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JB's Guide to Dressing & Interview Attire

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Affiliations: HBS Class of 2013
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Re: JB's Guide to Dressing & Interview Attire [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2011, 13:32
nicboy wrote:
Can I wear a black and gray strip tie with a white shirt. Someone says wear a red and gray strip, but I think red is kind of old?


Remember that striped ties aren't the only option. But there's nothing inherently wrong with red as long as it matches your shirt and suit. I think black/gray/white would look a little monochromatic and that some color would be a good call.
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Re: JB's Guide to Dressing & Interview Attire [#permalink] New post 23 Feb 2011, 21:08
Having been through a few b-school interviews by now, I need to amend my rather strict stance on interview clothes. It just doesn't seem like your attire matters nearly as much here as at an actual job interview, the experiences from which I was speaking earlier.

It seems to come down to a few points:

1) Don't overdress. Being blinged out in cufflinks, contrast collar, suspendered, chalk-striped double breasted Michael Douglas banker gear is going to feel so out of place sitting across from an interviewer wearing chinos and a gingham shirt. Anything less that that is fine as long as you are...

2)...wearing a suit and tie. None of these people give a shit if your tie is woven or printed, with little patterns or stripes. As long as it doesn't play music or have a penny attached, I think you're fine.

3) Shoes don't matter. I mean, they do, but as long as they are dark and leather, I don't think anyone cares if they are open or closed laced. Mine have been trashed to all hell in this awful snow and slush, and so have everybody's. I interviewed at a PE shop downtown and my shoes were burgundy cordovan :shock: That's because they handle weather very well and keep my feet dry.

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Re: JB's Guide to Dressing & Interview Attire [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2011, 09:25
How did I just find this thread? I think suit shopping, etc. is like my favorite thing ever. My wife thinks I'm weird.

Just going to add some of my opinions.

Lace-ups vs. slipons - If you want to be super conservative than yeah, you want Cap Toe Oxfords... not a Derby shoe (or Bluecher). But, in NJ slipons are wholly acceptable. Just don't confuse a slipon dress show with a loafer... don't wear loafers.

Cuff Links - Hadn't heard that French Cuff shirts are "bad" before. Here's how I see it: If I'm paying $100 for a shirt or $200ish for a custom shirt, I'm getting French Cuffs. I'll wear my Tiffany sterling silver, monogrammed cuffs with them.

Ties - at my office, it's full-Windsor or nothing. Unless you're wearing an English or London spread (and don't ever) it doesn't look that big, but gives symmetry.

Suits - you guys pretty much nailed it, but let me add 1 thing. Do not shop at Banana Republic or J Crew for a suit. Those aren't "suits". They are made of crappy wool, the lapels are far too narrow, and they often come with pique stitching that looks bad. Pique stitching can be fine, but those guys do it wrong.

Having said all that... it's 2011 and we're only talking about B-School interviews. It probably doesn't matter. But I do like to wear suits :-)
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Re: JB's Guide to Dressing & Interview Attire [#permalink] New post 11 Mar 2011, 09:23
BabyBeagle wrote:
I interviewed at a PE shop downtown and my shoes were burgundy cordovan :shock: That's because they handle weather very well and keep my feet dry.

BabyBeagle wrote:
Here is a 10/10. A beautiful Macclesfield print from Sam Hober. The pattern connotes absolutely nothing but is still elegant. David (Hober) also makes these ties to order, so you can specify construction and length. I've never bought from him, and I'm not affiliated, but I've heard his quality is comparable to Charvet, Hermes, Simmonot-Godard, etc. I.e. stratospheric.

BabyBeagle wrote:
The suit is charcoal gray or navy blue. Some would say charcoal is your only option here. To anyone who mentions black: come on. Are you Justin Timberlake, an undertaker, or a waiter? Are you hitting the club right after the interview? Also, no pinstripes, no windowpanes, no chalkstripes, no plaids. You're not in a Ralph Lauren catalog, you're trying to convey why you'd be a good fit for company x without letting flashy clothing get in the way.

Shoes should be made of top grain calfskin. This means at a minimum, Allen Edmonds. The Park Avenue is your safest bet - a very traditional cap-toe, close-laced oxford. You can also try Alden or Brooks Bros' Peal line, which is made by Crockett and Jones or Alfred Sargent, both in the UK. I wouldn't do cordovan (cordovan is foremost a type of leather, not a color - the most common color that it is dyed is commonly called cordovan, though). The thing about cordovan is that when it is new, it can squeak, and it has a very characteristic waxy sheen to it. It's nice when well worn, but IMO makes a shoe more casual than calfskin, even though it is about 1.5x more expensive.


BabyBeagle wrote:
Save the sprezzatura for when you actually have the job.

Please don't tell people to wear black suits. In the United States, you will look like a waiter. Maybe that's different in Europe. In the US, you do not wear a black suit in the daytime, ever, unless you are a waiter or driver or doorman or get the idea.

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Re: JB's Guide to Dressing & Interview Attire [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2013, 15:43
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Re: JB's Guide to Dressing & Interview Attire [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2014, 18:35
Wooow..... I didn't think that there were so many ways of dressing incorrectly and screwing up interviews..... Got a few coming up.... Going to remember the discussions so much when I get dressed for the interviews....

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JB's Guide to Dressing & Interview Attire [#permalink] New post 24 Nov 2015, 01:27
Wow! This is a really cool thread!
I didnt know the GMAT Club is this diverse ;) its really proving to be the 'one stop shop' for all my pre-mba needs.. Hats off to you guys :)

I have two small queries if someone could help-
1) Is a tie really that important for a B-School interview? How bad would it be if one plans to show up wearing a really nice suit and everything but no tie??
2) What kinda (color of) tie would best go with a combination of a navy-blue suit and a plain white shirt?


One Kudos for an everlasting piece of knowledge is not a bad deal at all... ;)

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
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JB's Guide to Dressing & Interview Attire   [#permalink] 24 Nov 2015, 01:27

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JB's Guide to Dressing & Interview Attire

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