A new look for my new job in Norwich

Being made redundant and trying to find work is stressful enough, but when you get the job of your dreams how can you make a good impression? Reader Samantha Fordham wants a smart/ casual look for her new job, so Life Matters comes to the rescue. By EMMA HARROWING.

It has been a tough few years for Life Matters reader Samantha Fordham. The 27-year-old from Newton Flotman moved from East London to Norwich in 2009 so that her, her partner and her two-year-old daughter could have a better life, but since the move both her and her partner have been in and out of work and the family has struggled to make ends meet.

Samantha wrote to the Life Matters makeover team to ask for a new look to help her find a job, however, as luck would have it, just as we started to organise her makeover day she was offered a job at the Goal Soccer Centre at the Hewett School on Hall Road.

Says Samantha: 'My new year's resolution was to get a job and now I have one that I really enjoy. My role is varied and so sometimes I am in tracksuit bottoms and a T-shirt and when I am on reception I have to look smarter. It would be great to find a look that is smart but is also comfortable enough to work in.'


The warm spring and summer months can pose a dilemma when deciding what to wear for work. Can you wear shorts for the office? Should sandals just be strictly worn outside work? How can you look smart and yet feel cool and comfortable when it's hot outside?

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Cue John Lewis fashion advisor Julia Kaluska. Julia is used to people coming to her for free advice on what to wear for any occasion and the changing seasons means that the free fashion advice service in store is busier than usual.

Says Julia: 'Many people struggle to put together a work wardrobe for the summer months. Samantha is looking for a smart/casual look to suit her role at her new job and this is a style that is the easiest to wear in the summer months as you can wear a pair of trousers with a short sleeved blouse and flat shoes or a T-shirt tucked into a skirt with a pair of mid heel court shoes.'

As Samantha's job is quite varied and in some cases she needs to be active, Julia found her a jersey dress in lightweight denim that is smart and easy to wear. Adding a cardigan in the same soft navy covers her arms, instantly making the dress look smart enough to wear when Samantha is on reception. The addition of some vintage-style pearls and a pair of patent red shoes brings her look up to date.

'A shift style dress in a stretchy jersey material is a good buy for office wear during the summer,' says Julia. 'The dress can be worn with or without a cardigan or jacket or with a long sleeved T-shirt underneath to create different looks. It can also be dressed up with a pair of heels and statement necklace for a night out.'


Samantha is bored with her brunette locks and is open to having a new look that will revamp her hairstyle. Justin Matthews at Nigel Alexandre hair salon on Castle Street brings a fresh look to Samantha's overworked hair.

Says Justin: 'The length and overall style of Samantha's hair is working for her but by cutting the ends and getting rid of her centre parting will give her a look that she can easily change to recreate different looks for work and play.

'By cutting her hair so that it can be worn on either side or straight back will enable her to easily create a glamorous style for a night out and it will fall in a natural tousled style perfect for work.

'For the colour I'm going to add some copper highlights through the crown of her head to add interest and to lighten up her colour for summer.'


To complete Samantha's work look Jenny Dady at Dior in John Lewis showed Samantha how to create a polished daytime look.

Says Jenny: 'Spring and summer makeup is all about looking natural and fresh in colours including pinks, browns, nudes and creams. This is a perfect look for work as it emphasises your best features without looking to make'upy.'

Get Samantha's look

For the base

After cleansing and moisturising the skin Jenny applied Dior's new cr�me – gel compact foundation to create a flawless face. Dark circles and blemishes were covered using the Airflash concealer, which was also used over the eyelids to create a base for the eye makeup.

For the eyes

Dior's new colour palette 'Girls Montaigne' includes fresh new colours for spring. Jenny used the palette to create a daytime smoky eye look. Create this look by applying the cream colour eye shadow across your lids and then apply one of the darker shades from the middle of your lid to the outer edge and blend gently.

Eyeliner was then applied along the top lash line and mascara completed the look.

For the cheeks

Jenny used a soft pink blush on the apples of Samantha's cheeks and blended up along the cheekbones to the hairline with a brush to create a natural flush. A highlighter was applied over the top to give a radiant look.

For the lips

Samantha's new work look was completed with a soft pink gloss.

The verdict

Says Samantha: 'I love my new look. I would have never thought that a dress would be appropriate for work but this style feels really comfortable and it looks smart enough for when I am meeting the public. I love the red shoes as they really add a touch of colour.

'My hair is great and I love the fact that I no longer have a parting as it feels like I can do so much more with my hair. I love having my makeup done and I'm definitely going to go back to see Jenny at Dior so that she can do my makeup for a night out!

'With my new look and my new job, my life has really turned a corner this year.'

Find out how you can change your look just by changing the colour of your hair in today's (Monday April 4) Life Matters makeover in the Norwich Evening News.