1. Welcome to the new Styleforum!

    We hope you’re as excited as we are to hang out in the new place. There are more new features that we’ll announce in the near future, but for now we hope you’ll enjoy the new site.

    We are currently fine-tuning the forum for your browsing pleasure, so bear with any lingering dust as we work to make Styleforum even more awesome than it was.

    Oh, and don’t forget to head over to the Styleforum Journal, because we’re giving away two pairs of Carmina shoes to celebrate our move!

    Please address any questions about using the new forum to support@styleforum.net

    Cheers,

    The Styleforum Team

    Dismiss Notice

HELP! Job interview.. what do I buy to wear (I have zero dress attire)?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by greatfire, Sep 30, 2006.

  1. mano

    mano Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    450
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2004
    Greatfire needs a sartorial Saint Bernard.

    You seem to be an earnest young man and I wish you all the luck in the world.
     
  2. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    16,118
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2005
    Location:
    Tombstone
    That's exactly the point of this thread. He has "no clue" about the "company culture" and neither does anyone else giving advice. At least one person had the experience in which wearing a suit eliminated you out of the box. Others have the opposite experience. Your personal point of view may, or may not, fit.

    A suit has been default interview attire for decades. I'd hate to work at a company that would not hire someone because he adopted the standard, respectful practice. What else are they going to second-guess?
     
  3. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    16,118
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2005
    Location:
    Tombstone
    Also, as terrible as this may sound, I would not trust the judgment of a secretary/receptionist on this matter. What the receptionist sees other workers wearing may not be the same as what's expected by the interviewer. Even what other candidates wear may not be a good barometer. The point is to get a leg up on the competition, not simply mimic them.

    Unless the field is in art or the like, I really think the odds of a suit being a drawback are far, far, far smaller than of it being an advantage.
     
  4. mano

    mano Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    450
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2004
    You're preaching to the choir here. Interviewees, particularly for entry level positions, sometimes have to sacrifice their individuality for quirky corporate culture, or as tiecollector suggested at Intel, corporate counterculture.
     
  5. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    16,118
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2005
    Location:
    Tombstone
    You're preaching to the choir here. Interviewees, particularly for entry level positions, sometimes have to sacrifice their individuality for quirky corporate culture, or as tiecollector suggested at Intel, corporate counterculture.

    True dat. Didn't mean to preach to you, Mano. You were just a convenient jumping-off point. [​IMG]
     
  6. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    13,141
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2004
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    You're preaching to the choir here. Interviewees, particularly for entry level positions, sometimes have to sacrifice their individuality for quirky corporate culture, or as tiecollector suggested at Intel, corporate counterculture.
    That could also be a specific person/dept/position there, as in the last four to five years I have been down to Intel's HQ a few times while working for Conexant and all of the meetings were straight up business formal, and all of the management types that I've run into there were also wearing suits or sportcoats. To be fair we're talking about director and above level positions but still...
     
  7. JLibourel

    JLibourel Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,602
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2004
    Looking at the measurements you posted, greatfire, I am surprised you feel you need an XL. I am 6'3", have a very long torso, and I am only a Long. If you have a 40" chest, I rather think a 44XL is going to look ridiculously oversized on you. I should think a 42L at most would be appropriate for you.
     
  8. javyn

    javyn Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    16,747
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    This ain't no 90's pre-tech bubble job, suit up. Dark grey, navy, or you could probably even get away with navy pin stripe.
     
  9. Sator

    Sator Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,083
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia

    People are moving away from dressing up. I have NEVER been interviewed by anyone in a suit.


    In my profession I have only been interview wearing a suit by people similarly attired.

    Wear a suit unless given unequivocably clear and specific instructions to do otherwise.
     
  10. AlanC

    AlanC Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,805
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    Location:
    Heart of America
    Looking at the measurements you posted, greatfire, I am surprised you feel you need an XL. I am 6'3", have a very long torso, and I am only a Long. If you have a 40" chest, I rather think a 44XL is going to look ridiculously oversized on you. I should think a 42L at most would be appropriate for you.

    A 40" chest should wear a size 40 suit/sportcoat. You also mention wearing size 34 trousers, which is the typical corresponding trouser size to a size 40 suit. Try a 40L when you're trying on suits.
     
  11. Flame

    Flame Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,700
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Location:
    1° 22' 0" N / 103° 48' 0" E
    Based on what I'm reading, I think I'll get a suit. If I end up being overdressed, then I can just take off the jacket, right? Or will that be weird?
    One thing you must know, my friend, is that if you lose the jacket, lose the tie as well, or risk looking like a salesman.

    All the best to your interview.
     
  12. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    13,141
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2004
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    In my profession I have only been interview wearing a suit by people similarly attired.

    Wear a suit unless given unequivocably clear and specific instructions to do otherwise.


    Just because the interviewer isn't wearing a suit doesn't mean you shouldn't be. When I intereviewed my last round of hires I was wearing a polo, trousers, and sportcoat (and EGs), but I expected my interviewees to be wearing a suit. Just for reference, when I interviewed (with the CEO of the company I work for) he was wearing a sportcoat over a vneck sweater and trousers.
     
  13. greatfire

    greatfire Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    126
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    Another question (I'm about to make an attempt at purchasing a suit): why the suggestions for navy and charcoal? What about black? Is black another option, or is there some hidden connotation with a black suit that I don't want to be implying? Why not a pinstripe? What do the colors/styles mean?

    So far:

    - 3 button single breasted suit
    - try a 40L and a 42L
    - make sure the suit fits in the shoulder and body, the sleeves and pants hem can be cheaply altered (the tailor I found told me this).
    - color: charcoal, navy, (black?)

