Very first suit for an important job interview - need some advice in a hurry!

Discussion in 'Menswear Advice' started by kindaclueless, Feb 11, 2017.

  1. kindaclueless

    kindaclueless New Member

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    Feb 11, 2017

    I've never been a fashion-conscious kind of person, though I expect that will change soon as I have tried wearing a few nice shirts, slacks, and so on and I really enjoyed the way I felt (and the different responses I received from people).

    That being said, I currently know almost nothing about fashion. I've been a t-shirt and jeans kind of guy for a long time.

    I just got invited to an interview in 3 days, which is very short notice. It's for a $70k/year job with outstanding benefits, raises, and a very nice pay increase schedule. I figure that probably warrants a suit.

    I tried a few of the more reputable places in town, but the first didn't have any jackets in my size (I think the guy said I was a 48 for the jacket - but I have no idea what that even means). The second place said they could help me, but tailoring could take up to a week. My only other option (again, with a 3 day window) was to hit the local Men's Wearhouse. From what I understand, they're a joke and should be avoided, but desperate times and so on.

    I bought a jacket and slacks (which I'm assuming is considered a "suit," correct me if I'm wrong). I'm going to be buying everything else today, but I'm not entirely sure what all I need.

    1. I think most cheap dress shoes will be fine as nobody will be looking at my feet. (I'm trying to keep everything cheap until I can learn more about style and my preferences - plus I'm in the process of losing a LOT of weight.) Is there a certain style I need, or just any dress shoes?

    2. The suit is a dark navy color (they were somehow out of black). I'm guessing I should probably get some socks of the same color (or would black dress socks work?).

    3. I also need to get a nice shirt, but I'm not sure if I'll need that tailored or not. I plan on wearing the jacket the whole time - my limited understanding is that one should keep the jacket on, regardless of whether it's hot in there or not. If I'm wearing a jacket, will it matter if the shirt is tailored? I'd probably have it done anyway, but time is a factor and I'm concerned that I can't get this done by Monday evening. Advice?

    4. Belt or suspenders? I always thought that you had to wear a belt with slacks, no matter what - even if you use suspenders. The guy at MW told me one should do either/or and not both. Thoughts on that? Also, which should I go with? Like I said, I'm losing weight - but I am currently short, stocky, and hefty. Suspenders sound like they'd do a better job and be a better option for a guy losing over 50 lbs. Also... dumb question (I'm sure most of mine are) - but are suspenders to be worn OVER a dress shirt? I always thought those were considered a form of underwear and should be between the underwear shirt and the dress shirt. And on that note - is there any particular kind of underwear shirt I should wear (white t-shirt, tank top, nothing)?

    5. Accessories. No clue what to do there. Cuff links. Tie pins. Pocket squares. I don't know anything about any of that stuff, and I don't want to go over the top with anything. The invitation for the interview said to dress "business casual," but I know that most candidates will be wearing suits. So... should I bother with any extra stuff?

    Edit: 6 - I almost forgot! I suppose I'll need a tie! Anything I should know about the size, shape, or color of the tie? I imagine that being short and big will be factors here. Also, does the type of knot matter?

    Also, if any of this stuff helps, I'm between 5'6" and 5'7", 33 years old, very broad shoulders and a deep chest, but also a gut that I'm working very hard on losing (damn near 10 lbs per month so far and about 50 lbs more to go). I've always been one to sweat easily (even back when I was in great shape) - so having this cheap suit kind of concerns me. I just spent a little over $300 on the jacket/pants/tailoring - which I realize is cheap, but like I said before, I just needed something quick. I'll get much nicer clothing once I learn more about men's fashion and my personal preferences.

    Thanks to anyone that reads all of this and is able to give me some advice - I really do appreciate it. Any other questions/comments/advice are definitely welcome. I'm here to absorb as much information as I can!

    Thanks again!
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017

  2. ThomGault

    ThomGault Senior member

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    Oct 21, 2016
    Charlotte, NC
    Im glad you recognize that men's Warehouse isn't great quality, but, like you said, you need something quick and you'll be be losing weight, so your fit will probably change. You'll probably want to wait for a new wardrobe not until you lose the weight you want, but until your weight has actually stabilized. Alterations aren't cheap.

    1. You want black captoe balmoral shoes: Google Allen Edmonds park avenue to see what they look like. They don't have to be Allen Edmonds brand, but they're a solid american-made shoe at a decent price on sale. With such a short time period and desire to keep costs low, this may not be the time to buy quality shoes. Whatever you choose, though, pick something that looks exactly like it.

    2. Navy is better than black for this situation. In fact, navy would be second best after charcoal. You will want matching socks. For a serious interview, just get solid socks. Stay away from black suits in general.

    3. Shirts are usually not altered. (However, they CAN be, if you're really hard to fit.) Shirts are based on neck and arm measurements. You should be able to try some on in store til you find something that feels right. For the interview, choose white. Re: removing the jacket during the interview: depending on local custom, taking off the jacket in heat may be acceptable. In this circumstance, I wouldn't remove the jacket unless the interviewer first removed theirs.. Follow social clues.

    4. Belt/suspenders are either/or, not both. Suspenders can feel weird if you're not accustomed to them, and you want to be as comfortable as possible during the interview, so I'd suggest wearing a belt. Suspenders go over your shirt, but are a bit like underwear---they should never be shown, so you'd lose the ability to remove your jacket. In the future, you can look into sidetabs on your trousers, which obviate the need for either belt or suspenders. I prefer white v-neck undershirts, but crew neck is acceptable, too. Since you might sweat, just be sure to choose something with sleeves.

    5. No cuff links (you're getting barrels cuffed shirts, NOT French cuff sleeves, right?) No tie pins. As you mentioned, you don't want to look ostentatious. The fact that the invitation indicated business casual is a bit disconcerting---that implies sport jacket/blazer and trousers would be appropriate, but I agree that if you're sure other candidates are wearing suits, you should probably do the same.

    6. Your tie should be about the same width as the lapels on your suit. Choose either a solid dark burgundy, or a subdued repp stripe pattern that has navy in it to match the suit.

    Does all of that make sense? If not, just let me know which part needs clarification and I'll try to explain more.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017

  3. The Thin Man

    The Thin Man Senior member

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    Nov 17, 2009
    48 is your chest measurement, in inches. That is how suit sizes are determined.

    A suit are a jacket and trousers that are made from the same fabric. A jacket and trousers that are made from different fabrics aren't suits.

    Black captoe balmoral oxfords are the ideal interview shoes. But I wouldn't worry too much about it.

    Dark gray and navy are the best suit colors.

    A white dress shirt that fits you in the next and shoulders is what you should look for.

    A belt is good. Same leather color as your shoes. If you choose to wear suspenders, they're over your shirt.

    No accessories. A dark, not-shiny tie. A four-in-hand knot.

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