phil, last year i interviewed at a job that I would have been perfect for. the basic idea was to help a company that was a market leader in the US, and had bought several international subsidiaries that were not integrating well, develop and impliment an international strategy. The company, although pretty big and a leader in their field, sit in the far reaches of the outback in the middle of the US. everybody in the small town they are set up in look similar, tall and blond and protestant. what the CEO wanted was somebody who could get them to think globally. I spent almost a week in the interview process, and everybody I talked to was very impressed by my experience and skill set. I put an effort into dressing very "small town american" - white shirt, gray single breasted suit, simple watch, simple tie, black oxford shoes. although my wife and I decided that we didn't want to move there, the company decided not to offer me the job, and offered it to an internal candidate. the message that I recieved, informally, was that they thought I was a little too "exotic" to fit in the company. and they might have been right. what I am trying to say is that you encounter this type of subconscious cultural attitude often, much more often than you think. and, you know, I was at a wedding a few weeks ago that started at 3 pm, and I didn't wear my tux, and I don't wear brown shoes, either.