In a few weeks I start my graduate scheme in the corporate world. I don’t want to name the company but it is one of the Big Four. Now there are many fears – will I be able to make friends, will I be able to handle the workload, will I fit in? But the one that’s at the front of my mind: what will I wear?!
I wear a hijab and long flow-y clothes. This includes jilbabs, maxi-dresses and skirts. That makes things tough but doable – I am just continuously stocking up on suitable items as and when a store adds them to their line. Except I am also petite. And I mean really petite. Size 4-6 (UK) and 5 ft. Many stores don’t even stock that size and when they do, they’re too long. Skirts are easy enough to tailor. But what about shirts and blazers? I am forever looking like I’ve been engulfed, like a child trying on her daddy’s suit. My only solution is to fold in the sleeves and opt to buy fitted styles – which are still big but I think I can pull them off.
So that’s the everyday wear sorted (ish). But what about party wear? We have a newcomers ball in week 3, then there’s Christmas/New Year’s parties and perhaps birthday parties (if my first fear of being a loner doesn’t come true). Women often wear cocktail dresses to these events – but I want to cover my arms and legs. It is near impossible to find long-sleeved party dresses. And in the rare occasion I do find a dress with long sleeves – it either has a prickly price or has slots cut out of it – which defeats the point. In the past, I’ve layered with cardigans or worn tops underneath. But I’ve always attended parties where I’m comfortable with the guests so what I wore didn’t really matter so much. This will not be the case here.
And an extension of what I will wear on my body – what will I wear on my face. I love makeup but I don’t really like wearing it. My everyday look is moisturiser, and my making an effort face comprises of lipstick and kajol. I will add mascara and eye shadow for parties and Eid but that’s it. I don’t wear foundation, blusher or any of the other facial coverage products. I don’t really know how to wear them properly and finding one to match my sensitive skin is more effort that it’s worth. But I suspect the women will be wearing a lot of make up and I don’t want to stand out like a sore thumb. Here’s the issue, I want to make a good impression on my first day but, at the same time, I don’t want to fall into the trap of having to keep it up to the same level.
And don’t get me started on shoes.
What kind of clothes do you wear at work?