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Please rank these suits for interview appropriateness

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I am choosing between suits I have and *don't have/plan to buy soon* as I prepare to interview for new jobs this spring.

Please feel free to chime in if you see this order differently:

1. *solid navy*

2. *Grey nailhead pattern*

3. Navy or charcoal chalkstripe

4. Flannel chalk stripe (not as formal as worsted chalk stripes? too hot now to wear it anyway)

5. Grey crepe

6. Prince of wales plaid or glen plaid

7. sportcoats ( i imagine blazers would go between 6 & 7, but I don't own or plan to buy one)

I realize not all job fields and regions/countries are alike; this would be for a information management type position, in either government, museum or academic settings. Possibly corporate as well. I am in NYC currently but I'm looking to interview wherever.

Thanks for any help.
post #2 of 24
I think you've got them in a pretty good order. But no pinstripes?

I wouldn't wear a plaid on an interview. I'd put the sportcoats before that.
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks Doc

I actually just recently realized I really don't own a true pinstripe. I have about 12 suits now and half are striped but they are all pretty subtle.

I actually like some pinstriped suits - on guys who are in shape. I prefer the subtle chalk stripe effect on my chubby self at present.

yeah, the sportcoats and plaids were there just to balance out the scale. I wouldn't wear one to an interview - though I have in the past......thank goodness for SF! (NO wonder I didn't get those gigs!)

I am learning a lot here - I would have paired a striped suit with french cuffs for interviews before but now realize a little restraint in an interview is better m in general - I'll save the bling-a-ding for meetings/presentations (the 'tap dance' as Dustin Hoffman said in Kramer vs kramer)
post #4 of 24
i would strike the nailhead from the list. it is a great pattern for a suit, but not really a typical interview suit, in my mind. i think a solid dark grey/ charcoal suit with a conservative "republican" looking necktie is probably a great choice for most any interview, that would set you apart slightly from the legions of navy-suited guys (like me, going for a GS govt position in 2007)
post #5 of 24
How would you feel about leaving NYC, pgoat?
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
mixed feelings for sure.

I spent my first 10 years in NYC, then my teens, twenties and early 30s in Suffolk county (Long Island suburbia). My wife grew up out there. We've been back in the city the last 6 years.....

I'd definitely miss a lot of dynamics and vibe etc but we never really take advantage of all there is to do here. We also really miss trees and quiet and breathing room - not that we'd find all that back on LI these days - it's really gotten overpopulated out there! We'd have to go elsewhere, which is fine - once we agree on climate. She likes Hawaii, I prefer Maine (the better to wear harder wearing Super 80s and my beloved flannels!!)

My biggest fear is we pull up stakes and move to middle of nowehere, USA and freak out with boredom, only to come back here. Not that this will definitely happen but we have seen people do it a lot.

Still we only rent (no kids yet) so it's not like we're giving up so much. We have a decent place (1100 sq ft at $1200/month) but our neighborhood and jobs and the daily routine is a bit stale and we'd like a yard again.......

I'll tell you one thing I won't miss- the subway commute.

This morning was typical - my car (always the second to last - if you've ever seen The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, you'll understand) was empty - as in there were SEATS!!! The reason - the car stunk like a cesspool. No apparent reason. No poop visible anywhere.....anyhoo, I was too tired to worry - sat down, pulled out a crossword puzzle and thanked the sartorial gods I had on my oldest beater suit, lest I be sitting in the source of the stench........

No sir, I won't miss that at ALL!!!
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgoat
We have a decent place (1100 sq ft at $1200/month)


Where?
post #8 of 24
I agree with Foxx - or I would pull the nailhead down the list.

You can always grab a copy of "Dress for Success." It will give you some ideas on dressing for interviews. I'm in business where a dark suit rules so perhaps your field is different. I would avoid "showing" too much personality in an interview. Too many guys show up in a tie that I girlfriend picked out that might have been ok for a night on the town but not for an interview.

I am sure that moving from NYC is daunting. NYC offers a great deal but how much of it do you really do on a daily basis? I found that when I lived there I didn't actually do much of the cultural things the city offered. They were always around me so I ignored them. Sure I could go to the theater every night but I never did. Instead I dealt with things like the subway or other problems. I now find when I am in NYC I do all the great cultural things that I can't do at home. I take advantage of the city. Sort of a with distance your heart grows fond. Where I live I have all the advantages - short commute - I drive from my garage to my office garage in less then ten minutes. My home is on several acres - something that would be impossible in NYC. My life at home is very easy and cheaper then NYC. It is a win win for me. About the only thing I really miss is the dining options but when I was in NYC I couldn't really afford them or getting a table was a hassle. I'm close enough to SF that I manage.

Best of luck in the interviews.

PS - Reading your other post - keep in mind that ww Chan has a delivery time of a few months for US measurements. Not something that is available for a fast interview suit unless you go to China or HK.
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys - btw we're in Queens (Jackson Hts) but I bet you'd need at least $1500 for any such sq ft today. we lucked out.

VC - that's exactly how we feel about NYC. EB White wrote an oft-quoted essay in the late 40s ("Here is NY") and it puts new yorkers in three strata - we definitely belong to the been there done that born here whaddevuh fuggedaboudit archie bunker class.....we didn't come here from elsewhere with stars in our eyes (tho they DO get starry at times!) and we're certainly not old money blue bloods....so it's all been under our noses since day one and it loses a little luster that way.....

