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14 minutes ago, DaphneBanks said:

This is the most frustrating thing ever. I have a couple of nice blazers that used to fit, until I underwent a growth spurt in the chest area and now I do not have any blazers that fit. I cannot afford to buy another blazer, so I think that I am stuck with my backup outfit. 

Does anyone think that a grad program would think badly of me if I wore a nice blouse from Talbots with a skirt and comfortable, yet dressy shoes? I am in a little bit of a bind and would really appreciate any advice. I would pretty much be wearing what I wear to Church and have worn to presentations before. 

 

TIA 

Do you think you can borrow a blazer from someone? Sometimes you can score a good deal at a place like TJ Maxx. A blazer is kind of what elevates an outfit from business casual to business formal, which is what you want for an interview. 

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45 minutes ago, Hk328 said:

Do you think you can borrow a blazer from someone? Sometimes you can score a good deal at a place like TJ Maxx. A blazer is kind of what elevates an outfit from business casual to business formal, which is what you want for an interview. 

Is there anyway that I can get away with no blazer? Or is it pretty much mandatory?

Now, I'm really nervous because I was planning on wearing a blouse with a nice pair of slacks/skirt. 

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Nothing is mandatory. I only had 1 interview (luckily I got in) so I don't have a lot of experience. However, everyone there was wearing business formal attire and I was strongly advised by a friend to wear a suit. Maybe others can also speak to their experiences as well. 

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Clinical tends to be on the business (rather than business casual) side. Still dislike how much more 'business-y'  business casual is compared to back home lolz

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8 hours ago, DaphneBanks said:

This is the most frustrating thing ever. I have a couple of nice blazers that used to fit, until I underwent a growth spurt in the chest area and now I do not have any blazers that fit. I cannot afford to buy another blazer, so I think that I am stuck with my backup outfit. 

Does anyone think that a grad program would think badly of me if I wore a nice blouse from Talbots with a skirt and comfortable, yet dressy shoes? I am in a little bit of a bind and would really appreciate any advice. I would pretty much be wearing what I wear to Church and have worn to presentations before.

You will look quite underdressed for the occasion if you are not wearing a blazer/layered in business-casual at the very least. Everyone else competing for this spot in your POI's laboratory will most likely be wearing a suit combo or a blazer + dress pants combo. 

If money is an issue- What about an interest-free credit card? Offers are great right now for 0% interest. Usually they give you 28-30 days from the moment of purchase until the statement generates to pay a min. payment towards the balance.

There are many options here: it's up to you to decide what risk you're willing to take/what's more important to you.

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On 1/6/2019 at 1:46 AM, DaphneBanks said:

Is there anyway that I can get away with no blazer? Or is it pretty much mandatory?

Now, I'm really nervous because I was planning on wearing a blouse with a nice pair of slacks/skirt. 

Do you have any nice cardigans which you could layer over the blouse?  Having an additional layer gives you options in case the room you're in is too hot/cold, and it looks a little more formal.  You can check out second hand stores for blazers or cardigans, or ask friends/family if you could borrow one.  Also, if you have any business dresses or skirts that would pair nicely with a blouse, that can sometimes look more formal without a blazer/cardigan than a blouse and slacks. 

And, if you're really struggling with finding something that works, you could buy a blazer from a store with a good return policy and return it after the interview (we could debate the ethics of this, but if you're really hard hit for money and have run out of options, places like Walmart, Kohls, JCPenny and Target all have business wear sections and liberal return policies).

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On 1/6/2019 at 2:46 AM, DaphneBanks said:

Is there anyway that I can get away with no blazer? Or is it pretty much mandatory?

Now, I'm really nervous because I was planning on wearing a blouse with a nice pair of slacks/skirt. 

You could check out thrift stores if you haven’t already. I’ve also gotten decent blazers at H&M for $20-40 (and that’s Canadian so you can probably find something cheaper in the US). 

I have seen people in blouses and dress pants at interviews. I don’t know if affected their admission chances, but don’t worry about it if you have no other option. 

