Hello, Ladies,

With the economy in the dumps, the job market is ultra-competitive. Now more than ever, a first impression can make or break a job interview, and the classic advice to "dress for the job you want" is no myth. Your interview outfit can be just as important as your résumé. Think about it: Whether it's accurate or not, the more put-together we look, the more competent we seem.

My tips for interview dressing: 1) It's better to be overdressed than underdressed. 2) Dress for the industry (in other words, the answer isn't always automatically a suit: For the fashion world, stylishly semi-casual works). 3) Don't overdo it (you can always tell the girl who can't walk in her heels or is extremely uncomfortable in her outfit).

My go-to items for an interview or business function always involve some of the core items of a woman's wardrobe. One interview must-have: the pencil skirt. MICHAEL by Michael Kors Ponte Knit Pencil Plus Size Skirt is a great basic with which to mix and match tops. For a more formal interview, consider pairing it with a great-fitting button-down (ladies, that means no pulling of buttons and no bra showing as a result of sheerness). If it's a more informal interview or something within PR, fashion, or any type of creative agency, pair it with a more interesting top. Alfani's
Flutter Sleeve Pleated Belted Plus Size Top, available at Macy's, is a great option to pair with a pencil skirt, or with my other interview must-have: the trouser pant. My current favorite pair is the
Pleated Cropped Pant from the Gap. Another pair of interview-friendly pants: Old Navy's
Women's Plus Double-Weave Trousers.

When it comes to accessories, a phenomenal pair of shoes will work like a charm. Also, add personality to your outfit with a great necklace or bracelet, but avoid anything that clanks or jingles — there's nothing more distracting in a conversation than a jingling bracelet. Go with jewelry that lies flat and makes no noise. Keep the rest of your look — hair, makeup, eyebrows, nails — well groomed, clean, and subdued. Remember, if you look great, you will feel great, and trust me, your interview will be great! Got any no-fail interview outfits?

-Ashley

YOUR BIG GIRL IN A SKINNY WORLD

What Do You Think?