Author Archives: Jessica Andrade

Dressed by Jess: What to Wear and Not Wear at APA Convention

It’s about that time of year when thousands of psychologists and trainees come together to attend APA Convention. This is always an exciting time, especially for graduate students, as people get to reconnect with old friends, meet new ones, and attend several incredible workshops and poster sessions.

With all this excitement also come thoughts of, “What am I going to wear?!?” Here are three rules to follow when dressing for convention:

  1. This is a professional conference! It’s important to think about how you present yourself when attending sessions, presenting your poster, or listening to Jane Pauley during the opening session. You don’t have to be in a suit everyday, but sticking with key pieces that you feel confident in can make you shine—and people will notice. Always make sure to add your own flare to your outfit.
  2. You will be walking A LOT! Comfort for your feet is key. Ladies, flats can work with everything and are very trendy right now. Kitten heels are always very cute, and my staple. I don’t recommend 5-inch heels, as you will be walking everywhere, not only in the Convention Center, but to sessions/socials/events in the neighboring hotels.  Gentleman, this is easy: Just don’t show up to present your poster in flip-flops or sneakers. Remember, you are presenting not only your research, but also yourself.
  3. Business professional doesn’t always have to be boring! Fashion is fun, and if it’s not, it should be. Here are a few ideas for what I think are very trendy choices, yet still professional. Ladies, dresses are a girl’s best friend. Easy to pack, and wear.  This dress is sleek, flattering and professional; more affordable options and colors abound. Throw a simple cardigan over it to keep you warm in the very air-conditioned Convention Center. If dresses aren’t your fancy, think about a pencil skirt, blouse and cardigan. Guys, keep it simple and classy. Trousers, a button-up shirt and nice loafers are always the easiest. You can even complement that simple attire with one nice blazer to pair with different separates.

Just remember, this is a professional conference and not just another classroom. If you look like you just strolled out of bed, some people may not take an interest and pass you by as you stand next to your poster all by your lonesome. It’s all about having fun and enjoying everything that APA Convention has to offer.

I hope to see some fashion-forward attire during Convention. Don’t forget to stop by the APAGS booth for some awesome swag and for a list of all APAGS programs. Have fun, network and don’t be afraid to show your best self!

Interview Season is Upon Us!

Interviews are always nerve wrecking, and the months leading up to internship, post-doc, and graduate school interviews can be very stressful. What should be the least of students’ concerns is the day-old question, “What am I going to wear?” Don’t fret; I have some great tips on how to feel confident in your outfit—and how to look chic yet conservative. All on a budget!

Women: your closet should always have what I consider staple pieces, a black pencil skirt, a button-up ivory blouse, a bold jacket, and black kitten heels. This is an outfit that I have worn and feel absolutely confident in. If you have these key pieces in your closet, it doesn’t matter what color your skirt, blouse or shoes are. Create a look that shows who YOU are. If you want to keep the look simple, great; if you want to accessorize, do it. Just make sure you stay true to you. This is just as much an interview for you as it is for the site or school. The examples that I provided are from one of my favorite stores, Banana Republic. Yes, the prices may be a bit over a grad school budget, but they tend to have sales frequently (if you sign-up to receive emails from them, you will be notified of their sales). Keep in mind these pieces are staples, meaning they can go with more than what I recommended. And, they are always great to pair for an interview.

These pieces are two of my favorites from my closet. Add a jacket and this could be your interview outfit!

These pieces are two of my favorites from my closet. Add a jacket and this could be your interview outfit!

Men: I did not forget about the male demographic – let’s head to Macy’s! Macy’s always has great deals and often has terrific sales. Wearing a suit is always the go-to for interviews. But you can make yourself stand out with a pop of color, and maybe skip the necktie and sport a bow tie instead! Try this navy suit as a suggestion.  Not only can you wear a variety of different colored shirts with this suit, but the option of a necktie/bow tie is all yours. And this price is a steal! The suit will last several years and is well worth the cost—think of it as an investment. You can wear this to a wedding, future interviews, etc. Just make sure to add your personality to this statement suit.

The outfit should be one thing that will make you stand out—but, like all of my suggestions, it can only help accent what you already bring into the interview room. You are the one that will set yourself apart by your knowledge, enthusiasm and confidence.

Words I live by from one of the best designers that lived: “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” – Coco Chanel. Remember this when you are out shopping for your ensemble. Best of luck on your interviews!

Dressed by Jess

Jessica 1Hi, my name is Jessica Andrade (I am not a psychologist, but am happily employed by APA) and I truly have a LOVE for fashion! Dressed by Jess is a series of articles that will help students feel confident in pieces that make them feel good and in style when attending important events, including internship interviews, your first day of teaching, presenting at a national conference, etc. I’m inviting you to explore this series of articles from my fashion perspective. I will provide tips on pairing pieces together as well as “do’s and don’ts” to help you put your best foot forward for all occasions. And most importantly, all of my tips will be….wait for it…on a graduate student budget!

Expect lots of colors, outfits that should never be worn in public, and FUN! Hold on to your tablets, this is going to be an adventure!