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# suit for interview

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Current Student
Joined: 01 Apr 2008
Posts: 356
Schools: Chicago Booth '11
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Kudos [?]: 21 [0], given: 0

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03 Nov 2008, 13:03
jb32 wrote:
MeddlingKid wrote:
I am having some issues picking a suit and hoped you guys could chime in. I currently have three four suits to choose from:

Gray 2-button w/subtle (barely visible) square pattern: Just bought this weekend and have not yet altered. Purchased it with the intention of wearing a blue micro check shirt with a burnt orange tie. It looks good, but I’m not sure it’s business school interview appropriate. Furthermore, I already have three suits, one of which will probably get the job done. I may return this suit as it has not yet been altered.

Black 3-button w/pin stripes: This is the suit I am leaning toward. The pinstripes are visible, but don’t make me look like a 30s mobster or anything. The first downside to this suit is that I purchased it when I was less informed, picking up a 3-button (I am about 5’10 and somewhat slender). I had planned to wear this with a simple light blue shirt and a dark blue tie. The second downside to this suit is that it has a TINY (slightly larger than the size of a pin head) tear in the rear of the pants. 99% of people would never notice it unless I pointed it out. But, I’d hate to have somebody notice and wonder why I didn’t have it fixed. Again, it’s so slight, they might just think it’s a speck of dust or something.

Charcoal 2-button: I bought this suit and had it tailored, but it still seems to look a bit too big for me at times. The collar and shoulders aren’t as tight as I would prefer, but I am probably just being overly picky.

Black 3-button: This suit is more of a tapered cut, and is by far my least conservative suit. It’s one that you could wear to work with a tie, or out to a club with an interesting shirt and some funky shoes. I suppose I could go this route, as the right shirt and tie choice could work.

I would take back the gray suit and get a navy blue 2-button with side-vents. It's the most classic business look and the most important suit in your wardrobe. EVERYONE should have a navy suit in their closet before they go out buying striped, black or anything else.

Not sure how much you paid or are looking to spend, but here is a link to a thread where we discussed much of that recently. It should give you a few good pointers. http://gmatclub.com/forum/108-t68877

I will go back to the Barney's outlet and see what they have. They were somewhat limited in that size. I don't think I will have sufficient time to get the jacket tailored, since I have to leave on my trip (which will conclude at Wharton) this coming Sunday. Perhaps I am stuck with the Charcoal Hugo.
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03 Nov 2008, 14:17
nothing short of a zegna or canali suit would do, with a tie from hermes if you are going to columbia and or ferragamo if you are still stuck in the 80s..

comeon folks you are going to a top-5 b-school, how can you not afford to spend $2K on a suit??? and as ryhme said get it tailored.. Senior Manager Joined: 18 Oct 2007 Posts: 449 Location: USA Schools: Tepper '11 Followers: 5 Kudos [?]: 56 [1] , given: 2 Re: suit for interview [#permalink] ### Show Tags 03 Nov 2008, 14:27 1 This post received KUDOS Not acceptable (even if you have this stuff for free, you need to wear something else): -Anything not your size (dad's suit, brother's shoes, the wrong size Armani you bought for$150)
-Anything with a hole or stain on it.
-Bright colors:White suit, red suit, canary yellow
-Any jacket with more than 3 buttons (unless your name is Cedric and you are an Entertainer)
-Mismatched suit separates (no 2 colors, not even blacks, are created equal)
-tuxedo pretending to be a suit
-double-breasted jacket or french cuffs (unless you are that one older applicant who already owns several companies)
-sneakers or "hybrid" dress/casual shoes. No.
-athletic socks
-phone holster
-tag on the sleeve of suit jacket (I have seen this many, many times)
-dark or bright striped shirt (Lee Hotti ftw)
-backpack

Acceptable (if you already have this stuff, there is no need to go buy anything else. You can wear it):
-black suit, or separates
-black shoes
-modern 'nightclub' dress shoes as made by Kenneth Cole, etc (I don't like these but they are very commonplace now, they are acceptable)
-plain white shirt
-sweater over shirt and tie (yes I think this is an acceptable alternative to a suit, others might disagree)
-sports watch
-any kind of venting, or none at all is acceptable

Better (if you have a choice, this is better than acceptable):
-charcoal, navy, or dark brown suit (subtle patterns such as pinstriping or checks are completely fine)
-medium-brown to dark brown shoes with any of the above suits
-solid dress shoes such as made by Allen-Edmonds, Alden, Santoni
-dress watch with a leather strap (not your 500m fake tag heuer diver)
-single vented or double vented jacket

Last rule, don't ever, ever buy something for the label or for the "discount" %.
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13 Dec 2008, 18:31
Overall excellent advice above. I will dissent on two things. I think that a sweater over a shirt and tie should be avoided. Its just a bit too professorial. I also think that French cuffs are fine as long as the cufflinks are understated.

