I am a 25-year-old graduate student due to begin interviewing for physical therapy jobs in January. Unlike people in some other fields, I’m optimistic about my chances of finding a job. What I’m not feeling so sure of is how to dress once I land the coveted big-girl job (although, to be fair, I wouldn’t mind some pointers for interview attire as well).
As a physical therapist, I will have to be on my feet for most of the day and bending, twisting and leveraging my body into positions that a woman with an office job may only encounter when toppling over her heels on a bad day.
Let me put it this way: I need to wear pants, flats or very low-heeled shoes (wedges are best), tops that will cover my midsection even when I lift my arms and not show off my cleavage or undergarments when I bend over, and I need to be able to move.
Traditionally, physical therapy clinics don’t require power suits, but they aren’t casual either. Previously, when I worked in clinics as an intern I fell into a rut of wearing khakis and simple collared shirts (usually polo shirts) with basic black ballet flats. That was fine when I was 21 and an intern, but now I need to build a new wardrobe.
My goal is to find pieces that are versatile and can be transitioned from my work life to my personal life. I want to look professional, but not intimidating; colorful, but not garish; and, ultimately, polished but still my age.
At the moment, my personal style is low-maintenance, colorful and playful, with a general preference toward comfort and practicality, but an eye to wear things that do, in fact, flatter my body type (an odd combination of curvy and boyish). Although, I won’t say I have superior insight into all the right fashions for my body, and I can’t always recognize them as they hang on the rack.
So, this is my plea for pointers, inspiration, and help to bring my wardrobe into the same arena as my big-girl job and my big-girl life.
P.S. Anybody think this letter would get me anywhere with “What Not To Wear” or something similar?