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Mistake: bought Black Suit for interviews. Help ameliorate situation

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone!

 

I am new to the forum and clearly have much to learn. Let's just say I learned a lesson already by reading around the forum tonight. A few months ago I purchased a black suit, thinking it was proper attire for my upcoming medical school interviews. Needless to say, I'm short on money and unable to return the suit.

 

I need help picking a shirt color that would regain sartorial points, or at the least, prevent me in stooping even lower. I've read that pale blue is an OK choice, but I'm not a big fan of this option, especially due to the large contrast it creates. I'm thinking a darker blue or burgundy colored shirt, or perhaps a striped shirt?

 

I've read most of the articles on 'interview attire' and whatnot, but still having a hard time conforming to an opinion that does not provide pictures. Please, any feedback is appreciated, and pictures/images are very welcome.

 

I have rather pale skin tone, dirty blond hair, and blue eyes.

 

Cheers,

post #2 of 31
a light blue shirt is probably still your best option if you want to mimic a conservative business-appropriate look. pick a somber tie (maybe navy or dark brown, no bright colors) and wear black shoes.

a dark shirt would be even worse than the black suit, imo.

if you save up a bit more, keep the black suit for social occasions.
post #3 of 31

If it's any consolation I'm willing to bet that a great number of your colleagues also purchased black suits in the mistaken assumption that it is a versatile item. 

post #4 of 31

SF is susceptible to groupthink, and the issue of a black suit is one of them.  And your need for "sartorial points" is puzzling.

 

A black suit is not taboo, contrary to what you may read here.

 

Make it neat and tidy.  Tailor the suit to get a good fit. Wear high quality, well maintained and clean black dress shoes.  Cut your nails, comb your hair (beware of dandruff flakes on black suites), shave plus deodorant. Wear different textured shirts, even white shirts butbut.gif. Simple elegant ties- eg burgundy with tiny gold dots, brown with tiny yellow dots etc.  Match with elegant accessories eg cufflinks and pocket squares. Stand up straight, shoulders back, weight on balls of feet.

 

There, you are already in the top 5% in sartorial ranking. 

post #5 of 31

A white shirt with a black suit just looks too tuxedo-ish to me. The problem with the black suit isn't just that everyone thinks it's not for business (in fact sometimes it IS appropriate). The problem is how it looks in the day time. Hence why it is usually reserved for social occasions. ;o)

post #6 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker View Post

a light blue shirt is probably still your best option if you want to mimic a conservative business-appropriate look. pick a somber tie (maybe navy or dark brown, no bright colors) and wear black shoes.
a dark shirt would be even worse than the black suit, imo..

This is excellent advice. Follow it and you will be fine. And, wear solid black socks. Good luck!
post #7 of 31

Coming from a country where black is the national colour, it seems we do not have any of the rules around black suits for day wear. Probably 50% of the suits seen during any workday are black :)

 

Herd mentality rules supreme so this is considered normal attire

 

I'm currently wearing a black suit (bearly distinguishable herring bone pattern) a light blue checked shirt, a mid blue with fine silver and black striped tie and black oxfords. Call me tasteless but I'm comfortable.

post #8 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Auscar View Post

Coming from a country where black is the national colour, it seems we do not have any of the rules around black suits for day wear. Probably 50% of the suits seen during any workday are black :)

 

Herd mentality rules supreme so this is considered normal attire

 

I'm currently wearing a black suit (bearly distinguishable herring bone pattern) a light blue checked shirt, a mid blue with fine silver and black striped tie and black oxfords. Call me tasteless but I'm comfortable.

 

It is the same way here in the Middle East often. I honestly do not know how people can survive in these black suits in the summer heat. It's utterly oppressive. 

post #9 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker View Post

a light blue shirt is probably still your best option if you want to mimic a conservative business-appropriate look. pick a somber tie (maybe navy or dark brown, no bright colors) and wear black shoes.
a dark shirt would be even worse than the black suit, imo.
 

+1.  Don't, whatever you do, wear a dark shirt.  You'll look like an extra from The Sopranos.  A pale blue shirt is by far the best option with a black suit, as white, the most conservative option for a navy or charcoal suit, will not pair well with a black suit as it looks to stylised (I think another poster mentioned too close to a tuxedo).  You mention an aversion to high contrast between shirt and suit, but this is a desirable thing to see when dressing classically.

 

I would also not obsess about this.  If you get the fit right, and make good selections on shirt, tie and shoes, then you will still be very smartly turned out.  If you do obsess about this, this may undermine your confidence on the day and impair your performance.  If you think that you can't stop obsessing about this, bite the bullet and buy a navy or charcoal suit.

post #10 of 31
Thread Starter 

Thank you to all who've replied!

