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Thread: Charcoal Suit Pairings

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    Exclamation Charcoal Suit Pairings

    I work in design and I dress extremely casually quite often (today: joggers and a hoodie)
    Which means I don't wear suits too often (but when I do, i try to wear the hell out of them)
    My go-to is the JCF Thompson in charcoal and it has been good luck (2 for 2 in interviews)

    My upcoming interview is for a creative agency and I want to wear the suit again, but I want to showcase casual personal style to complement it.

    1. I have a medium chambray work shirt I love... would I be able to pull it off with the charcoal suit? It gives a casual vibe but still looks like. Since it is Fall/Winter, I thought I might throw a thick wool tie on top of it, as well.

    2. I have brown suede chelsea boots. Would I be able to pull those off with a charcoal suit? Or should I stick to black double monks? I also have black leather sneakers with white soles that I considered trying out... also a risk though (see link)
    https://cdn.lookastic.com/looks/char...arge-11184.jpg

    3. Should I stick to one or the other, or go totally crazy and try two of these risks at once?

    I know personal style and fashion are different things - I have a design background, so I feel pretty confident that it wouldn't look terrible.

    Thoughts please?
    I have 24 hours to decide.

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    I think you could do both the chambray shirt and suede boots and it wouldn't be too much of a risk but still give the outfit some personality. I almost never have occasion to wear a suit, but in my head I think it would look good.

    I always wonder if people actually wear sneakers with suits, or if only models for clothing companies do.

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    The sneakers are more risky than anything else, imho. You can see in the GQ photo that this is an excellent look if you are a DJ. It basically says to me this person is wearing the suit as a full-body accessory to their t-shirt and Vans. I have a friend who DJs professionally and he has no problem pulling off suit combos that would make a job interviewer think something is wrong with you. I'm not saying it can't be done, just that you will look like you are about to demonstrate some awesome juggle.

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    I say go with the charcoal suit, black double monks, it flows and looks more professional for an interview setting. As for the shirt, go for it, try to show a little personal style, but not overwhelm the interviewer when they see you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ianmichaelray View Post
    The sneakers are more risky than anything else, imho. You can see in the GQ photo that this is an excellent look if you are a DJ. It basically says to me this person is wearing the suit as a full-body accessory to their t-shirt and Vans. I have a friend who DJs professionally and he has no problem pulling off suit combos that would make a job interviewer think something is wrong with you. I'm not saying it can't be done, just that you will look like you are about to demonstrate some awesome juggle.
    Excellent point! I couldn't put my finger on it... but i am 100% with you now

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    My industry is more formal but when I'm interviewing I definitely take note of how put together the other individual is. I don't know the design industry but in my experience it's better to be more mainstream for the interview to allow your skills and personality to stand out. There are times to take risk in attire and from my experience an interview isn't one of them. Look out together but not pushing the envelope.

    Do you know people at this company? What do they said the interviewers wear? I think that would help you gain an idea of what would be appropriate. If they wear more traditional you may not want to push the boundaries.

    Good luck.

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    What color chambray? You wouldn't want to go with something that looks too similar to the charcoal suit you'll be wearing. I would probably stick with a more traditional white shirt.

    I think a wool tie is a great idea and one area where you can certainly show your personality a bit. You planning on wearing a pocket square with the suit? That's another area where you can show a bit of creativity.

    Without seeing the suede boots and suit together, it's hard to tell if you can pull them off. Feel free to post a picture if you want opinions. I would shy away from the sneaker option as it sounds super risky and could easily just make it look like you don't own dress shoes.

    If you're going to go with one of these edgy looks, for sure only try to do one. Don't double up on risk. If a boss thinks that you should be looking traditional in an interview they can overlook one kooky thing, but two might give off the impression that you don't know what's appropriate.

    I love the last line
    I have 24 hours to decide.
    It comes off as so dramatic and suspenseful.

    I totally agree with @hockeysc23's point that dressing traditionally doesn't mean you'll come off as stale, but rather lets your skills and personality stand out more than your clothes. You don't want to be remembered as the guy in the sneakers. You want to be remembered as the creative thinker.

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    sneakers can be worn with suits. The only requirement is that the suit must be on the casual side, for example a tan linen suit ( the more casual features the better: natural shoulders, soft construction,etc) can be worn with white sneakers (not running shoes) like common projects achilles. Obviously it is a very hard look to pull of, but it can be done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sogno View Post
    sneakers can be worn with suits. The only requirement is that the suit must be on the casual side, for example a tan linen suit ( the more casual features the better: natural shoulders, soft construction,etc) can be worn with white sneakers (not running shoes) like common projects achilles. Obviously it is a very hard look to pull of, but it can be done.
    For best effect, you should also have a trumpet.

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    I don't really know anything about the design industry, but perhaps there is something to be said of dressing more traditionally than most. As others have said, let your creativity and personality show through with the way you carry yourself rather than what you wear.

    On another note, sneakers with suits were all the rage at my high school for formal dances. I thought it was super cool. But then again, none of us knew what a tuxedo was. Or even what a suit was supposed to look like.

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