Also pocket squares add so much to a suit. I highly recommend them. White square with white shirt, conservative fold (either straight or triangle). Just my two cents.
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13 Dec 2008, 18:49
^ I'm going to have to disagree- pocket squares are like ascots, only some guys can pull them off and honestly it's a look that really only works with higher end, tailored suits. It's a nice look to add if everything else is perfect but if not then I really think attention should be focused elsewhere. Most guys look fine without them and if you are a relative newbie the risk is much higher in my opinion in the negative direction than positive.
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13 Dec 2008, 21:33
That's a fair point. Other things should be in order first before the pocket square, especially the tailoring. But I will disagree about the ascot comparison. An ascot (cravat) is foppish and eccentric no matter what. A pocket square if properly folded and well tailored is an definitely in right now and shows that you know what you are doing with style, but yeah...Get the basics done first.
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13 Dec 2008, 21:35
Leverandon wrote:
That's a fair point. Other things should be in order first before the pocket square, especially the tailoring. But I will disagree about the ascot comparison. An ascot (cravat) is foppish and eccentric no matter what. A pocket square if properly folded and well tailored is an definitely in right now and shows that you know what you are doing with style, but yeah...Get the basics done first.

I think pocket squares are inappropriate for job interviews or business school interviews. They come off as trying too hard, same for cufflinks. Save them for a cocktail reception or a party. The ESPN anchor look with the navy suit with bold chalk-white pinstripes and a pocket square is not very business-like.
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13 Dec 2008, 21:48
fresinha12 wrote:
nothing short of a zegna or canali suit would do, with a tie from hermes if you are going to columbia and or ferragamo if you are still stuck in the 80s..

comeon folks you are going to a top-5 b-school, how can you not afford to spend \$2K on a suit??? and as ryhme said get it tailored..

Zegna,or Canali suits just for b-school interviews? I think this is little overboard.

I definitely get my suits tailored after I buy a suit but I don't think we need to go spend thousands of dollars for an interview suit. What will happen once you do spend thousands of dollars for a wrinkle free Prada suit and get dinged from b-school? It's not like the interviewer is going to ask you to show your suit label on the outside to see what kind of suit you are wearing.....

I wore my Calvin Klein suits (I own 5 CK suits and 2 Hugo Boss Suits for work) to all my b-school interviews. So far - one admit and no rejection....(although Tuck is making me nervous....)

Get your suit tailored, wear a power tie, and nice shoes. Also, get a really nice leather portfolio and a nice suitcase like bag if you need to carry anything.

Also this is my little secret. I always arrive at the interview site about 30 minutes early and look for a water fountain. I toss a quarter and say this prayer:

" Oh my lucky water fountain, take this quarter and make my wish come true.... If my interview goes well, I will come back out and toss you a bright gold dollar coin...."
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13 Dec 2008, 21:53
ninkorn wrote:
So far - one admit and no rejection....(although Tuck is making me nervous....)

Showoff
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13 Dec 2008, 21:56
Speaking of bags, at my school visits and interviews, I've seen many prospectives carrying murses (man purse). Whether they were intentional or not, I don't know, but wow did they look funny. For the interview, avoid the murse
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13 Dec 2008, 22:05
agold wrote:
[
Showoff

LOL

ac8706 wrote:
Speaking of bags, at my school visits and interviews, I've seen many prospectives carrying murses (man purse). Whether they were intentional or not, I don't know, but wow did they look funny. For the interview, avoid the murse

The question here is - did they get accepted?? I will swallow my pride and carry women's Louis Vuitton shoulder bag to an interview if it will get me an admit to any top program.....
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13 Dec 2008, 22:58
lol - i wore a zegna suit to my hbs interview.

It's all silly though... at the end of the day, as long as you aren't dressing ridiculously, no one's going to notice the difference.

ninkorn wrote:

Zegna,or Canali suits just for b-school interviews? I think this is little overboard.

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14 Dec 2008, 08:27
For the ladies, do you all think "suit dresses" are appropriate? Here's the first example I could find: http://www.jcrew.com/AST/Browse/WomenBr ... /10694.jsp

Imagine it with nude panty hose or opaque hose and closed toe heels, of course.

Additionally, are there any really specific rules with the type of bags we should bring to the interview? I assume no really bright/distracting colors and patterns, obvious logos, or anything tacky like that...and that it should be nice without screaming "Look how much I paid for this!" What kinds are the other ladies (or men, I know some of you use purses too!) bringing to the interviews?
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14 Dec 2008, 08:37
ElleBee wrote:
For the ladies, do you all think "suit dresses" are appropriate? Here's the first example I could find: http://www.jcrew.com/AST/Browse/WomenBr ... /10694.jsp

Imagine it with nude panty hose or opaque hose and closed toe heels, of course.

Additionally, are there any really specific rules with the type of bags we should bring to the interview? I assume no really bright/distracting colors and patterns, obvious logos, or anything tacky like that...and that it should be nice without screaming "Look how much I paid for this!" What kinds are the other ladies (or men, I know some of you use purses too!) bringing to the interviews?