    Anything else that I should watch out for?
    What shirt color? What type of shirt?
    What tie color? What type of tie?
    What about shoes? What color? Any brand or style recommendations?

    I'd like a good quality suit, preferrably for cheap, but I mean, if I can't get a cheap suit ($250'ish, or less) that's of good enough quality, then I guess I'll have to make an investment.
     
  14. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    16,118
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2005
    Location:
    Tombstone
    Another question (I'm about to make an attempt at purchasing a suit): why the suggestions for navy and charcoal? What about black? Is black another option, or is there some hidden connotation with a black suit that I don't want to be implying? Why not a pinstripe? What do the colors/styles mean?

    Black traditionally has been considered inappropriate for business. It's a severe color usually reserved for tuxedoes. More and more black suits have been appearing in the workplace, however, and some argue that black has now become acceptable businesswear. I disagree. And the possibility that your interviewer will disagree makes it a poor choice for an interview suit.

    As a young guy, you want to create an image suggesting that you know your stuff, that you have it all put together despite your age. Some interviewers will perceive a black suit as a rookie mistake, a sign that you don't know the subtle nuances of the office. Also, so many young guys now have black as their only suit that you'll stand out from the crowd.

    Navy and charcoal are much more conservative, and they tend to look better on most guys in the daytime. Try on some different shades to see what works best with your complexion.

    In general, solid suits are best to start off with partly because of practicality. It's your first suit, so you'll probably want/need to wear it a lot. With a solid, you can wear it time and again, and no one will notice. If you wear a pinstripe two or three days in a row, people might pick up on it. Also, solids are more at home at functions such as funerals and weddings. (Another disadvantage to the black suit: I wouldn't wear one to a wedding.)

    Pinstripes are fine choices for the office, but I'd default to a solid for interviews.
     
  15. Carey

    Carey Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    174
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    It answers all of your questions, and is a can't miss. Remember, no button-down collars with a suit.
    ok, monday, go to your local saks fifth outlet, nordstrom rack. get a decent navy suit. 3 button single breasted. solid navy. jack victor, should run you 200-300 dollars. check out banana republic and they have a couple of decent navy suits for starters at low prices. saks outlet has a wide selection of discounted luxury brand name ties. find a conservative (stripe? ) tie in shades of red. will run you probably between 10-39 dollars. maybe buy 2. make sure you get your suit tailored as quick as possible as most places have a week turnaround. tuesday, go to ross, tjmaxx, and/or marshalls and pick out a white cotton dress shirt. ck, perry ellis, geoffrey beene, polo, etc. a decent one will cost you around 17 dollars. you can buy two, one in a light blue, yellow, or grey dress shirt. make sure they are barrel cuff, not french cuff as you will have no time to fuss with cufflinks and so on. go buy a 3 pack of dark navy (or black) dress socks. nordstrom rack has a few styles from a no name italian brand that are decent at 1.99 a pair. wednesday, go to nordstrom rack, pick out a split toe, captoe, or wingtip laceup dress shoe in black. preferably a good quality one: Allen Edmonds, santoni, ferragamo. something that will last you a few wearings after the interview. will cost you anywhere from 69.90 dollars to 189.90 dollars for one pair. try to find a matching dress belt in black with a silver or gold buckle that is not big. dress size. a decent belt from the rack will cost you around 19 dollars to 24.99 at nordstrom rack. thursday, clean your shoes, iron the shirts, learn how to tie your tie if you dont know already. try on the different ensembles with different shirt and tie combinations in case you have to interview again. friday, practice your interview skills and review your resume. pray. good luck.
     
  16. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    16,118
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2005
    Location:
    Tombstone
    Oh yeah: solid shirt in white or blue, button cuffs, no buttons on the collar. Black laceup shoes, polished nicely, and without square toes. Conservative tie of your choice.

    None of this has to be expensive; just as long as it fits well and has been properly cared for. For $250, you're probably not going to get a great quality suit. But you may fill out in the coming years, so there's no need to get top-line quality. If your suit fits properly, you'll be ahead of 90 percent of the guys you're up against.

    (All this stuff about competition will be more relevant when you're actually applying for a full-time job, when the other candidates could be guys with real-world experience. But it's just good practice in general.)
     
  17. JordanB

    JordanB Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    267
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Check this out. Not the greatest suit in the world, but it comes from a reputable store and has a pre-tailored hem, so you don't have to worry about paying for a hem. The website has other suits available too.

    http://www.esuit.com/calvin_klein/index.htm

    And no, I don't work for them (although I have placed orders before).
     
  18. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    16,118
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2005
    Location:
    Tombstone
    The Baroni suits, and others sold by the same seller, ignited a rather heated discussion over at AA. Ultimately, the seller sent one to Andy for his critique. You can read it here:
    http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/f...light=analysis

    Personally, for a first suit, I think you'd be better off going to try on several different makers. Go see how they look in person. Maybe even try some high-end brands that are way out of your range, to see how they fit and feel the difference. Then you'll be better equipped to make your purchase, and you'll know exactly what you're getting.


    (hopefully someone is online)

    Are these any good?

    http://cgi.ebay.com/NWT-BARONI-1175-...QQcmdZViewItem

    http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-FIRADO-MENS-...QQcmdZViewItem

    http://cgi.ebay.com/FIRADO-1475-130S...QQcmdZViewItem

    http://cgi.ebay.com/NWT-FIRADO-SUPER...QQcmdZViewItem
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by