Summer suits?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by silverspoon65, May 24, 2009.

  1. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I know we just had a thread on here about people dressing inappropriately for interviews, and I chimed in that I can't believe people don't wear suits for interviews. But now that I am looking for a new job, I am dreading wearing the suit in the summer. Mine is lined, very heavy almost wool-like fabric. I do have a shell I can wear with it, and just not put the jacket on until I go in, but are there other options? I don't want to look gross and sweaty. What would you wear to an interview in 85-90 degree, HUMID weather?
     
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  3. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    What about a nice dress? If it's long enough, you can even wear knee highs (or thigh highs) with it.
     
  4. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    My mom helped me buy a ton of suits when I was in Michigan, and then I came out to CA... no one wears suits to interviews out here. Dh wore one to his advertising interview, and he thinks he almost blew it because of the suit. It's such a weird 180 in culture. Everyone wears skirts/cute tops. I wore dark jeans to my teaching observation, granted with a really nice blouse and dressy shoes. So maybe people don't wear suits because they are coming from a culture where they were frowned upon. I now have a closet full of suits that are kind of un-wearable out here.

    That said, I got a really cute, light suit from JC Penny-it was a one-piece dark blue sheath dress with a long matching coat over the top. The fabric was a light polyester, and I always get compliments on it. It's very flattering for all body types. Maybe something like that?
     
  5. Groovy

    Groovy Companion

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    Maybe the theory goes... if you aren't willing to put up with some discomfort, you don't belong in this job.

    Ok, seriously, there are lighterweight summer fabrics, but be careful. Linen and ramie do breathe nicely, but they wrinkle like mad, so you can't sit down for a long time wearing them. Can you wear "pantyhose in a can" (sunless tanning) instead of real hose? Usually that works in the south, maybe not so much in other locations. A jacketed dress might work, but nothing says professional like a suit. Sorry!

    Best to you!
    Groovy
     
  6. TiffanyL

    TiffanyL Cohort

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    May 24, 2009

    I'm from California too but it is the opposite of what Jem has noticed. Here, no suit, no job. You have to look serious and professional.

    I'm from Inland Empire/Southern California, however, so maybe it all depends on the area.

    For our school district's recent administrative interviews, I saw a couple of ladies wearing suit jackets with matching skirts. Very nice looking but still cool enough considering the warm weather.
     
  7. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I've been on interview teams for teaching positions and I wouldn't frown upon a person for not wearing a suit. I might even think that a suit was just "too much." I will say I'm more casual than most, but I think others would agree that suits are not necessary.
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Don't wear a wool suit in the summer!! EEK- not only is it hot, but it doesn't look right in warm weather.

    Consider a skirt, shell and cardigan, or a dress- a sheath is nice, again with a cardigan or light jacket. Trousers are nice as well with a shell and great shoes.

    You want to be cool and comfortable, but not overly casual.
     
  9. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    I had a light-weight, tan and white plaid jacket that I wore with a shell and a long-ish tan shirt (of course with hose and flats) when I was interviewing eons ago. I don't have it any longer - not that I could fit into it, anyway!!!

    My principal has told me that she strongly believes "no suit, no job" and she is NOT old...nor is she old-school in any other philosophy.
    Kim
     
  10. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Wow...I really can't wrap my mind around a no suit, no job approach. Our principal only wears a suit on special occassions.
     
  11. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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  12. peggy27

    peggy27 Cohort

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    May 25, 2009

    When I see people come in to interview they are usually wearing a dress or a cute skirt and top. I think that if you look professional you don't need a suit.
    Tasha- that is really cute!!!
     
  13. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Tasha, that is cute. If it was in my size, I would buy that right now!

    I really have the same philosophy - no suit, no job. Last year when I was the interviewER, I couldn't believe that 2 people showed up without a suit. It left a negative impression on me right away. I guess that's why I am so torn about what to do...
     
  14. GoldenPoppy

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    I think it is only the 20-somethings that believe they can get away without an appropriate suit for an interview. There are times in your life when being seriously dressed is important: An interview, a funeral, a business presentation to people you are trying to impress, etc.
     
  15. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    See, I just disagree. Then again I'm a twenty-something. :) But seriously, most people I know wouldn't wear a suit to an interview. Honestly. The last person we hired, who is in his forties, wore a polo shirt with a church team basketball logo to the interview. Not an issue at all.

