Monday night, November 15th, saw celebrity stylist Mark Heyes show students at the University of Lincoln how to Dress for Success.
The fashion event, a part of Enterprise and Employability Week, advised students how to dress for their chosen careers in art and design, business and law, media and health, and social care.Heyes, who is the stylist on ITV’s Daybreak, talked through each of the models’ outfits that were comprised of clothes from sponsors Primark, New Look and George at ASDA — proving that students can get the desired look on a budget.
“I think it’s really good to show how you can put an outfit together for under fifty pounds. It’s really important ‘cause of the way the nation is at the moment. We’re all watching our pennies,” Heyes says.
He also says that fashion events like Dress for Success are important in the “shallow” world we live in.
“I think having nights like this is really important. It’s true, we live in quite a shallow world, we make judgements on what people look like instantly and whether that’s right or wrong, that’s the world we live in.
“So you need to make sure you’re looking good when you walk into an interview and I think to be able to do that just proves that you don’t need to spend a fortune on it.”
Heather Horn, a management and tourism student, said the evening was “fantastic” and gave her some great ideas.
“The tips were really useful. The ones I found most interesting were to wear one statement piece with your outfit, and to buy a budget suit but then pay a little extra to have it tailored rather than blowing all your money on a really expensive suit,” she says.
“I definitely think students will find his advice beneficial. With graduate jobs being so hard to come by, any edge you can get is a plus.”
All guests on the night were given a free glass of champagne, a goodie bag, and a buffet courtesy of Cross Keys Catering. The goodie bag was provided by Primark and included a Clarin’s make-up bag and LUSH cosmetics.
Kay Rodgers, one of the organisers of the event, said the night was a huge success:
“The event was a perfect way to kick of Enterprise and Employability week. It was great to see so many students, graduates, staff and members of the public, with over 300 people attending in total.
“Hopefully the evening gave people some important tips about fashion for interviews and work, as well as being a really enjoyable event for everyone who attended,” she says.
There may also be more events on the back of the success of last night:
“After the success of the evening we will definitely be looking into putting some similar events on in the future,” Rodgers says.
Andrew Stevenson, director of Enterprise@Lincoln, said the event had made both himself and students realise that you don’t have to spend a lot to look good.
”The event seems to have really caught their (students’) imagination and engaged them with a good mix of fun, and the serious background support about how to make sure they get the best advantage at interview, and work through what they choose to wear.
“I certainly didn’t realise you could get a suit for under £30 and still look so good!” he says.
Elizabeth Fish, journalism graduate and last year’s culture editor for The Linc, also won a £50 Amazon voucher after putting together the winning media work-wear look for less than the amount of her prize.
Heye’s Three Top Tips
- Get your clothes dry cleaned
“I genuinely think that dry cleaners are everyone’s best mate. The thought of me ironing this suit ain’t gonna be pretty and that is technically my job, so I’m a firm believer in dry cleaning,” he says.
- Choose one stand-out item
“Wear one item that will remind people of you. Say you’re a lawyer, maybe invest thirty pounds in a very beautiful tie. Wear your thirty pound suit from ASDA, but spend a bit more on accessories that people will remember,” Heyes advises.
He also suggests using a bag-hiring company, to get people talking. There are lots of websites out there that hire out the current seasons Chloe or Balenciaga bag; if you hire one for the week of your interview, it’s something people will notice.
- Don’t forget tailors
“People always forget about tailors and dress makers; it means that that Topman suit that cost ninety quid, actually looks like a Prada suit at the end of it,” Heyes says.