) and I feel very lucky to be able to stay true to my style in the office. Because I totally agree, if you feel comfortable and congident in your outfit you will also perform better 🤩
    As for disappointment it must have beem whem I realized that the second year of fashion design school was more about pattern construction and sewing than about design and fashion drawing. I quit and switched to studying literature, which turned out to be a really good choice 😊

    1. Hej Sophie !! Thank you for sharing. I had no idea you went to fashion design school once 😊😊😊 sewing is also not my favorite.. I see more of the whole picture of a look then the small pieces that put it together. So good that you were able to find something else you loved instead ! 💖

  2. When Richard graduated from high school he given a book comparing life to a road and the twists and turns and hills and bumps that was just a bump and the road keep going reminds me of 378 high way to Meeting Lake you found your way on that road you will on this road also. The outfit was truly smashing

  3. I once didn’t get a job that I wanted. This prompted me to have a career change. This “new” career lasted 35 years and was very rewarding. So I came to believe that not getting the job was for the best and it was just part of the bigger picture.

  4. Putting yourself out there and taking risks is success in itself!!! No risk in choosing outfit- a definite winner! Beautiful

  5. Cybil, your dress for success outfit definitely deserves recognition. It compliments you to a tee…bright and full of optimism! Your dream career is just around the corner…and it will be as striking as your floral blazer!!

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