Made over: From college to career path

The look: Second interview

"I wanted to look more mature because I do have braces, so pretty much anything you put me in it's, 'Oh, she's 14.' The shorter hair makes me look a little older," said Rianna Coale.

•Do your homework online (employee photos?) or in person to see what office wear is acceptable. Dress as formally as your would-be boss or the management team.

•Keep it professional and polished, but it's OK to show a little wardrobe personality.

•Choose mix-and-match separates for versatility.

•Stay away from easy-to-wrinkle fabrics such as linen.

•Belting a cardigan gives it a more professional look.

•No minis. Skirts should be at or just above the knee.

•Hosiery is a must.

•Use a T-shirt or cami to fill in a revealing neckline.

•Scrutinize yourself in the mirror — front and back — before leaving the house.

•When choosing prints, keep them muted or classic.

•Tattoos should be covered; remove facial piercings..

•No perfume, but don't forget lipstick or gloss for a finished look.

Her new outfit: Cardigan, $59.50; T-shirt, $29.50; skirt, $89.50; belt, $34.50; necklace, $49.50, all Banana Republic, bananarepublic.com. Her own shoes and tights. Total: $262.50 (William DeShazer, Chicago Tribune / February 2, 2012)

BEFORE:

"I look like a scum. Pretty much lazy, shaggy."

AFTER:

"My friends walked right past me. They didn't know it was me."

•Shave! Or if you have a beard, trim it neatly.

•Look well-groomed; get a haircut.

Unless it's a highly creative job, flip-flops, jeans and gym shoes are out.

•Tuck in your shirt (men and women).

•Details count. Polished shoes, pressed shirt and pants; a belt.

•Suit and tie for the interview but then dress like your co-workers.

•If pants touch the ground, get them hemmed (most dry cleaners can help).

•Shirts look best when professionally laundered.

•Tattoos should be covered; remove facial piercings.

•When shopping, always ask if there's a discount with your student ID.

His new outfit: Pants, $98.50; shirt, $79.50; reversible black/brown belt, $59, all Banana Republic. His own shoes. Total: $237

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