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To the person that said to not just get an outfit from Target and go for a more expensive suit from Macy's.. what does that mean exactly? My family is not very well off and I am already strapped for money just from applying to programs. I have always been a bargain shopper trying to get nice pieces from places like TJMaxx, but I am concerned that the lab might judge me for it? I am ready for the harsh reality if that is the case, I would just rather be prepared. My P.I. and all her grad students said wearing a suit for interviews is a must for clinical psych.

I am planning to wear a black tailored blazer, black ankle-length formal pants and a blouse from Express. Does anyone foresee a problem with this attire?

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, TrustingTheProcess said:

To the person that said to not just get an outfit from Target and go for a more expensive suit from Macy's.. what does that mean exactly? My family is not very well off and I am already strapped for money just from applying to programs. I have always been a bargain shopper trying to get nice pieces from places like TJMaxx, but I am concerned that the lab might judge me for it? I am ready for the harsh reality if that is the case, I would just rather be prepared. My P.I. and all her grad students said wearing a suit for interviews is a must for clinical psych.

I am planning to wear a black tailored blazer, black ankle-length formal pants and a blouse from Express. Does anyone foresee a problem with this attire?

That outfit sounds perfect! I wore similar outfits during interview season (shout outs to my Walmart blouses) and didn't feel out of place. You'll be fine as long as everything fits, is clean, and looks professional. Being well-dressed for the interview is important, but thankfully it's not the only (or main) thing that matters. I'd be shocked if a PI/lab completely disregarded a candidate based on their suit quality. 

Edited by psykick

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1 hour ago, TrustingTheProcess said:

To the person that said to not just get an outfit from Target and go for a more expensive suit from Macy's.. what does that mean exactly? My family is not very well off and I am already strapped for money just from applying to programs. I have always been a bargain shopper trying to get nice pieces from places like TJMaxx, but I am concerned that the lab might judge me for it? I am ready for the harsh reality if that is the case, I would just rather be prepared. My P.I. and all her grad students said wearing a suit for interviews is a must for clinical psych.

I am planning to wear a black tailored blazer, black ankle-length formal pants and a blouse from Express. Does anyone foresee a problem with this attire?

That sounds fine. Most grad applicants won’t have expensive suits, and it’s really just important to look neat and professional. It’s probably only an issue if your outfit is noticeably poor quality, fits badly, is see-through, etc. 

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Pro-tip for everyone who grew up going to Savers like me and knows nothing about fancy clothing: you can make a free appointment with a personal stylist at Nordstrom, and they will take into account your price limit. Nordstrom will also do free alterations as well.  

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7 hours ago, TrustingTheProcess said:

To the person that said to not just get an outfit from Target and go for a more expensive suit from Macy's.. what does that mean exactly? My family is not very well off and I am already strapped for money just from applying to programs. I have always been a bargain shopper trying to get nice pieces from places like TJMaxx, but I am concerned that the lab might judge me for it? I am ready for the harsh reality if that is the case, I would just rather be prepared. My P.I. and all her grad students said wearing a suit for interviews is a must for clinical psych.

I am planning to wear a black tailored blazer, black ankle-length formal pants and a blouse from Express. Does anyone foresee a problem with this attire?

f your lab judges you for suit quality, probably not the kind of people you want to work with! Your outfit sounds perfect, I really don't think most people can tell the difference, or will care if your outfit cost $40 or $200.  Just look neat and professional and be confident :)

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On 1/6/2019 at 1:40 AM, DaphneBanks said:

This is the most frustrating thing ever. I have a couple of nice blazers that used to fit, until I underwent a growth spurt in the chest area and now I do not have any blazers that fit. I cannot afford to buy another blazer, so I think that I am stuck with my backup outfit. 

Does anyone think that a grad program would think badly of me if I wore a nice blouse from Talbots with a skirt and comfortable, yet dressy shoes? I am in a little bit of a bind and would really appreciate any advice. I would pretty much be wearing what I wear to Church and have worn to presentations before. 

