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    Interview Suiting

    Hello,

    I am an undergrad that is finishing up school in May and am looking to begin my career. I do not have much experience with suits as I have been wearing a terrible fitting hand me down suit from my grandfather. Now, as I am starting to take on interviews I am looking for a modern, well fitted suit to purchase. I was hoping I could receive some advice to brands and fits that others have good experience with. (I have been interested in the J. Crew Thompson.) My range is around $200-$300 for a jacket and pants. Thanks and I truly appreciate any help, it is going to go a long way for me.

    Also, I'm not sure as to what color (blue or grey? or others?) and what type of fabric ( wool? cotton? others?) a suit for an interview should be. Just some things I am not very familiar with. Thanks again!

    #2
    Others can weigh in on other brands, but I think your best bang for the buck will be a charcoal Thompson suit. It's relatively inexpensive, looks great without straying from classic styling and it's a fairly lightweight wool that you will (probably) be able to get three seasons' worth of wear out of. My sense is that charcoal is a little more conservative than navy (though not by a lot), and that is probably the side you want to err on.

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      #3
      Keep in mind there will be tailoring costs. I paid $70 to have the sleeves shortened and the waist brought in on my charcoal Thompson suit. I think it is recommended now to go with a medium grey or navy suit. Also the charcoal is a 80/20 blend where as the navy and medium grey Thompsons are 100% wool.
      5'8" 155 lbs 39" chest 33" sleeves 33" waist

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        #4
        I'd agree with Shomas about a Thompson being the best bang for your buck, but I'll preach going with the navy as it is useful in a few more settings. If your only suit is ill fitting, it might be better to have one you can practically wear anywhere. But really you couldn't go wrong with either the charcoal or navy options.

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          #5
          If you can stretch your budget 200-300 dollars, or wait and save up, the j. crew ludlow suit will serve you very well. I have a charcoal grey light wool, and just wore it to a job interview (and got the job, by the way). But what's great about it is that it works great for business as well as leisure. It's got a great trim fit, so it looks very contemporary, and it is well constructed, so it looks very appropriate for any business setting.

          Navy is a good color choice though. Very versatile. I chose charcoal simply because I feel it is a better color on me (goes well with the greying hair!).

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            #6
            Originally posted by Duvel View Post
            If you can stretch your budget 200-300 dollars, or wait and save up, the j. crew ludlow suit will serve you very well. I have a charcoal grey light wool, and just wore it to a job interview (and got the job, by the way). But what's great about it is that it works great for business as well as leisure. It's got a great trim fit, so it looks very contemporary, and it is well constructed, so it looks very appropriate for any business setting.

            Navy is a good color choice though. Very versatile. I chose charcoal simply because I feel it is a better color on me (goes well with the greying hair!).
            Second this depending on how much time you have to hunt for deals. J. Crew clearance + coupon code = some great deals to be had. I picked up the solid navy wool Ludlow suit jacket for $140 in store (clearance priced at $200 + additional 30% off sale). It was a 44R and I normally wear 42R, but the shoulders fit fine so I did have to take it in at the sides. Picked up the matching pants on eBay for $99 shipped.

            I picked up the charcoal herringbone wool Ludlow over the Presidents Day weekend when they had 40% off clearance. The total was under $310 shipped, including 8% tax. In this case the jacket was my normal 42R, but the pants were a little big (36 instead of 34), but once again just a little tailoring and it was perfect.

            Like Duvel I also just recently got a new job and wore these to the interviews. First interview was with the person I'd be directly reporting to and it was on a Friday at lunch at a restaurant, so I wore the navy with a patterned dress shirt and no tie. Second interview was with the regional director in the office, so I wore the charcoal with a white dress shirt and red tie with white microdots.

            Obviously the clothes only get you so far, but Ludlow is 2 for 2 in this thread :-P After tailoring it would be a little past the top end of your price range, but what you get for the extra ~$75 or so is well worth it in the long run.

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              #7
              From what i've read and seen the general consensus for an interview suit is conservative. This means notch lapels, navy blue or charcoal grey, two or three buttons (I prefer two). You want 100% wool if possible and something that has a decent fit off the rack. If you really want to look good I would budget in some money for tailoring, but even off the rack the Thompson should be a huge improvement over the ill fitting hand me down.

              The J. Crew Thompson is one of the rare suits that hits all these points in your price range and is decent quality. I've heard good things about the BAR III suit from Macy's as well but haven't actually tried one (currently on sale- see today's dappered article about the Macy's sale).

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                #8
                @ian619--congrats on the successful interviews. Thing about a good, well-fitting suit, for me at least, is that it can be a confidence booster. You look good so you feel good. If you're worrying about how your suit is fitting, then you can't really focus on the interview as well.

                I really do credit the suit partly with winning the interview for me, in that regard. My interviewers probably didn't care what the suit was or how it fit me, but I felt better.

                And yes, timing is critical for finding these things. I got my ludlow at an incredible price by waiting for a sale and stacking some discounts. And since it fit almost perfectly off the rack, I didn't need more than the free J. Crew alterations (pants hemmed, sleeves shortened a touch).

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