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Where to buy interview clothes? What to wear?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Anybody have any recommendations for where to buy interview clothes? What to wear?

Probably sounds strange but my background is in high tech and so I've been in a casual dress work environment for the last 15 years or so. I was at my last job for 8 years. I've been a SAHM for the last 2 years but now I'm going back and will be starting to interview soon. I have NOTHING to wear! It's all formal evening wear and jeans in my closet.

I don't want to overdress but I'll be applying for Project Management positions which are both in High Tech and other areas. For the HT interviews I figure I'll just wear slacks and a nice shirt and shoes but what about for a more traditional type company?

I'm in the SF Bay area so I have access to the big dept. stores like Nordstroms, Macy's, etc as well as lots of boutique-y type stores.

Any suggestions?
post #2 of 13
My opinion is that you cannot go wrong with a classic suit for interviews. Nordstroms, or any dept store would be fine. Ann Taylor, or Ann Taylor Loft can be good too.

My agency is business casual, but we always expect people to come to interviews in suits.

And if a suit is a bit overdressed, that doesn't bother me. For interviews, I would err on the side of being overdressed than too casual. Also, if you're interviewing for positions in which you'd have client exposure or in some other way represent the company externally, it's good to show that you can get dressed up.

If you still have contacts/friends who are at the kind of companies you're aiming for, they might have the best answers for your specific situation, though.

post #3 of 13
When I went to a recent interview, I wore a pair of classic black slacks, a really nice blue shirt and a suit jacket that I already owned. The effect was that of a dressy suit, but the cost was nothing because I already owned all the pieces. Target sells inexpensive suits and separates as well. I would go with a suit or a put-together outfit that is suit-like. Good luck!
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies and the ideas! Do you think the suit needs to be a skirt suit? I typically don't like skirts. How about color?

Here's one I thought was ok: Skirt

Or, how about these:

Pant Suit 1

Pant Suit 2

Pant Suit 3

Pant Suit 4

Pant Suit 5

Pant Suit 6

Pant Suit 7

Pant Suit 8

Pant Suit 9

Pant Suit 10
post #5 of 13
I think those are good ideas. I'd go for a pant suit if you're not crazy about skirts. Only very traditional offices will care and in a busier, less formal office, I think pants are usually a better investment.

Ann Taylor Loft is great. I also highly recommend Banana Republic. I love their suits and their sales are great. I've found anything from great trousers to wool dress coats at 50+% off. (like $100 pants for $40 )
post #6 of 13
i'm in a similar situation...haven't been on an interview in over 12 years (but just got my first job post baby - yay! : ). I think you can't really go wrong with a suit...high tech or not.

Anyhoo....I was at Filene's Basement & they had a 2 suits for $200 deal so I got 2 pant suits. They had skirt suits there as well but not my style. I got a Tahari & an Ann Klein which both retail for around $300 - 320 each.

I think one suit is fine, but something you can match with other things. For these pant suits, I can definitely just wear the pants or the jacket with other pieces.

Good luck! I know how stressful the whole process is.
post #7 of 13
I think something like 3,5 or 6 would make terrific interview suits! I agree that unless you're going to a very conservative field (big law firms, for instance) a pant suit is fine. If you would get more use out of a pant suit, go for that! Something nice and classic, that you can wear as separates would be a good investment that you'll probably get some more use out of.
post #8 of 13
was just able to look over what you posted & they all seem fine, although the xoxo one at macys seems more dressy than business though it was hard to see on my computer. Also, I don't know about Isaac Mizrahi...I like a lot of what he designs for Target, but nothing ever fits right.

I would definitely go with something comfortable and versatile though. I was interviewing for a teacher/librarian job & while a suit is appropriate for the interview, I can't think of any other reason to ever wear one. It's just not for me (although my mother is a retired teacher & she probably has a dozen suits). Also you don't want to be thinking about your clothes & how they look during the interview so comfort is a big factor for me.
post #9 of 13
One thing:


post #10 of 13
Originally Posted by bu's mama View Post
Also, I don't know about Isaac Mizrahi...I like a lot of what he designs for Target, but nothing ever fits right.
I was going to mention Target. I'm not crazy about IM's stuff, but I like a lot of their clothes.... good, cheap seperates that would be fine for most offices.
And I totally agree with sticking to a basic color scheme. I like khaki better than black, but it definitely helps to pick something neutral and build around it.
post #11 of 13
I love suits!!! We have a great discount store here called Gaberial brothers, and they have some great suits. Also if you are on a budget try second hand stores or GoodWill.
post #12 of 13
I work in a very conservative environment.

Pants suits are fine these days.
Keep your jacket on - especially for women, though men seem to go without jackets more often.
Wear socks or hose and nice shined shoes. No bare legs.
For an interview, I don't think black is necessary unless it fits you well. I wear a lot of brown and wear blue for interviews. Black just isn't my color. Dark is generally considered more conservative than light tan or khaki - but given your position, I don't think it will matter either way.

Try the clothes on - and the buy the one YOU feel the best IN! Ignore everything else at that point and go with what makes you feel GREAT!
I've purused a few of your suit choices and they all seem fine on the website - but you can't order these on line. You have to go in and see how you feel in the clothes.

Self-conscious? Over-dressed? Like your mother?
Stylish and confident? Ready to talk about yourself? Like you could do anything?

Get a good haircut, too. Nails clean and even, length and polish not so important.
post #13 of 13
I work as a web developer/sysadmin and wow! I just went to interviews all this week wearing brown slacks and regular button up shirts in tan/blue. Nothing fancy. Oh, and sandals, too. Although they're black and really nice Clarks. I got 3 offers so far, so I don't think you need to overthink it TOO much!

I love those suits, though. I love the skirt one, but if you don't feel comfortable in skirts, definitely go for something you're comfortable in. When I was interviewing people, even though we go to work in t-shirt/jeans people would often come in in suits. That was fine.
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