Interview advised "business casual" in invite e-mail - suit overkill?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Median, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. Median

    Median Well-Known Member

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    It's a West Coast e-commerce .com and the role is in the I.T. project office, i.e. guys with some soft-skills, not just the stereotypical dorky programmers in flip-flops.
     


  2. babygreenspots

    babygreenspots Senior member

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    The key really is the industry, location, context, etc.

    In the last two weeks, I have had two interview-like situations when I came wearing a tie, blazer, nice overcoat to meet executives from a Midwestern Fortune 500 company that is not in finance. On both occasions, they were wearing just shirts and windbreakers. If they weren't friends of a friend who already knew that I was kind of into fashion, I think they might have found me to be a bit of a show-off.
     


  3. callen

    callen Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the post for wearing a blazer and slacks. If you want the belt and suspenders approach put a tie in you inside pocket just in case. Given that they said specifically not to wear a suit I would not. Good luck on your interview. I hope it works out.
     


  4. WhatHeWears

    WhatHeWears Well-Known Member

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    I'd say wear a suit loose the tie. It is still an interview so I would wear a jacket and trousers regardless.
     


  5. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    Navy blazer and gray slacks, about as formal as it gets shy of a suit.

    I would wear a button down shirt without a tie.

    If the specifically told you to wear business casual, i dont think its a trick, i think they really mean they want you to show up in business casual.

    This is where SF may lead you astray, as we generally lean towards formality, but its not always the right thing to do.
     


  6. Spatlese

    Spatlese Senior member

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    It's a West Coast e-commerce .com and the role is in the I.T. project office, i.e. guys with some soft-skills, not just the stereotypical dorky programmers in flip-flops.

    Hmm...not my field but the advice Bradford gave above seems to fit the bill.
     


  7. Median

    Median Well-Known Member

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    Yes, thanks guys. I'm going to wear a black cotton blazer, gray pants and brown leather derbies.

    And will head to Barney's tomorrow for a suitable button down shirt. I'm thinking a check or stripe.

    Business casual is a real shame in a way, cause I snagged a real great charcoal RLBL at Saks Off Fifth only the other day!
     


  8. Prince of Paisley

    Prince of Paisley Senior member

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    If you're worried about being too casual or not getting the look right, wear a suit and make it a point to tell them you have somewhere else to go afterwards (or beforehand - whatever the appropriate lie).

    [​IMG]

    That's like saying "well, I thought I wouldn't make a special effort for this interview because I have more important things to do and don't really care if I get this job - so please ignore my candidacy and give the position to someone else"... And that's assuming you're a good liar!

    I'd say err on the side of formality. No one is going to not hire you because you are wearing a suit (with or without a tie) to the job interview. Don't risk looking like a slob, especially if "soft skills" (i.e. presentation skills) are an important prerequisite for the job. As you say, they arean't after another programmer...

    I'd wear a casual suit without a tie. You will look professional yet relaxed, but also like you've made an effort to listen to their suggested dress.
     


  9. tlmusic

    tlmusic Senior member

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    Navy blazer and gray slacks, about as formal as it gets shy of a suit.

    I would wear a button down shirt without a tie.


    This is what I would go with. Maybe wear a blue button down, or a subtle check shirt that looks good without the jacket. Remember, you can easily remove your jacket and it won't be a big deal.

    To be on the ultra safe side I'd pack a very conservative necktie (burgundy or something)--and be ready to lose it quickly if appropriate.
     


  10. tlmusic

    tlmusic Senior member

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    Yes, thanks guys. I'm going to wear a black cotton blazer, gray pants and brown leather derbies.

    And will head to Barney's tomorrow for a suitable button down shirt. I'm thinking a check or stripe.

    Business casual is a real shame in a way, cause I snagged a real great charcoal RLBL at Saks Off Fifth only the other day!


    Just saw the OP's reply here. Looks like you've got the situation under control.

    How about a medium blue Bengal stripe button down? The stripes are a nice nod to the British businessman image, but totally accepted as casual in the US.
     


  11. Bradford

    Bradford Current Events Moderator

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    Yes, thanks guys. I'm going to wear a black cotton blazer, gray pants and brown leather derbies.

    And will head to Barney's tomorrow for a suitable button down shirt. I'm thinking a check or stripe.

    Business casual is a real shame in a way, cause I snagged a real great charcoal RLBL at Saks Off Fifth only the other day!


    Sounds good - I'd go with a subtle check shirt rather than a stripe, but that's just me.

    Blue blazer and gray slacks?? C'mon guys, what part of west-coast, e-commerce.com, IT setting do you not get?
     


  12. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    ok tan slacks and loafers!

    I'll fight you over the blue blazer though.
     


  13. contaygious

    contaygious Senior member

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    From my experience you will be the only one with a sports jacket and a dress shirt on, but whatever, I do it too.
     


  14. JohnGalt

    JohnGalt Senior member

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    One note that I don't think anybody mentioned. A downside to wearing a suit when your interviewer is wearing business casual is that it may make your interviewer uncomfortable. While they may not hold it against you, strictly speaking, all things even who are they going to give the job to - the guy they felt more comfortable with.
     


  15. tlmusic

    tlmusic Senior member

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    Sounds good - I'd go with a subtle check shirt rather than a stripe, but that's just me. Blue blazer and gray slacks?? C'mon guys, what part of west-coast, e-commerce.com, IT setting do you not get?
    ok tan slacks and loafers! I'll fight you over the blue blazer though.
    The navy blue blazer is the single safest garment for a man to wear in the United States, regardless of region.
     


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