We visited SF once in 1995 and that was the one place I fell totally in love with - as in "send us our stuff, we ain't comin' home"......very like ny in some ways but much nicer in others (smaller, cleaner, prettier, etc)

Now if these suits will just help me nail(head?) a job out there that will pay the rent!

here's a scenerio - I have a chance to grab an Oxxford Gibbons, NWT for $600 - it's a black/grey nailhead. I own a grey crepe but it is old and worn and rather inexpensive (Kasper brand 3B from Macys, fused, the little plastic fibers are sticking out of the lapels.....I've worn it regularly since 1998!!!). I am getting a Navy from Brooks Brothers (Greenfield MTM) for a first interview but thought a backup would be prudent, and wanted to go with grey -

would you guys

jump at the $600 Oxxford nailhead, use it for a second interview,

not use it on interviews, but grab it anyway at that price,

or pass on it, stick with old grey crepe Kasper for beater and use my navy or charcoal flannel chalk stripes in interviews (rather than nailhead)?
post #10 of 24
I think the grey nailhead is a good interview suit, but I'd definately put a solid charcoal in front of it. I'd rank charcoal with navy - either is the preferred choice for an interview.
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgoat
No sir, I won't miss that at ALL!!!

Until you're stuck in freeway traffic for 2 hours somewhere else. Then brief stench and walking seems like a dream...
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgoat
Thanks guys - btw we're in Queens (Jackson Hts) but I bet you'd need at least $1500 for any such sq ft today. we lucked out.
here's a scenerio - I have a chance to grab an Oxxford Gibbons, NWT for $600 - it's a black/grey nailhead. I own a grey crepe but it is old and worn and rather inexpensive (Kasper brand 3B from Macys, fused, the little plastic fibers are sticking out of the lapels.....I've worn it regularly since 1998!!!). I am getting a Navy from Brooks Brothers (Greenfield MTM) for a first interview but thought a backup would be prudent, and wanted to go with grey -

would you guys

jump at the $600 Oxxford nailhead, use it for a second interview,

not use it on interviews, but grab it anyway at that price,

or pass on it, stick with old grey crepe Kasper for beater and use my navy or charcoal flannel chalk stripes in interviews (rather than nailhead)?

I'd say the question is "Do you like the suit?" Oxxford at $600 is a good deal, but not if you don't like it and won't wear it with pride. That amount also can buy you quite a bit at places like STP, Filene's or Century 21. If you love it, get it. But if the cut doesn't work for you, or if you feel like you're getting it only because of the price, skip it. You can find a decent interview suit for that price fairly easily. It's not like nailhead is perfect for that purpose anyway.

Personally, I'd pass. I don't care much for Oxxford in general, and that $600 would buy me a Corneliani on discount with a good chunk of change to spare.
post #13 of 24
I use my charcoal nailhead Polo suit for second interviews. Haven't yet gotten a third interview though! It's the navy Polo for firsts, and I've gotten a couple of favorable comments. The nailhead is a pretty tiny pattern though, and hardly visible from 4 feet away. It's more a winter weight fabric, though.
post #14 of 24
5,6 and 7 should never go near an interview - unless it is for a door keeper's job or even more lowly still.
post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocHolliday
I'd say the question is "Do you like the suit?" Oxxford at $600 is a good deal, but not if you don't like it and won't wear it with pride. That amount also can buy you quite a bit at places like STP, Filene's or Century 21. If you love it, get it. But if the cut doesn't work for you, or if you feel like you're getting it only because of the price, skip it. You can find a decent interview suit for that price fairly easily. It's not like nailhead is perfect for that purpose anyway.

Personally, I'd pass. I don't care much for Oxxford in general, and that $600 would buy me a Corneliani on discount with a good chunk of change to spare.

I like the oxxfords I now have (about a half dozen suits, all bought used for cheap on ebay) but I don't have a Gibbons. I have tried a few italian brands at C21: Armani, Brioni, Canali, Isaia, etc and the cut doesn't quite work with my physique. I need as little shoulder pad as apossible and some waist suppression, but not the kind of imposing delts and snug fit in the lats they gave me - a 46 was snug in the Italian jobs, whereas a 44 is typically better for me in Oxxford or Hickey Freeman, BB etc. though I am really a 45 or trim 46.

I figured I'd get the Gibbons nailhead because:

it was a decent price,
it'd be a NEW Oxxford and
size 46 I could take to a decent tailor to get fit correctly,
it'd replace my old Kasper grey crepe which is on its last legs, and
it would hopefully work for interviews in academic or non-corporate settings.

fwiw I wore my Navy Oxxford SB with subtle maroon pinstripes and a charcoal Alfani chalk stripe DB to interviews for my current gig and felt over dressed (It's business casual - I see everything from jeans and shorts with polos to a few suits here and there.) I typically felt slightly under-dressed to adequate in my crepe Kasper suit foir interviews in the past.....so I figure the Oxxford nailhead is a step up but still not the best introductory suit - hence my getting a solid navy. I went the BB MTM route there in desperation after searching everywhere for a 2b navy that would fit me - no soap. I paid more than I had planned for a navy suit but hopefully it will fit well and last a long time - I don't plan to beat on it as I do my older 2nd hand suits....

so yes I like Oxxfords and would be proud to wear it...just wanted to know if the nailhead pattern is appropriate for interviews - the sense I am getting is folks here consider it too casual - But I think it could work in more laid back jobs....such as My current one. Though Ideally I'd like to step up in future (who wouldn't!!) so maybe it's too laid back even for a second interview?
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