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French cuffs okay for a job interview? (legal)

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mister Bateman, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. Mister Bateman

    Mister Bateman New Member

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    p.s. you will be fine either way - don't spend time overthinking your attire when you could be "researching" the firm.

    "i hear you have a rotation for your articling students, a mentorship program, and an open door policy? I like that about your general service corporate firm. If I were to choose any of the other identical firms in the city, I would most certainly choose yours."

    Man...I was set on wearing the cuffs after the first page. Then the second page has been predominantly negative. I think I'm going to try them on when I pick up my suit, and see how I feel about them then. On one hand, they may be that last extra "little bit" that pushes the outfit over the top in a hiring partner's mind. On the other hand, they may be the last "little bit" that pushes the outfit into the douche-zone...
     
  2. GasparddeColigny

    GasparddeColigny Senior member

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    As others have said before, it will either be a non-issue or it can look a bit pretentious, a neutral or lose scenario. I would avoid it, play it safe.
     
  3. dmac

    dmac Senior member

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    I am a partner at a boutique law firm. I would look favorably upon someone who wore french cuffs, but I am likely in the minority. I think most interviewers would either be oblivious to the french cuffs or may view it in a negative light. I would advise against them and go with barrel cuffs. Good luck in the interview.
     
  4. HEPennypacker

    HEPennypacker Senior member

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    This question has been asked before. The general consensus is that, while it probably will not matter for your interview, the only potential impact it could have is negative, and should therefore be avoided.

    +1. Most people won't care, but those who do will likely adhere to the outdated rule that they're too flashy and will dock points.
     
  5. rlx

    rlx Senior member

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    I was hiring partner at a large firm for a number of years. I would say no french cuffs.
     
  6. capua

    capua Senior member

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    Location:
    Toronto
    I'm a second year student about to do OCIs in Toronto, so I'm in your exact same position. I initially purchased a shirt with French cuffs but chickened out and returned it for barrel cuffs for all the reasons listed above. I am very happy with my decision. During the interview the last thing that you want to think about is your dress, and now you can scoff at your peers who are wearing French cuffs to interviews. Just who do they think they are?
     
  7. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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  8. z7f9q

    z7f9q Senior member

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    I don't think its a faux pas. You just have to make absolutely sure that you do it right, if you're going to do it at all. When done poorly, it has greater potential to go wrong.

    With all that said, I think you're probably over-thinking this. Just look professional, and game-plan your answers going into the interviews. Talk to some people in the year ahead of you, figure out some of their questions, and go from there. With only two firms, this is a practical way to make things easier for you. My point being, don't spend too much time worrying about what you'll wear - your interview skills are much more important.
     
  9. Smartalox

    Smartalox Senior member

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    Consider this:

    If you're going for an interview, you want to project self-confidence, and a sense of being 'comfortable in your own skin'. Wearing a suit is a great way to project confidence, a sense that you've got your sh!t together, but if you're constanty fidgeting with cuffs and cuflinks that you don't normally wear, it's going to be a distraction in the interview, and your interviewer WILL notice.

    I think that this applies to any suit / shirt combo: if it doesn't fit well, and if you're not sufficiently comfortable in what you're wearing to not be distracted by your clothes during the interview, you might want to practice wearing your suit / shirt / tie / shoes around your home or out in public to make sure you project yourself in your interview, not your discomfort.

    Good luck!
     
  10. GBer

    GBer Senior member

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    This ^^ seems to be common in many professions in the US, where french cuffs are considered to be reserved for senior staff. If this is the case in law firms and you are interviewing for a junior position, you run the risk of looking like you have an inflated sense of your own importance. I think conservatism is fine for a law interview, but pretentiousness, not so much.
    +1 spot-on! What is it with all these interview clothing threads? Applying for an entry level position (intern in this thread), but wants to dress like a partner. I would think the ego comes across in the interview. Frankly I *ding* all the people who come to an entry-level (or junior-level) interview trying to dress like a partner or managing director. That type of personality won't fit in unless it's an unconventional firm. It shows to me that you have an over inflated sense of self-worth and won't be happy with entry-level tasks. This would not be a problem I want to deal with considering the job market (especially among JDs), when there are so many others to choose from. Why take the risk? I am assuming you interned last year. What was your first summer job like? Did the entry-levels/ interns wear french cuffs? Dress is certainly part of the professionalism score. However it is normally not viewed negatively unless you do something departing far from what is expected for that said level and company culture. If you can bring me XX million in revenue, sure you can wear a black suit, a french cuff shirt with diamond cufflinks, brown shoes, and braces with funny animals on it. But until then...
     
  11. horseman40

    horseman40 Member

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    Sep 19, 2010
    I must say that I'm a bit shocked at the question. If French cuffs offend a law firm in the USA these days ..then you are interviewing at the wrong firm. What is their idea of style ..a T-shirt written with obscenities and a baseball cap? Seems as though THAT is currently high-style in the USA . Come to Europe ..where we KNOW how to dress for business.



    So I have law firm interviews coming up, and I'm agonizing a bit over what I'm going to wear.

