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Do I need a suit now?

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    Do I need a suit now?

    Hey guys!

    I just move to NYC for an internship and I'm trying to find a job on the side to be able to make ends meet. I'm trying to find a part time job in a restaurant or in retail.

    My question is, do I need to buy a suit for the interviews or could I just use a shirt and a tie? I don't have a lot of money and my line of work is something more of a casual environment (video editing).

    If I need to buy a suit, could you recommend stores where I can buy one cheaply?


    I think for the jobs you're looking for, a shirt and tie with a sweater (cardigan would do well, if that fits with your style) or a sportcoat/blazer, with some dark jeans or khakis. I guess it depends on where you want to get the PT job, too.



      You sound like a perfect candidate for thrift shopping. Look for a navy or solid grey suit, single breasted, and prefereably with 2 buttons. If you already own brown shoes, you're fine either way. If you only own black dressy shoes, skip the navy suit and find one in grey - the darker the better for interviews, but it doesn't much matter.

      If you exhaust all thrift resources and still can't find "suitable" attire (ha!), a navy or grey sport coat is still better than just a tie by itself.

      Don't pay retail for a suit, though.



        I agree with hornsup and Alan - a blazer is probably as much as you need for a restaurant/retail job, and the cheapest place to find a nice one is the thrift stores. If you can't find one at the thrifts, you can always pick one up from GAP or Banana Republic for a decent price if you wait for one of their many coupon codes.

        If I were you, I'd wait until I had an income and saved up some money before investing in a suit.




          Try a black or grey vest or waistcoat. You can make it part of a personal uniform that you wear on a regular basis. Once you have a job where you need a suit, you could take the plunge and have the income to support it.

          A shirt and tie is only alright - a v-neck or waistcoat pulls it all together.



            If you can't find something in the thrift stores let me know your size and I'll see what I've got.



              Thanks guys!

              Now, is there a guide to thrift shopping suits or blazers? And don't I have to get measure before buying a suit?




                You can just try things on at the thrift store. Make sure you know how things are supposed to fit and maybe take someone with you who has patience and an eye for fit and color. It's easier for someone else to look and see how things fit you if you're not experienced with it.



                  If you want a new suit on a budget and you're in NY, try Uniqlo - a bit cliched but you could do a lot worse in their price range.




                    Half the suits you find in a thrift store won't have a marked size, anyways. You'll have to try them on for fit - even the ones that swear they are your size. Fits change over time, and the 80's and early 90's had a lot of baggy clothes so something from that era might need to be sized down.

                    As for guides for top obscure brands, I bet BenR and JC will have a link. One safe bet, though, is to look for stuff bought at high-end stores. Often a suit will have a label that marks not only who made it, but where it was bought. Names like Saks 5th Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Harrod's of London, Barney's, etc. are a solid start since those places generally don't sell junk.

                    But if you like something and it fits, don't let a name (or lack of a name) stop you from getting it.



                      +1 on finding someone to go with you. If you know someone who always seems to have good-fitting clothes and a classic style sense that you ascribe to, they're a good person to go to. They'll be flattered you asked, and they can bring a lot of experience to the table that will take a long time to learn on your own.



                        Oh! Another point about trying stuff on for fit...

                        Whatever you're trying on, make sure you're wearing something similar underneath to what you would expect to wear the piece with. So if you're trying on suit jackets and sport coats, ditch the poofy sweater.



                          @Jason Thanks for the links. I know have like 8 tabs open of Put This On! So much information. About my size, the best shirt fitting wise that I have is a Bonobos oxford shirt in S, although the arms are bit too long and wide. I guess my jacket size is between 36-38R but since I have never owned one, I'm not really sure. Pants I'm 31x30.

                          I wish I had someone to go with me, but all the people that I know don't know how to dress well.

                          Anyway, I'm gonna check out some thrift stores. Does anybody recommend one in NYC?



                            NYC is a big place... Try out this site, just put in your zip code:




                              For your sleeve length in shirts, lay out the shirt that fits you best, measure from the middle of the back, right against the collar, to the shoulder, then down the arm. If it's too long, subtract according.

                              You want the shirt to be at your wrist, at the base of your thumb, without having to yank down on the sleeve to get it there. A suit jacket should show 1/4" to 1/2" of cuff, depending on your preference, so it should be shorter by that amount.