Hm.. I am sure it's not a 'no-no' to wear one, but I personally chose to only wear pant suits to my interviews. I tried to avoid purses that had any logo designs on it, so I went with just a normal black purse, big enough to hold my leather portfolio, no distracting shoes, but a bold-color shirt with the suit, and some modest accessories. I'd also try to avoid too many diamonds if it looks distracting.
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14 Dec 2008, 09:44
ElleBee wrote:
For the ladies, do you all think "suit dresses" are appropriate? Here's the first example I could find: http://www.jcrew.com/AST/Browse/WomenBr ... /10694.jsp

Imagine it with nude panty hose or opaque hose and closed toe heels, of course.

Additionally, are there any really specific rules with the type of bags we should bring to the interview? I assume no really bright/distracting colors and patterns, obvious logos, or anything tacky like that...and that it should be nice without screaming "Look how much I paid for this!" What kinds are the other ladies (or men, I know some of you use purses too!) bringing to the interviews?

I'm no expert on women's fashion, but I think those look great. A girl wore one of those to Tuck on the day that I visited and one of the admissions ladies complimented her on it.
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14 Dec 2008, 11:52
I think suit dresses can work, as can sheath dresses w/ blazers. The key there is to find one that looks good and doesn't make you look like mother of the bride.

But for interviews, I went with the 'safe' approach and I've been doing a black skirt suit w/ a bold colored shirt (e.g. deep teal or deep maroon - think jewel colors), nude hose, black pumps and modest accessories. For the bag, I've been using a dark red one big enough to hold the portfolio, wallet, etc.

Like jlola21 said, avoid too many diamonds - I've definitely seen some girls that are blinged out to the max. Not so flattering...

Also, there's this thread on women's clothing...some helpful stuff in there: http://gmatclub.com/forum/108-t58705
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14 Dec 2008, 12:42
ElleBee wrote:
For the ladies, do you all think "suit dresses" are appropriate? Here's the first example I could find: http://www.jcrew.com/AST/Browse/WomenBr ... /10694.jsp

Imagine it with nude panty hose or opaque hose and closed toe heels, of course.

Additionally, are there any really specific rules with the type of bags we should bring to the interview? I assume no really bright/distracting colors and patterns, obvious logos, or anything tacky like that...and that it should be nice without screaming "Look how much I paid for this!" What kinds are the other ladies (or men, I know some of you use purses too!) bringing to the interviews?

That's a lovely dress. Honestly I haven't worn a traditional suit to one of my interviews yet....I can't quote admissions statistics for myself but I don't think it's been a huge deal. I've done the sweater/skirt thing, and dresses. Actually for one I wore jeans because the interviewer contacted me and said to dress very casual. I don't wear suits to work often and don't feel comfortable in them so I chose not to wear them. I haven't worn hose either simply because I always forget it at the last minute. For me I feel absolutely more confident in dresses etc versus traditional suits so I chose to take that risk.

For bags I use something black and more structured.
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14 Dec 2008, 18:32
BTW, just throwing this out there for those people applying to a West Coast school. from what I've seen, unless you're going for banking, the brand or "expensiveness" of a suit doesn't really matter. Just make sure it's fitted correctly (tailor it if it doesn't fit well!), navy/grey/or even black, and you're not "trying to hard" with pocket squares, loud ties, etc... and you'll be fine.

I've RARELY seen anyone in full suits here at Haas, and for those who wear suits, it's pretty traditional looking.
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14 Dec 2008, 18:35
k88 wrote:
ElleBee wrote:
For the ladies, do you all think "suit dresses" are appropriate? Here's the first example I could find: http://www.jcrew.com/AST/Browse/WomenBr ... /10694.jsp

Imagine it with nude panty hose or opaque hose and closed toe heels, of course.

Additionally, are there any really specific rules with the type of bags we should bring to the interview? I assume no really bright/distracting colors and patterns, obvious logos, or anything tacky like that...and that it should be nice without screaming "Look how much I paid for this!" What kinds are the other ladies (or men, I know some of you use purses too!) bringing to the interviews?

That's a lovely dress. Honestly I haven't worn a traditional suit to one of my interviews yet....I can't quote admissions statistics for myself but I don't think it's been a huge deal. I've done the sweater/skirt thing, and dresses. Actually for one I wore jeans because the interviewer contacted me and said to dress very casual. I don't wear suits to work often and don't feel comfortable in them so I chose not to wear them. I haven't worn hose either simply because I always forget it at the last minute. For me I feel absolutely more confident in dresses etc versus traditional suits so I chose to take that risk.

For bags I use something black and more structured.

Yeah I am sure the suit dress is fine, I end up wearing pant/skirt suits at work more often than not so I think what's key is whatever you feel most comfortable in is best, so that you are comfortable during your interview.
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15 Dec 2008, 08:45
Great, thanks for the feedback. I love pants/skirt suits but look terrible in them for some reason...I'm not sure why. I like the suit dress look a lot as does my husband (perhaps he and agold have similar tastes...they are both ACC basketball fans). Good advice about the diamonds too (not that I have tons of diamonds or anything, but good to know). I think I'll stick with smallish pearl studs.
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