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Interview Suit

Discussion in 'Suits' started by Canadian, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. Canadian

    Canadian One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    173
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Hi,

    Would you wear a vintage styled suit to a job interview?

    Specifically a DB black/charcoal suit (I haven't seen it in person, hypothetically it's in my mailbox down the street) or would you wear a pair of grey pants and a regular coat?

    I'm in an odd situation. I have close to two dozen jackets and suits, but I've gained or lost weight over the years and no longer have a really nice interview suit, or they have simply gained so much wear they are simply not practical for a first impression.

    I am applying for front desk jobs at local hotels. There is a very good chance that if I get experience in this field, I might get hired at a resort nearby, somewhere down the line. I interviewed with a major chain last month, but nothing came of it.

    For a first impression, should I stick with a black, single breasted jacket and grey slacks (my practical and normal job interview rig), or does a brand new DB suit make more sense.

    C.
     
  2. Mathematicus

    Mathematicus A-List Customer

    Messages:
    325
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    In short, no.

    With that I mean that a double breasted suit with details perceived as "eccentric" by most people is not going to make a good first impression in most job interviews.

    Rare exceptions apply, for instance if you are applying for a creative job or if you are interviewing for a senior position. While in the first case you can wear whatever you want, in the second case one needs to assure that fit and quality are absolutely perfect. It seems that you are not in these situation, though.

    For an interview suit I suggest something very classic, very timeless and very discreet. It is incredibly difficult to make these three things work together, as you don't want to stand out but still you want to be regarded better by others. So your suit need to be in a dark shade, possibly without any pattern, good cloth and the best fit possible. Short trousers and jacket will make you stand out, as skinny or exceptionally wide cuts. Lapels should be medium sized, not skinny. Either 3 or 2 buttons is fine.

    You live in North America. My best suggestion would be looking for an Oxxford suit roughly in your size and getting it altered by a competent tailor. This can be less easy than you think, alas (especially finding a good tailor).
     
    Metatron and Seb Lucas like this.
  3. MondoFW

    MondoFW Practically Family

    Messages:
    776
    What are these "eccentric" features that are synonymous with vintage suits? A double-breasted cut? That seems a little silly to judge over.
     
  4. Canadian

    Canadian One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    173
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Mondo,

    What he's referring to is the idea that any deviation from the norm is a bad thing. While you might be thrilled to hire somebody with a 40s suit, it makes more sense to hire the best candidate who might seem most normal.

    C.
     
  5. Mathematicus

    Mathematicus A-List Customer

    Messages:
    325
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    Mondofw,

    I'm not considering double breasted cuts as eccentric, on the contrary I believe that double breasted is one of the most dashing silhouettes in menswear.

    The "eccentric features" are to be referred to both cloth and styling. Black with pinstripes is not the classic, timeless cloth you expect from a junior in a business environment; in some places it would raise some eyebrows even if worn by executives. Regarding to cut, vintage double breasted more often than not had a wide overlap and extreme button stance (either very high during 30s or very low during 50s) which contrasts with the tamer versions seen later.

    But even a perfectly cut double breasted would make the wearer stand out a bit, just because this cut is so uncommon today. There is nothing wrong in wearing that during an ordinary office day, but I don't know whether you would be remembered as the "DB guy" in an interview.

    If we talk about a vintage garment, I assume it wasn't made for the wearer. If the cut is not very flattering to the wearer physique (say, a slight stomach and very low button stance or a small framed man with a huge 6'' overlap) the result will make the wearer stand out in a bad way - i.e. as he's wearing a costume.

    On a final note, I don't want to convey that a vintage suit could not be appropriate for a interview: there are plenty of 1940s single breasted suits in dark wools that would be perfect (if they fit well and are proportionate to the wearer).
     
  6. Zoukatron

    Zoukatron One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    131
    Location:
    London, UK
    I would also suggest that your normal interview rig of black jacket and grey trousers would be better replaced with a grey or navy suit rather than separates if it's the kind of work environment that requires one to be smartly dressed.
     
  7. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,848
    Location:
    New Forest
    When you are in the job search for real, you will come up against prejudice, believe me there are interviewers who won't like wide lapels, won't like skinny lapels, won't like tattoos, beards, pony tails, and, and, and.......................
    Mathematicus made a good point, dress smart, conservatively and do your homework. There are lots of helpful websites to give you tips and assistance, try this one then see what others have to offer. https://www.thebalancecareers.com/job-interview-do-s-and-don-ts-2061313
     
  8. Winston Carter

    Winston Carter Practically Family

    Messages:
    559
    Location:
    Balch Springs, Tx.
    I agree. You can't go wrong with a light grey suit. It looks like success.
     
  9. avedwards

    avedwards Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,425
    Location:
    London and Midlands, UK
    I’m a little bit late to the party but having thought about this question a lot over the last six years I’ll share my thoughts. I believe that the US is less flexible than the UK when it comes to expected interview attire but broadly speaking the same rules apply.

    Maybe, providing the suit looks relatively timeless rather than dated. So a dark single breasted two piece suit with medium width lapels could be OK but anything too extreme like the late 1940s “Bold Look” would look dated. Something like Cary Grant’s grey suit in North by Northwest would be OK.

    Just make sure that everything else you’re wearing is well put together. So polished black shoes and a crisp white or blue shirt. I’ve found that ties offer an opportunity to express a certain amount of individuality (within reason) and have previously worn conservative (stripes, small geometric patterns etc) vintage ties to interviews.

    I would say no. DB suits are unusual these days and may be seen as dated, especially when worn by younger people. Fine once you have the job and have established yourself as a competent employee, but to an interview it would stand out too much in my opinion.

    I appreciate this might not sound like a helpful answer but I don’t think either option would be ideal. The DB suit for the reason detailed above and the black jacket and slacks because it’s not a suit. I would instead strongly recommend finding a single breasted navy or mid-dark year suit, which would be a very useful and versatile item to have in your wardrobe anyway.
     
  10. harrisonchris

    harrisonchris New in Town

    Messages:
    3
    For me, I would say no as well. As for the interview, it would look really over the mark and can destroy the impression.
     
  11. Metatron

    Metatron One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,463
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    It's a delicate balance. There are elements of vintage suits that are at odds with modern fashion and not to everyone's taste and others that are classic.

    Very wide trouser legs, very wide peak lapels, very heavy shoulders are all a no-no for an entry level interview, because your objective is not to dazzle but to look tidy and reliable.

    You can have a high waist as it looks streamlined when worn with a jacket (but might look funny to normies without it), a tapered leg and turn ups are no problem in my opinion.

    An ideal interview outfit in general terms in my opinion would be a medium grey worn with a plain white or blue shirt and a tie in 'happy' colours, I use a yellow, red and blue striped tie. The idea behind this is that the plain suit projects professionalism and modesty and the happy tie shows that you are personable and have an upbeat can do attitude.
     
    Patrick Hall and Mathematicus like this.
  12. Mathematicus

    Mathematicus A-List Customer

    Messages:
    325
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    I second Metatron's suggestion to pair a "undertoned" suit with a colourful tie, The only additional suggestions I make are 1) the fit must be very good and 2) the tie shouldn't be evidently casual or out of proportions.
     

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