New to the bizz and not sure how to dress for your first interview/new job?

I thought I would write up a quick blog for anyone that may be in this position and looking for advice!

I will however mention that I wrote this mainly focusing on men, as I feel I can give some decent advice here.  Where as for woman I think having that advice come from someone with a little more of an understanding for woman’s wardrobe options may be best :)

What made me think of writing this post was remembering when I had my first interview/job and unfortunately having to have learned a few things the hard way….  While growing up within a small town within Ontario Canada and not having any real life interaction with anyone that had worked on set or in post production for the tv or film industry, I soon graduated college and it was time for my first interview within Toronto!  At the time I was rocking baggy pants and skateboard t-shirts every day.  After graduating and being ready to take on a move to the big city, my father was very excited to go out with me to buy “work clothes”.  We ended up going out and buying new dress shirts, dress pants, dress shoes and even a few ties.  I almost even bought a brief case…(Not a laptop bag, but a full on briefcase!)  However with the gear I now had, I was off to Toronto for interviews!

At my first interview I was quite jittery and nervous.  So much so that I did not realize that the man interviewing me who was the president of the company, was wearing jeans, regular shoes, a button up shirt…  versus me going in looking like I was ready to work in a law office…

I ended up getting the job and I was set to go in for my first day.  Upon arriving at the office for day 1, I very quickly realized everyone I was working with was in t-shirts, jeans and running shoes.  Similar to the interview, I came in with shiny dress shoes, dress pants, a dress shirt and a tie.  After the first hour someone eventually asked me, “Is this how you dress every day?”  At the time this was obviously a little embarrassing but afterwards I was pretty happy I was able to chat with someone openly about this!  Needless to say I lost the dress shirts, tie’s and dress shoes moving forward!

Now with that story now out of the way, I will lay out my opinion of clothing in the workplace for our industry!

Jeans, T-Shirts, your new Adidas kicks are definitely very common in the workplace and you will see people from Post Production Assistants to Supervisors and Managers wearing this type of outfit very often.

However, I am a firm believer in the dress for the job you want and not the job you have mindset.  This doesn’t mean you need to go out and splurge on a ridiculous outfit like I did going in for my first job, as again…regardless of how high you climb in the business, you probably won’t ever have to wear that stuff….  However, if you meet someone that is the head of post production at any studio, or a CTO, CEO, Executive Producer, Post Producer, etc…  These people will more often then not, be wearing nice clothing and not t-shirts and running shoes.  As an example:

Shoes:  You will often see someone in one of the higher positions I mentioned above starting to wear shoes that are a little more formal, but not dress shoes.  An example of this would be Cole Haan shoes; Stylish but classy.
Shirts:  You will often see nice button up shirts rather then t-shirts.  Not necessarily dress shirts, but simply nice button up shirts.
Pants:  I would say this area is pretty open.  But typically not baggy and or ripped..

There are always exceptions to the rules as you will sometimes see people that are very high up in the food chain wearing ripped up jeans and t-shirts.

However hopefully this quick blog may save someone out there joining the tv/feature workforce from the embarrassment I went through, thinking that people here dress like they are on wall street!