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#1 2017-11-20 10:35:34

mhalat
Member
Posts: 44

Please help a simple midwestern rube

I am a simple rube from the Midwest, and Canada no less, who has been called south of the border to interview with a management consulting firm. I'm reasonably sure that I can dress myself, though some days are better than others. I'm wondering if I could pick brains for major faux pas, or advice on how to dress in a highly professional environment in New York City. Preferably while maintaining some semblance of individuality.

 

#2 2017-11-20 23:04:33

Berkeley_Breathes
Moderator
From: The Great White North
Posts: 1488

Re: Please help a simple midwestern rube

My advice:

1. Don't wear really light brown shoes, especially with a navy suit. Everyone is doing it and it looks like s**t.
2. Wear a subtle tie with a white shirt. (Subtle tie = foulard, solid-color knit, challis, etc. NOT repp or Hermes.)
3a. Wear a suit, preferably two-piece.
3b. Wear a suit that fits. Don't bulge.
4. Don't wear a hat, or a tie clip. Hopefully you do not have to be told this.
5. Don't look like anyone in GQ (see 3b).

Despite no one else knowing how to dress well anymore, people still can tell (mostly) when *you* are dressing well. So an OCBD (a good quality white one), higher rise, darker shoe... None are "in" at the moment with the spread-collar, shiny tie, skinny suit people, but you're still going to look professional and good to them...

But ultimately, you're there to sell yourself, not your dress sense. Save the uni stripes and repp ties for when you have the job... At an interview, you don't want them to remember what you were wearing, you want them to remember YOU ("mhalat, he was the Guy Who Said Smart Things," vs. "mhalat, was that the Guy With The Weird Outfit?"). I'd go for navy suit, subdued tie, black or cordovan shoes, white shirt (point collar or button-down).

I'd PM Coolidge, too, depending on when your interview is (I don't know if he ever looks over here on the Wardrobe). I'm sure he'd have good advice for you. Also - aboot, sorey, Canada eh, etc. etc.


Bertie: "What do ties matter, Jeeves, at a time like this?"
Jeeves: "There is no time, sir, at which ties do not matter."

 

#3 2017-11-21 09:56:08

mhalat
Member
Posts: 44

Re: Please help a simple midwestern rube

Thanks B_B, you're a godsend.

Was thinking lilac royal oxford + navy suit + black captoe oxfords, but you're right to go white. I forget the American man's aversion to lilac, which FNB has outlined here before. I'm doing some work with the VP who is sponsoring me today, and he complimented the grey puppytooth suit I'm wearing, though as you said - it's not the suits that got me to this point, but the quality of my work. I'll put myself in the background, and let my work speak for itself.

I appreciate the, as usual, thoughtful response, you're a real pal.

Ha, as for Canada - Americans love to make fun of the fact I was born in NJ .... until they find out I live in Canada. To quote a friend in LA, 'Canada's a nice place to live, but it's not a cool place to live.'

 

#4 2017-11-21 19:54:32

Berkeley_Breathes
Moderator
From: The Great White North
Posts: 1488

Re: Please help a simple midwestern rube

mhalat wrote:

Thanks B_B, you're a godsend.

Was thinking lilac royal oxford + navy suit + black captoe oxfords, but you're right to go white. I forget the American man's aversion to lilac, which FNB has outlined here before. I'm doing some work with the VP who is sponsoring me today, and he complimented the grey puppytooth suit I'm wearing, though as you said - it's not the suits that got me to this point, but the quality of my work. I'll put myself in the background, and let my work speak for itself.

I appreciate the, as usual, thoughtful response, you're a real pal.

Ha, as for Canada - Americans love to make fun of the fact I was born in NJ .... until they find out I live in Canada. To quote a friend in LA, 'Canada's a nice place to live, but it's not a cool place to live.'

Ha! Well, New Jersey is neither, so Canada is definitely an upgrade...

It's not so much putting yourself in the background... it's just not letting your clothes upstage your work. Compliments on puppytooth = good; what isn't good is if they can't remember your work because all they can remember is that lilac shirt wink


Bertie: "What do ties matter, Jeeves, at a time like this?"
Jeeves: "There is no time, sir, at which ties do not matter."

 

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