Style Scavenger: From Bohemian to Boardroom-Ready

Style Scavenger from bohemian to boardroom-ready
Style Scavenger from bohemian to boardroom-ready

STYLE SCAVENGER takes shoppers on retail adventures, finding good stuff in unexpected places.

Zach Smith, 22, has tried nearly every hair color. Right now, it's tie-dye. How, you may wonder.

"I tried to dye it pink on a beach in Barcelona," Smith says. "When I went swimming, the pink dissolved into all my old hair colors. Now I've got this rainbow swirl thing going on."

Summer in Barcelona was fun. But now it's autumn in New York, and a new tide is washing away the sangria and cute Dutch vacationers. Suddenly, Hurricane "Get a Job" is hovering off the coast. To prepare, the recent graduate set out with DailyFinance's Style Scavenger (also a friend and former classmate) to stock up on gear for his first interview on Monday.

Despite a closet full of bright colors, leather accessories, and even a few pairs of platform shoes, Smith is woefully unprepared for office meetings and business luncheons. "A lot of what I own is stained or ripped," he says. Though the interview is for an assistant position at an arts journal, we agree right away that anything paint-splattered is not an option.

To get the most out of Smith's $400 in graduation money, we decide to make purchases that are durable, office appropriate, and new (no vintage). "Boring ..." Smith sighs. Things get more cheerful when we realize neutral tones are complementary with almost any hair color.

What about that hair? In her book Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview?, education and career consultant Ellen Gorden Reeves concludes that extreme hairstyles and bold nail polish colors should be removed before interviews. (You can wear that nose ring if you're really attached to it.) Dye-jobs should be well maintained, Reeves adds. Looks like we'll be stopping at the beauty supply store.

Above: tie-clip cufflink set from Screaming Mimi's. Check out Smith's other selections in the gallery below.

Gallery: From Bohemian to Boardroom-Ready