You’re buying this suit for a job interview, aren’t you? No, I’m not psychic, but I figure it’s a safe assumption since:
- If the suit was for a wedding or special event, you’d probably rent a one.
- If the suit was for the office, you’d likely have worn one to get the job and not be wondering what kind of suit to get.
Anyway, on to preparing you for the dog and pony show of the interview/job lottery you’re about to attend.
First let’s talking about why you need a suit. You need a suit because it’s a way to show your future boss that you know how to operate an iron and are capable of finding a tie tying video on YouTube.
You also need it to set yourself apart from the other candidates, provided your suit has memorable, conservative flair.
That’s about it really, and clothing merchants get to make billions of dollars a year on this ritual.
Where to buy your suit and accessories
Before I go any further, I want to tell you where to buy your suit and accessories in case you have ADD and don’t finish the article. This is very important, as you will save a boatload of money.
DO NOT buy your suit anywhere except for two stores: Nordstrom Rack and Neiman Marcus Last Call. This holds true whether you have a bare minimum budget or all the money to spend in the world.
Why? Let me ask you a question, would you rather pay $200 for a $200 suit, or $200 for an $800 suit? Would you rather pay $500 for a $500 suit, or $500 for a $1000 suit?
Exactly. Nordstrom Rack and Neiman Marcus have ultra expensive suits that will make a statement and last for years, for the same price you would pay at Macy’s, JCPenny and Men’s Warehouse.NOTE: Do not be tempted by sales at other department stores. They might advertise a suit as buy one get one free, or 50% off. Do you really think they’re willing to lose money on the suit? Of course not! As a general rule, if you pay $300 for a suit marked down from $600, that’s all the suit is worth. Nobody actually pays $600 for that suit. Similarly, nobody actually pays $600 for just one suit at the buy one get one free place, they are selling you two $300 suits.
The only catch with Nordstrom Rack and Neiman Marcus Last Call is they have limited selection, so you made need to visit them a few time before finding the suit in the color, size and style you want. This is because their inventory comes from items that didn’t sell right away from their full price stores. These are real quality suits, the kind a politician or a CEO would wear. They are not defective, used or outdated, they simply were over stocked.
My suggestion would be to get fitted at a local department store like Macy’s or Men’s Warehouse, then take the measurements they give you to Nordstromrack.com or LastCall.com and buy your suit there. You can return the suit to one of their retail locations (or mail it back) if you don’t like it. You will find a much larger selection by shopping online as opposed to visiting your local discount store (if you even have one near you).
The other huge advantage to buying at Nordstrom Rack or Neiman Marcus Last Call is the fact that their employees are not commission based, unlike the salesmen at most department other stores. This means they will genuinely help you pick out something with your wallet in mind, not their own.
Now that you know where to buy your suit, I’ll go over each portion of your interview outfit in detail and tell you what to buy.
Material: 100% wool, no exceptions.
Color: Navy, or charcoal gray. Navy is best as blue subconsciously inspires trust. Black is too formal for an interview. Pinstripes are nice.
Style: As traditional as possible.
Material: 100% cotton, no exceptions.
Color: White, blue or any shade in between.
Style: Avoid shirts requiring cuff-links. Pocklet-less shirts are fine and actually look quite nice.
Material: 100% silk, no exceptions.
Color: Whatever color goes with your suit, but do not go with red under any circumstance. It is a power color and a turn off for interviews.
Pattern: Striped is ideal, solid colors are a no go. Avoid anything novelty. The pattern should be just that, a pattern. No images, cartoon characters, jokes etc.
Color: Black or brown. Black is preferred as it as rather universal. Please note the color of your shoes must match your belt.
Color: Black or brown, must match your shoes.
Material: Doesn’t matter.
Pattern: To be safe, go pattern-less.
Just kidding, did you really think I was going to tell you what underwear to buy? Honestly, I’d wear some crazy pink leopard print underwear or something to passive aggressively spite the fact you had to blow $500+ on a glorified tablecloth.
I hope these tips proved helpful in wasting your money on a nonverbal statement to your future employer that you have access to running water and a debit card.(By Value editor)Image courtesy pakorn / Freedigitalphotos.net