The trend towards better dressing at work is confirmed by Lehman Brothers and Bank of America's recent announcements to a return to business dress. But where does that leave college graduates raised and schooled in jeans and T-shirts?
For those graduates who will soon be spilling into the workforce and are clueless as to how to put together an appropriate interview outfit, Men's Wearhouse Corporate Image Consultant, Rodney Cole, offers clear advice for men dressing for an interview. Wardrobe Consultants in the 500 Men's Wearhouse stores nationwide are also available to offer expert advice on interview attire.
"Don't be fooled by the casual attire of your interviewer, always look your best, wear a suit to the interview," says Cole, who gives over 150 seminars a year on dressing for interviews. "Save the casual clothes till after you're hired especially now that more and more companies are going back to business dress."
Cole offers the following guidelines from his Dress for an Interview seminar:
-- Suits -- Wearing a suit to the interview shows respect, professionalism and also gives the wearer confidence. Two or three button coats are classic styles that are appropriate for any work environment. Four and five button coats are too fashionable for most interviews.
When choosing color for the suit, the most appropriate colors are navy, medium gray and charcoal. Olive and taupe are also options for more creative businesses. Black is still not recommended for interviews. "Black has become more accepted in the workplace; however, it is still considered inappropriate by some, it's better to be safe and avoid it," recommends Cole.
Solid is the most versatile pattern for suits. It is easier to accessorize and has a serious business look. A very subtle stripe known as a business stripe is also appropriate. Avoid contrasting colors that are too fashion forward for interviews.
The fabric of your suit is important because it determines the comfort and appearance of your suit, says Cole. Look for a lightweight wool fabric which breaths, keeping you cool. Wool is also durable and wrinkle resistant.
-- Shirts -- Cotton shirts, though slightly more expensive than polyester, provide far more comfort and longevity. Launder with light or medium starch. "White is the best color as it portrays honesty and trustworthiness," according to Cole. "Light blue, ecru and French blue are also appropriate." Point collar, spread, or tab collars are preferred for interviews. Avoid button down collars that are too casual.
-- Ties -- "The tie is the only thing that changes that lets people know you're current with the times," says Cole, "but it's still important to be conservative." Choose a neat or random geometric pattern with the main color matching the suit. Solid ties with jacquard pattern are also acceptable. Avoid theme ties or character ties. When tying the tie, use a half Windsor or four-in-hand knot.
-- Shoes -- Black leather lace-ups are ideal. Black complements all colors. The leather lace-up is the only shoe that will be formal enough for an interview. The cap toe is the most popular style for interviews because it works with classic and contemporary looks.
Men's Wearhouse provides highly trained Wardrobe Consultants with the expertise and the merchandise to dress college graduates from head-to-toe for interviews at prices within their budget. Visit http://www.menswearhouse.com/ or call 1-800-776-SUIT (7848) to find the store nearest you.
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