 

TIA 

If there is a wealthy area in your town/city, I would go to whichever goodwill is closest to the ritzy area and see what they have.  I have found brand new name brand dress pants and blazers at the one in my city in the bougie area for like $4-$6.  No one will know it is second hand, and I know for me I have found better brands at that goodwill than I would ever be able to afford at regular price ! Its worth a try :).  If you have  a Clothes Mentor nearby, they are also a good place to check for business clothes!

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17 hours ago, Ihatethis said:

Pro-tip for everyone who grew up going to Savers like me and knows nothing about fancy clothing: you can make a free appointment with a personal stylist at Nordstrom, and they will take into account your price limit. Nordstrom will also do free alterations as well.  

Thank you for this tip!! And thank you all for your advice. I feel like I'm going to go into this process with imposter syndrome just because I'm not from a family of academics or super well off. I feel more comfortable now :)

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19 hours ago, TrustingTheProcess said:

To the person that said to not just get an outfit from Target and go for a more expensive suit from Macy's.. what does that mean exactly? My family is not very well off and I am already strapped for money just from applying to programs. I have always been a bargain shopper trying to get nice pieces from places like TJMaxx, but I am concerned that the lab might judge me for it? I am ready for the harsh reality if that is the case, I would just rather be prepared. My P.I. and all her grad students said wearing a suit for interviews is a must for clinical psych.

I am planning to wear a black tailored blazer, black ankle-length formal pants and a blouse from Express. Does anyone foresee a problem with this attire?

I can guarantee you that nobody cares at all what brand/place you bought your clothing from. Of course, the general interview rules apply that you will want your outfit to be well-cleaned and ironed, relatively color-coordinated (and not super crazy), etc. But I can guarantee you as a student interviewer for my lab I do not sit there and think "Oh.... clearly this person went to TJMaxx or Target, so they don't belong here."

 

I know I am a guy talking to a lot of women on here, but y'all need to take some deep breaths, get a 1-2 nice interview outfits, and then focus on the content of what makes you unique/ready for the program. That will get you in... an Italian suit (or whatever the equivalent is for women, LOL) will not.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Clinapp2017 said:

I can guarantee you that nobody cares at all what brand/place you bought your clothing from. Of course, the general interview rules apply that you will want your outfit to be well-cleaned and ironed, relatively color-coordinated (and not super crazy), etc. But I can guarantee you as a student interviewer for my lab I do not sit there and think "Oh.... clearly this person went to TJMaxx or Target, so they don't belong here."

 

I know I am a guy talking to a lot of women on here, but y'all need to take some deep breaths, get a 1-2 nice interview outfits, and then focus on the content of what makes you unique/ready for the program. That will get you in... an Italian suit (or whatever the equivalent is for women, LOL) will not.

 

 

Hey! I agree with you, however it's important to understand that many women feel judged by their appearance more than men, especially in a professional setting, and it is normal for many women to have anxieties around this! There has also been research in the past suggesting these concerns may be at least partially valid. This is also especially true for those of us with not a ton of experience in this area due to life circumstance. It would be great to be a little more considerate of where people are coming from when giving advice instead of being too brisk. This is especially important for someone in the clinical field.

Your experience is very helpful though! 

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23 minutes ago, Ihatethis said:

....it's important to understand that many women feel judged by their appearance more than men, especially in a professional setting, and it is normal for many women to have anxieties around this! There has also been research in the past suggesting these concerns may be at least partially valid. This is also especially true for those of us with not a ton of experience in this area due to life circumstance. It would be great to be a little more considerate of where people are coming from when giving advice instead of being too brisk. This is especially important for someone in the clinical field. 

This x1000000. *EYEROLL* at the mansplaining and insensitivity. 

Imagine if women on here began to express worries about other, equally important topics (I.e., wearing marriage/engagement rings; or even hair concerns, especially for WOC). Gees.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, checkingmyemail said:

This x1000000. *EYEROLL* at the mansplaining and insensitivity. 

Imagine if women on here began to express worries about other, equally important topics (I.e., wearing marriage/engagement rings; or even hair concerns, especially for WOC). Gees.

