So before I go any further, I’m going to put a disclaimer: This post is more so for people on a budget. So no, I won’t be talking about designer suits or name brands – that’s frankly not how I live. However, if you’re really money conscious or not exactly rolling in dough, and wondering what to do about your suit situation, well then, please read on.
As we all know, first impressions DO matter. I recently attended a med school interviewing workshop held by my alma mater’s pre-health/ career services and here are my take-aways on dress code:
- Keep it classy – Black and dark colored suits. This is not the time to rock that white “Olivia Pope” suit, you think is so fly or that bright colored suit you think still looks professional. Nope, not the time. Remember your audience, the individuals interviewing you are most likely older and conservative. Keep it traditional. If you want to add some spunk, add color to your dress-shirt/ button-up underneath or tie.
- For the ladies: watch the shoes. Most interview days have a tour, don’t torture yourself by wearing heels you know very well you can’t last 8 hours in. The goal is to feel comfortable throughout and that most likely means wearing flats or low heels.
- Keep the accessories and make-up to a minimum. Again, all the flashy stuff, unnecessary. Remember your audience. Keep it professional and conservative.
Now, where to get your suit.
If you’re on a budget like I am, there are just some stores, you don’t bother going into – I’m just saying. But hope is not lost, you CAN buy affordable and trendy looking suits. In August, I was shopping at Ross (a clothing store with amazingly affordable prices) when I saw this pantsuit. It wasn’t the exact cut I wanted but at the same time, it was too good not to pass up, and so I bought it. I’m definitely glad I did that way in advance.
The original/ compare price is $179.00 but I bought it for $69.99. Amazing. So I would definitely recommend checking out Ross, TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, and Burlington Coat Factory for affordable and stylish suits.
Another option is thrifting. Yes, going to the thrift store. Like I said, this is for those on a budget. A couple of years ago, I bought this suit from a local thrift store and I’ve received several compliments on it in the past (Note: this is just an example, I would still recommend a darker grey suit for interviews). The high-waisted pant and blazer were purchased separately (different brand), so I was lucky enough to find a shade that complimented both. And hey, no one can tell where I bought it. It looks great!
So yes, it is possible to buy affordable, stylish suits. Shop around. There’s really no need to break the bank.