    I bought a new Z-line Zegna suit (navy blue with a light pinstripe) from Harry Rosen this week which I'm intending on wearing. I'm considering wearing a french cuff shirt, with some nice silver cufflinks. However, I've been told that the legal profession (where I live at least, in Vancouver, CA) is typified by very conservative dress. I feel like I may already be pushing it with the pinstripe over a solid colour, so I'm worried whether french cuffs might be over the edge?
     
  12. CMD.EXE

    CMD.EXE Senior member

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    I personally find french cuffs and contrast collars obnoxious on anyone other than a partner
     
  13. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    "i hear you have a rotation for your articling students, a mentorship program, and an open door policy? I like that about your general service corporate firm. If I were to choose any of the other identical firms in the city, I would most certainly choose yours." Man...I was set on wearing the cuffs after the first page. Then the second page has been predominantly negative. I think I'm going to try them on when I pick up my suit, and see how I feel about them then. On one hand, they may be that last extra "little bit" that pushes the outfit over the top in a hiring partner's mind. On the other hand, they may be the last "little bit" that pushes the outfit into the douche-zone...
    Most french cuffs with subtle cufflinks wouldn't even be noticed at a law firm, that being said it's certainly safer to wear button cuffs. I'm not sure if 'safer' is always a good thing since that depends on how you sell yourself.
     
  14. Some consulting guy

    Some consulting guy Active Member

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    I must say that I'm a bit shocked at the question. If French cuffs offend a law firm in the USA these days ..then you are interviewing at the wrong firm. What is their idea of style ..a T-shirt written with obscenities and a baseball cap? Seems as though THAT is currently high-style in the USA . Come to Europe ..where we KNOW how to dress for business.

    No, you are misunderstanding the answers. It’s not a matter of style per se, not a matter of suit vs. jeans and t-shirt. And it’s not a matter of the culture of the firm, so find another one. It would be the same answer for an office of any similar profession, be it law, banking or consulting. I agree that it would be a completely different issue in Europe, but that’s irrelevant since he is not interviewing for a position in Europe.
     
  15. z7f9q

    z7f9q Senior member

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    I must say that I'm a bit shocked at the question. If French cuffs offend a law firm in the USA these days ..then you are interviewing at the wrong firm. What is their idea of style ..a T-shirt written with obscenities and a baseball cap? Seems as though THAT is currently high-style in the USA . Come to Europe ..where we KNOW how to dress for business.
    French cuffs are perceived as being flashy, and that isn't necessarily the image you want to present as a young student interviewing for an entry level job. This is basic stuff, knowing how to dress for business is all about knowing your audience. A button cuff is simpler, and less likely to give cause for a negative impression. It's for the same reason that you don't want to pick a flashy or distracting tie when going to an interview. It may not be a problem, but there's really nothing to gain by pushing the envelope in an interview.
     
  16. GBer

    GBer Senior member

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    I must say that I'm a bit shocked at the question. If French cuffs offend a law firm in the USA these days ..then you are interviewing at the wrong firm. What is their idea of style ..a T-shirt written with obscenities and a baseball cap? Seems as though THAT is currently high-style in the USA . Come to Europe ..where we KNOW how to dress for business.

    T-shirt written with obscenities exist all over Europe - I would say to a far greater extent. In fact there is a famous Spanish brand. And we can start talking about all sorts of European headwear... but that would be digressing.

    If you believe that is the "high-style" in the US, you are obviously missing out on many forum threads. Again there are many European examples we can talk about too (e.g. Chavs)... but that too would be digressing.

    I have worked with plenty of lawyers worldwide. Depending on their clientele and degree of professionalism - there is always a hierarchy of dress. Interns and entry-levels never outdress the partners. Never. Whether in the US, Europe, or Asia, this holds true.

    You must be thinking of small offices or self-employed people.
     
  17. mrhills0146

    mrhills0146 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 16, 2010
    +1 spot-on!

    Frankly I *ding* all the people who come to an entry-level (or junior-level) interview trying to dress like a partner or managing director.


    Oh for Christsakes!

    How about sizing up skills, intellect, and personality rather than whether the guy is wearing French cuffs? The type of cuffs a candidate wears has about as much to do with whether he is trying to dress like a managing director as the brand of toothpaste he uses in the morning.
     
  18. Ideefixee

    Ideefixee Senior member

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    500
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    Sep 18, 2010
    Location:
    Someplace cold.
    Oh for Christsakes!

    How about sizing up skills, intellect, and personality rather than whether the guy is wearing French cuffs? The type of cuffs a candidate wears has about as much to do with whether he is trying to dress like a managing director as the brand of toothpaste he uses in the morning.


    There's a huge difference between the question of toothpaste brand (which is applied surreptitiously in one's bathroom in the wee hours of the morning) and the question of cufflinks, which glares in the employer's face like fiery signals-- in a handshake, cufflinks will most certainly be noticed, and if they are too ambitious, they may reflect something in the candidate that the employer will either embrace or shy away from.

    Also, consult signature.
     
  19. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Senior member

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    Giant gold sailboats for the links will say, "Admiral, hire me."


    - B
     
  20. gamma1234

    gamma1234 Senior member

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    Giant gold sailboats for the links will say, "Admiral, hire me."


    - B


    I lol'd
     

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