 

 

 

Alright, I know it’s a stressful time... I’ve been there not that long ago. My main point was about the question of *brand* of clothing.  I’m sorry if somehow this came off as mansplaining; I’m simply trying to share what was supposed to be helpful/assuring commentary about the fact that “most interviews don’t care about things as trivial as clothing brand.” I agree that this issue commonly evokes anxiety among many women (and women of color), and that there are tons of factors that historically bias interview settings against women (like the wedding band issue). I’d argue and hope that clinical, a field now largely dominated by women, has become sensitive to these things and most interviewers won’t consciously use bias (my opinion, but there may be literature that says otherwise). Implicit bias is obviously a different question, but I’d argue that as the issue of bias is at the forefront of social psychology today that the elevated awareness can help interviewers override any implicit associations that we might have. 

 

Anyways, take my comment as you will. I may have been too brisk, but my point still stands as something meant to be helpful about the particularly important issue of not spending $$$$$ on interview outfit(s). 

 

Best of luck with the interviews. It’s an exciting, but stressful time. Just remember you were invited for a reason. :) 

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13 minutes ago, Clinapp2017 said:

Alright, I know it’s a stressful time... I’ve been there not that long ago. My main point was about the question of *brand* of clothing.  I’m sorry if somehow this came off as mansplaining; I’m simply trying to share what was supposed to be helpful/assuring commentary about the fact that “most interviews don’t care about things as trivial as clothing brand.” I agree that this issue commonly evokes anxiety among many women (and women of color), and that there are tons of factors that historically bias interview settings against women (like the wedding band issue). I’d argue and hope that clinical, a field now largely dominated by women, has become sensitive to these things and most interviewers won’t consciously use bias (my opinion, but there may be literature that says otherwise). Implicit bias is obviously a different question, but I’d argue that as the issue of bias is at the forefront of social psychology today that the elevated awareness can help interviewers override any implicit associations that we might have. 

 

Anyways, take my comment as you will. I may have been too brisk, but my point still stands as something meant to be helpful about the particularly important issue of not spending $$$$$ on interview outfit(s). 

 

Best of luck with the interviews. It’s an exciting, but stressful time. Just remember you were invited for a reason. :) 

Although applicants are mainly women, there are many men still making the decisions, especially in the upper echelons. And even those who suffer the effect of implicit biases can have implicit biases themselves. You have too much faith in the psych world-- we are still susceptible to our implicit bias, just as anyone else in any other profession. Sometimes even more so, since we think have a handle on it, which may be the situation in your case. Hopefully we all can learn from this situation! 

But yeah, never spend too much $$$$$ on interview clothes, totally not worth it in the long run. 

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2 minutes ago, Ihatethis said:

Although applicants are mainly women, there are many men still making the decisions, especially in the upper echelons. And even those who suffer the effect of implicit biases can have implicit biases themselves. You have too much faith in the psych world-- we are still susceptible to our implicit bias, just as anyone else in any other profession. Sometimes even more so, since we think have a handle on it, which may be the situation in your case. Hopefully we all can learn from this situation! 

But yeah, never spend too much $$$$$ on interview clothes, totally not worth it in the long run. 

True, implicit bias exists even in our field and maybe I am being too naive haha. :) That’s why we need more research in that area. I’m definitely interested in seeing research on if we have actually worse inhibition of our biases because we think we are not influenced by them. 

 

Also, as an edit/aside, I asked my fiancé (a social worker) to read this in an effort to better understand how I came off to you, and she told me that I was definitely mansplaining. She helped me understand more how this message was inappropriate (e.g., “take a deep breath,” Italian suit v women fashion comment) even though I meant it with the best of intentions. I sincerely do apologize for minimizing the unfair experiences of women in our field/other professional settings. 

 

I ultimately hope that what everyone finds to wear makes them feel comfortable and confident! You deserve to rock these interviews. :) 

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Posted (edited)

For those of you going to interviews up north - I have a silly question. It will probably be snowing when I head up, so I'd like to wear boots to travel to the interview site (I'm staying at an Airbnb that's only a few blocks away, so not really worth it to get an Uber). I'd then like to change into my dress heels for the actual interview day. It's not going to be weird if I carry around a plastic bag with my boots in it, right? O___o

Edited by dancedementia

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