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The Definitive First/Interview Suit FAQ Thread

j

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Since one of the most common questions on this forum has always been "help, I need my first suit for interviewing, a job fair, etc.", I'm (finally) making this thread so we can merge all the knowledge into one place and hopefully make it easier to find. When new interview suit threads are made, please REPORT THEM (
) rather than posting in the thread "hey newb, there's a pinned thread for this". In the thread report just put "interview suit topic" or something. Then one of the mods will merge the new thread into this one, leaving an expiring redirect so the newb can find where his thread went, but cutting down the clutter and hopefully making the forum more useful for newb and SF veteran alike.

So, in the interest of helping this thread out, please feel free to use the report post function (
) on any old interview suit topics that you feel should be merged into this thread. In the thread report, just put "interview" so the mods know where it's supposed to be merged to.

Note that there is also a page on the SF Wiki about this topic, and additions to that, whether text copied/pasted from relevant posts, links to relevant threads, or original material, are always welcome and very helpful.
 

waterpig

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Will I be able to get away with wearing a suit with checks, windowpanes, or stripes in lieu of the typical standbys: the navy and the charcoal suit?
 

lawyerdad

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Originally Posted by waterpig
Will I be able to get away with wearing a suit with checks, windowpanes, or stripes in lieu of the typical standbys: the navy and the charcoal suit?

Probably, yes. If you feel comfortable that it's business appopriate, it's likely fine. Solids are the safest choice for obvious reasons, but they certainly aren't the only appropriate choice. Obviously YMMV by industry, etc.

Back when I was doing the interview thing, a glen plaid suit was one of my interview staples. I got hired anyway.
 

s4usea

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Originally Posted by waterpig
Will I be able to get away with wearing a suit with checks, windowpanes, or stripes in lieu of the typical standbys: the navy and the charcoal suit?

Gawd, I hope so. I always wear my hated Brooks Brothers charcoal pinstripe and they give me the job anyway...
 

Mr. Potato

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I wore an oversized navy striped suit with striped red tie, white french cuff dress shirts, and brown wing tip shoes (now on eBay check sig) to an interview. And I got an internship at a financial company.

Granted that I still wasn't aware of the supposed interview gear faux pas back then, clothing has never really affected me. Solid navy and charcoal suits, or dressing like them to be safe. With louder patterns, make sure your clothing speaks for what you can offer them.
 

Pedantic Turkey

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Help-- my wife burned all my clothes and my interview's in 45 minutes! How can I craft a passable suit out of common household items?
 

mensimageconsultant

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Originally Posted by lawyerdad
Probably, yes. If you feel comfortable that it's business appopriate, it's likely fine. Solids are the safest choice for obvious reasons, but they certainly aren't the only appropriate choice. Obviously YMMV by industry, etc.

Back when I was doing the interview thing, a glen plaid suit was one of my interview staples. I got hired anyway.


What's written above is reasonable enough, if the pattern is subtle and the suit looks charcoal or navy blue from a distance. Since a professional should already own one or both of the standards, it would be strange if one felt forced to "risk" wearing anything else to a first interview.
 

Holdfast

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Originally Posted by j
Since one of the most common questions on this forum has always been "help, I need my first suit for interviewing, a job fair, etc.", I'm (finally) making this thread so we can merge all the knowledge into one place and hopefully make it easier to find.

 

all8719

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Hey everybody,

long time reader, first time poster--I need a little bit of help. I have a med school interview next week and am in need of finding a suit. I am looking to spend under $600 if possible but really would want a purchase a suit that is good quality and that will last a long time.

within proximity to me is a men's wearhouse, macys, dillards, and banana republic. i could go to a big city and go to a nordstroms, outlet, etc, but would really appreciate if you guys could shoot around some ideas of colors and, most importantly, some brands to look for first.

I really need to find a suit ASAP so please help me out here!!!

Thanks
 

MrDaniels

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First of all, avoid Men's Wearhouse like the plague, especially their ties. Their suits are either:

1) Cheap, cheap-looking and poorly cut.

or


2) Better-quality, yet overpriced compared to what you might get elsewhere.


Bananna Republic has some cool stuff, but it tends to be more fashion-forward and casual.

Macy's is hit and miss, though IMHO all too-frequently overlooked by the savvy shopper . You need to be sure get a good salesperson who can fit the suit to you. They actually have some very good quality items at great prices.

If you can get to a Nordstrom and are lucky enough to catch them having a suit sale it is fairly hard to go wrong. Their salespeople are very well-trained and you can't beat the service.

Many here will disagree with me, but I do not reccomend online or mail order suits for someone just starting out...too tricky to get the right fit.
 

bc78

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I would like to get a third suit for law firm interviews. I already have the standards, charcoal and navy. I am fairly thin so I am trying to avoid pinstripes. What color do you think my third suit should be? Is Medium grey an appropriate interview suit? What about a greyish blue petrol color? Thank you in advance for your help.
 

boo

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Is there a particular reason you need a third interview suit? I'd go for a medium gray as your next purchase, although not necessarily for interview purposes.
 

bc78

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Originally Posted by boo
Is there a particular reason you need a third interview suit? I'd go for a medium gray as your next purchase, although not necessarily for interview purposes.

The interview season is set up so one could (if lucky) have an interview every day in a week. Plus, I just like getting suits. I know I'll need them eventually and just want to make sure they are interview appropriate in the short term.
 

mensimageconsultant

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This thread really isn't working as intended.

Anyway, right, medium gray isn't a true interview suit. If a recent graduate is getting several interviews per week in this economy, wow. Then a subtle pattern in either charcoal or navy would be the way to go. For example, herringbone. Maybe, if appropriate for the body type, in a two-button instead of a three-button (or vice versa), to further distinguish it from the other suit in the same color.
 

bc78

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Originally Posted by mensimageconsultant
This thread really isn't working as intended.

Anyway, right, medium gray isn't a true interview suit. If a recent graduate is getting several interviews per week in this economy, wow. Then a subtle pattern in either charcoal or navy would be the way to go. For example, herringbone. Maybe, if appropriate for the body type, in a two-button instead of a three-button (or vice versa), to further distinguish it from the other suit in the same color.



Sorry if this wasn't the place for my question. Thank you for your reply.
 

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