Having recently attended some weddings and talked to a couple people about dressing for business I decided to put together a little guide. If you are interested in choosing a job interview suit (or wedding suit) you came to the right place. First we'll go through the general rules and narrow down options. At the end I'll show you a couple examples at various price points that are all acceptable.
*if you are interviewing in a creative field, these rules do not apply strictly. This is targeted towards lawyers/bankers/grad school/corporate jobs etc., to show you can "fit in" to corporate culture and not make any fashion "faux pas".
Only wear a navy or charcoal colored suit. This means no mid blue, no light blue, no mid grey, no light grey, no brown, no chocolate, no green, no white, no red, no pink, no black, nothing but navy or charcoal. Seriously.
Only wear a solid colored suit, no patterns, even if they are navy or charcoal as a base color.
Only notch lapels. This means no peak lapels, no double breasted jackets, no shawl collars.
Only wear a suit made with "worsted" or "smooth" wool fabric. This means no flannel, no linen, no cotton, no cotton/linen blends, no wool/linen blends, no wool/silk/linen blends.
Only wear a solid white or solid light blue shirt with a moderate spread collar. This means no mid blue, no navy, no black, no pink, no salmon, no yellow, no gingham, no checks, no stripes, no cutaway collars and no button-down collars.
Pro Tip - if you're naturally tan both colors work equally well, if you're pale, light blue generally looks better.
Only wear a subtlety colored tie in solid, small sized designs, or conservative stripes. No paisleys, linen ties, knit ties or aggressive colors.
Only wear black or dark brown "lace up" dress shoes with minimal detailing.
Match your socks to your suit color. This means you need to buy solid colored navy or charcoal dress socks if you don't already have them. No white/black athletic socks. No polka dot, no stripes and no crazy critter/animal dress socks either. This isn't the time to be "fun" with your socks.
Match your belt to your shoes. You will wear either a dark brown belt or a black belt depending on your shoe choice. Don't wear a tan belt, a woven belt, a belt with a buckle that's not silver or another brushed metal (no gold), or any belt with a crazy buckle that draws attention to itself more than you.
Optional Rule 10:
A white pocket square worn horizontally. This is completely optional but will add a tiny bit of style to your outfit without most people noticing. No other colored pocket squares, picture-based pocket squares, patterns etc., and not added in sloppily or "puffy" looking aka "sprezzatura".
I have chosen to use Suit Supply for all options because you can buy a whole outfit from them, and they provide the best combination of style/fit/quality/price out of any other company I have tried. This includes; J Crew, Ralph Lauren, Zara, Massimo Dutti, Brooks Brothers, Men's Warehouse etc., as alternate choices. I personally own multiple suits and sport coats from Suit Supply so I recommend them for most situations. And no, I am not getting paid to promote them.
Blue Line (under $499)
Napoli Navy Suit Napoli Dark Grey Suit Lazio Dark Grey Suit
Purple Line (under $699)
Lazio Navy Suit Lazio Grey Suit
Red Line ($699 - $999)
Sienna Navy Suit Sienna Dark Grey Suit La Spalla Navy Suit
Light Blue Shirt Light Blue Oxford Shirt
Rule 1 - Only wear a navy or charcoal colored suit.
Rule 2 - Only wear a solid colored suit.
Rule 3 - Only notch lapels.
Rule 4 - Only wear a suit made with "worsted" or "smooth" wool fabric.
Rule 5 - Only wear a solid white or solid light blue shirt with a moderate spread collar.
Rule 6 - Only wear a subtlety colored tie in solid, small sized designs, or conservative stripes.
Rule 7 - Only wear black or dark brown "lace up" dress shoes with minimal detailing.
Rule 8 - Match your socks to your suit color.
Rule 9 - Match your belt to your shoes.
Optional Rule 10 - A white pocket square worn horizontally.
Let me know what you think in the comments!
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