 

I'll be going out to buy my shirt in the next few days and will post pics of the whole ensemble here.

 

I'm currently looking at some of BBs offerings, but at $80+, it's a bit difficult to swallow. For some reason I'm not a huge fan of the light blue + black pairing because it tends to border slightly cookie-cutter. I understand conservative (and often unremarkable) are key for these types of things. No offense intended, however -- I will give this option a try when I go out to purchase. Also, thank you on the advice regarding dark-colors. Point well taken with the Sopranos reference :)

 

I've got black oxfords (&black socks) to go with the suit, so no problems there. A forgettable timepiece will also be worn. I won't be wearing a pocket square as that may be a bit too pretentious for a (typically?) conservative med school interview.

 

Thank you once again for all of the suggestions. As many opinions as I may have, I will gladly take your advice, as I'm not in a situation to defy all the great advice given here. Cheers


Edited by SilverJag - 8/29/12 at 7:08am
post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petepan View Post

: . Simple elegant ties- brown with tiny yellow dots etc.   

WTF?

A brown tie with gold dots is elegant? What a terrible combo of colors. And you want him to wear a black suit, with a white shirt, and a BROWN TIE. Are you stevie wonder?
post #12 of 31

a brown tie with a black suit just looks out of place..it doesn't do anything to enhance the suit at all

post #13 of 31

2 years ago, I was in a similar situation as you. I bought a deep blue suit and another medium/dark tan suit thinking they would be the best for interviewing.

 

Now, those are the two suits of my 12-15 that never get worn.

 

Now, I'm a financial advisor so my business is obviously much different thank yours, but over 50% of my day is devoted to talking to people I've never met before and trying to make a good impression with them. In a sense, I have 5-10 job interviews a week.

 

I am not going to suggest for a second that I have an advanced grasp of business formal attire, but I'd like to think I have a moderate amount of knowledge.

 

When I wear my black suits I always wear a patterned shirt and a bright colored tie. It seems to give off a "more approachable" look.

 

I'll also sometimes wear either of them with a light colored shirt and no tie and that also seems to go over very well (think of Christian from Nip Tuck for lack of a better example).

 

My goal in mind is that I always want to have a focal point for how I look. Sometimes it's the suit, othertimes it's the shirt or tie. If you have too much going on, you'll give someone a seizure. Too little and you'll look drab.

 

The biggest thing I do, is find a look I like and try and immitate it. I've seen a few guys wearing an all black suit with light brown Wingtips and that look is hard to pull off but looks pretty good(and different) IMO and the brown helps to soften up an all black suit.

 

To me, it's about looking as professional and approachable as possible. All but two of my suits I wear regularly are dark Black/Blue/Grey with the other two being light light grey colors.

 

To simplify, these are the looks I like:

Solid color suit, white or light colored shirt, bright colored tie-Focal point is the tie

Solid color suit, patterned or bright colored shirt, no tie-Focal point is the shirt

Solid color suit, patterned shirt, dark contrasting tie, brown shoes/belt- Focal point is the shoes

Light colored or pinstriped suit, white or light colored shirt with a dark tie- Focal point is the suit

post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by randomhero88 View Post


Now, I'm a financial advisor so my business is obviously much different thank yours, but over 50% of my day is devoted to talking to people I've never met before and trying to make a good impression with them. In a sense, I have 5-10 job interviews a week.

I am not going to suggest for a second that I have an advanced grasp of business formal attire, but I'd like to think I have a moderate amount of knowledge.

When I wear my black suits I always wear a patterned shirt and a bright colored tie. It seems to give off a "more approachable" look.

I'll also sometimes wear either of them with a light colored shirt and no tie and that also seems to go over very well (think of Christian from Nip Tuck for lack of a better example).

My goal in mind is that I always want to have a focal point for how I look. Sometimes it's the suit, othertimes it's the shirt or tie. If you have too much going on, you'll give someone a seizure. Too little and you'll look drab.

The biggest thing I do, is find a look I like and try and immitate it. I've seen a few guys wearing an all black suit with light brown Wingtips and that look is hard to pull off but looks pretty good(and different) IMO and the brown helps to soften up an all black suit.

To say the bolded section, and proceed with the rest of your post is basically disproving your hypothesis.

And your pitch about being a financial advisor cracks me up...always overselling.
post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverJag View Post

. I won't be wearing a pocket square as that may be a bit too pretentious for a (typically?) conservative med school interview.

Absolutely right. The same goes for the cufflinks that PP also suggested.
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