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A 30 something blogging about her love affair with Fashion.....among other things!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

I wore a kurta for an interview

A few months back, I was called for an interview. It was at the Indian embassy.

As usual I was in panic mode, because they called me the day before the interview. In my mind, all kind of questions were swirling. But obviously the most important one was :"what was I to wear?"

For interviews I always want to go the classic route aka black suit with a white shirt. But I had to mix it up a little in the past. One time in Summer, I wore a bright orange sleeveless blouse with a dark blazer because wearing anything with sleeves with that heat would have been suicide. Another time I wore a grey two buttoned vest with a black and white blouse. I always go for dark slacks as well.

For this interview I was going to go for the same dark slacks, a dark blazer, a white shirt and pumps when my husband who was watching me pulling clothes out of my closet suggested I wore Senegalese ethnic wear. I was puzzled a first . "What the hell are you talking about?" I asked him. He went on to tell me that since the day of the interview was Friday aka Masjid day (prayer at the mosque) everyone in town would be wearing Senegalese ethnic wear and I should do the same. For some reason, I rejected the idea. Senegalese ethnic wear was not formal for interviews I thought. But the more I looked at it, the more plausible it seemed to me. My jacket was outdated, my blouses all had to be ironed which I did not have the time to do now anyway. And my pants were too big for me after I lost some weight. Instead of going for that, I could easily slip in some Senegalese style dress that was not too fancy and already ironed ready for the interview. I wanted to go for the pink tunic featured on the blog before, but upon trying it it was a tad too sexy. When I was ready to give up, I noticed a vibrant Kurta (tunic) I had bought on sale in India two years ago and never got to wear. Plus it did not need ironing. I added a black pencil skirt, black scarf, black pumps and I was set.

Printed Kurta in Liva - Global Desi
Pants - HM
Glittered loafers - M.G. road
Sunglasses - M.G. road
Bag - gift
Watch - gift

This is what I wore after the interview to go run errands around town with my sons

The day of the interview I arrived to find three other candidates: two women and one man. The ladies were dressed in short pencil skirts and blouses but the gentleman had on Senegalese ethnic wear.

The interview went well and they offered me a job. However when I started asking questions, they rudely turned me down. I still do not know what happened.

Yet I was happy about my outfit choice because it stood out, and more importantly I was comfortable. I did not have to fidget with it therefore I was able to concentrate on the interview.

I am not sure what I did is something you call pull off somewhere else. I know that in Sénégal and even India it would be OK depending on where you are applying. I doubt banks, or other formal businesses would approve of it. I am pretty sure I would not have done that if I was in Japan for they are all into dark formal suits, the more formal the better. I may have future interviews but this time I will be ready. I already purchased a more fitted pair of pants. I just need a nice dark blazer that is trendy and I will be all set. Wish me luck!


If you would like to know what is appropriate to wear for interviews particularly in my home country of Senegal, go check my other blog here.

My best friend took these pictures while we were at CityDia supermarket sitting in the make up chair. It made me feel like I was a movie star, getting ready for her close up. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Am a grown woman

Since I have been back home, women in my family particularly my mother are constantly on my case to dress better. Although they want only the best for me, it gets on my nerves.

Women ( and men) in my country dress differently than I do. SENEGAL is a country where being casual is misunderstood. People like to dress up, men and women. Even if they wear jeans, they will wear it in such a way it does not feel dressed down at all. Girls would add nice blouses and sometimes blazers and spruce things up with sandals and a matching tote bag. Men would wear loafers and a shirt with also a blazer. As for traditional wear, the fancier the better. They also like to follow trends and color coordinate. It is not unusual to see someone wearing one color from head to toe. They spend huge amount of money to be trendy because we live in a country where only people who dress up are respected. If you do not, people either do not acknowledge you (try shopping in a fancy place wearing tattered clothes, no one will pay you no mind) or they put you down.

Scarf - old HM
Jacket -super old Ross 
Denim shirt - random shop in India
Pants - Big Bazaar, India 
Shoes - TRF then diy 

 As for me, I always dressed differently. I always had my own style even if it made my mother cringe. From the moment I was born, she would dress me preferably in floral print dresses with ruffles or pastel suits. I liked them, the girlier the better. But when I started getting curves, I became so self conscious I started hiding my body in baggy jeans and my father's polo shirts. My mother was mortified. And she tried everything she could to make me stop.  I rediscovered my feminity when I discovered boys. The way they looked at me when I was wearing skirts and dresses made me guidy. So for all of my teenage years, I was a tomboy who liked to dress feminine from time to time (like for parties). Things started to get complicated when I went abroad to Japan. For the 1st time in my life I had the financial power to buy my own clothes. And I took advantage of it. Half of my clothes were casual with jeans and tops. The other half was over the top sexy things for clubbing. I still had a small percentage of decent clothes reserved for formal events. For the first time also my body was no longer an issue. I did not hide it as much as before. I was proud of it, and flaunted it. I loved my legs, my flat stomach and small chest. I was feeling myself. Only when I started gaining weight did I return to covering my body. And that stayed with me till today.

What I also discovered in Japan was the free style of the young crowd. Some Japanese can be fearless when it comes to fashion. They would try anything and everything. They were not afraid of colors as well. It is there that I learned that my bag did not need to match my shoes. But experimenting in Japan screw me up so good, my Fashion sense is not appreciated back home.

For one thing, when I chose clothes in the morning, I put into account three factors: where am I going? What is the weather like? And it is comfortable. Say, I am off running errands in the city, which means walking a lot and riding the bus. For that I will certainly wear a pair of jeans or fitted pants, a tunic and some flats. There is no way I will wear a dress and heels. And if it is cold, I am grabbing my denim jacket or a cardigan.  I will dress accordingly when I go out to visit friends, for dinner or even for a formal event. I would put out preferably in a dressy pants and top or a maxi dress and blazer. I will also wear make up  But that is about it. I like my style clean, simple, modest and comfortable. I rarely wear high heels (even if I loooovvvve them) and do not even get me started on daily make up. I have two hair styles that I change every 3 months.  I do not dress sexy at all. My bag will probably not match my shoes and I like color blocking instead of color coordinating.  I am not judging anyone who is flashy, and sexy and well put togeter . My best friend is flashy, and wears lots of make up. You can count on her to dress up even for running errands and I love that about her but that ain't me.

People here keep on telling me that eventually I will give in and start dressing like them particularly when I start working. I would not have any other choice. I will be forced to do so when I see everyone around me doing the same thing. I am not sure of that. I know my style, I know what I like and more importantly I know what I am comfortable wearing. I may be influenced but at the end of the day, I wear what I like whether it makes my mother cringe or not.

After all, I am grown woman !

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