Dress for Success!

25 11 2010

9/10 men can name the most obvious no-no’s when it comes to the job interview. Arrive clean and kempt, no shorts, t-shirts or trainers and most importantly… dress for success.

Reading the Style Shrink in GQ, someone had written in about precisely this topic. GQ had some good advice but they were very much in the “dress conservatively” camp. My opinion differs slightly but I’m going to garnish the odd quote in places:

Always dress for the job you want: Totally. To put this into action, you should anticipate the style of the people that will be interviewing you as it’s human nature to judge people by your own criteria. I agree to an extent with the article when it states “ditch any attempt to look hip for serious corporate interviews” . If the qualities they are looking for in an employee is an appreciation for the convention of big business, a satin jacket, vivid colours and a unique hairsyle will say something very different.

If the employer covets an individualist (advertising agency, style magazine etc) taking a risk on a creative flourish such as a tastefully patterned shirt, smart pocket square or a light check in your suit can pay off in spades as human beings have a strong preference for the visual. I forget people’s names and details all the time but it’s easy to remember a distinctive colour or item of clothing. Be warned, you walk the line with this and you should make sure you achieve bravely debonair and not flamboyant eccentric. If you’re unsure, err on the side of caution. I’ve got a picture of Neil Patrick Harris to just show what I think is the individualistic limit:

A pocketsquare, smart tie and patterned shirt doesn't have to say "douchebag"

Sock it to them: Sounds quite obvious but the socks should match the trousers. They don’t necessarily need to be the same shade or even the same colour, but it must be complimentary. The great thing about socks is that you might not be able to buy a whole new outfit, but a new pair of socks is a pretty modest purchase. If you’re thinking about novelty socks, you need to lock it in a mental safe and sink it into the figurative ocean. Some people think that novelty socks display a penchant for fun, but if I’m evaluating whether a guy has his shit together, I don’t want to suspect you’re thinking about how hilarious your Spongebob socks are.

Shoes: You should be regularly polishing and caring for your shoes. A scruffy, scuffed pair of shoes look terrible and can make a bad first impression but you don’t have to be flashy. Dune and Schuh make some really nce simple Oxford-style shoes. For shoe care, see my previous article:

Albions, Dune £64.00

Anarchy, Dune £64.00

Kris Diamond Wing, Schuh £64.99

According to GQ, successful men wear yellow ties and if you’re still unsure go for a white or blue shirt. Check out TM Lewin who are having a sale! Happy job hunting.




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