    This is the second post in the last twenty-four hours in which I reference my own funeral, not that I'm planning on passing away soon, but I don't want people to dress up for my funeral. I would imagine it would be a sad event for some people, so I at least want them to be comfortable. Maybe that's the issue...to me being dressed up is so terribly uncomfortable. Others seem quite fine with it.

    It all boils down to personal preferences I suppose. Good luck finding something "suitable".
     
  16. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Maybe part of it it geography as well??

    Around here, I know no one who would go to an interview for any sort of a professional position except in a suit.

    Most offices, where the interviews take place, are air conditioned, even if the classrooms aren't. So you're in a jacket for the 3-4 minutes it takes to get from the car to that office.

    I wouldn't dream of wearing anything else to an interview.

    And I don't think I've ever interviewed anyone of any age not wearing a suit.
     
  17. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I am a 20 something too, for the record. :)

    I am with Alice, I think I am just going to pray for Air conditioning. I might look for something a little lighter than I have now.

    I even wore a suit when I interviewed for jobs at the mall 10 years ago.

    And the area I am looking (Central PA) seems to be pretty conservative. I don't think I would go without a suit...
     
  18. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    We live in a pretty conservative area, but suits are not a must for a job. I've been an intervewer in the past year, and a suit seems a little much for our school. I think buisiness casual is appropriate in our area. As long as it looks nice and professional, it's fine here (as in our schools). I think I wore a nice dress to both of my intervews, and was offered both jobs.
    Now if I were to intervew in an area I didn't know, I would definitely wear some type of suit.

    This reminds me of when I first started teaching (5 years ago). I would wear only suits or very nice buisness casual clothes. I'm not sure if I wore jeans my first year of teaching. Now, I'm fine with wearing jeans and casual dress. It fits the job and our principal has said as long as it looks nice and decent, it's fine with her. I've gotten rid of all my suits (really too stuffy for an elementary teacher here), and have lots of different pieces that mix and match.
     
  19. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    I do think it could be geography, Alice. We hired two teachers last year, and since one was on my team, I got to sit in. We had three candidates. One wore a dress (really, a shapeless, peasant-skirted thing with short puffy sleeves in a floral print!) and two others wore suits. My principal wouldn't even talk to us about the dress-girl, although her qualifications were as good as the other two (not better than, but as good as). I don't know what the principal would have done if her qualifications had knocked the other two out of the water.

    As the dress-girl left, she did comment to her that she should present herself more professionally at interviews because she has a lot to offer, but principals won't take her seriously is she dresses as if she's going on a picnic. Really - that is nearly a direct quote. I thought that was uncalled for....but I'm not a principal, so I kept my mouth shut.

    Kim
     
  20. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    It is pretty strong, but it is better than the girl not knowing. One thing to remember is that maybe you didn't have to wear a but if you don't, you might always wonder if that was the reason you didn't get a job and the suit isn't going to stop you from getting a job.
     
  21. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    I think it has to do with the type of school you're interviewing for as well. The more I think about this, the more I think I WOULD wear a suit if I were interviewing at one of the public schools around here. And I did wear suits when I interviewed at private schools last year, I think. Hard to remember. The school I just interviewed at is very laid back, however, so I didn't think it would be appropriate. I suppose you just have to go with your gut.
     
  22. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    I always say it is better to be safe than sorry. Why would it hurt to be dressed professionally when you are applying for a professional job? Even if you visited the school prior to your interview and saw that people dress casually I would not dress that way. Dressy jeans, a nice blouse would not get you hired in my area. Look the part. It cost most of us an arm and a leg to get the degree so dressing up is a way to show that you're really serious about the job.
     
  23. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Yeah, it's just a different culture. The town with the private school prides it's self on being a bit wild-many, many people walk around downtown without shoes on, and they take the word 'hippie' to new levels. So a suit would have given a very wrong impression. The school doesn't even give grades, and they pride themselves on being 'progressive'. Not a suit situation.
     
  24. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Knowing school culture is important, and researching the school with which you will interview is always a smart idea. That said, in MOST cases, professional attire is recommended for interviews.

    Harry Wong says: A successful teacher is a PROFESSIONAL. He or she dresses for success, wearing a uniform of professional pride. Just as a phys ed teacher wears tennis shoes and clothes that allow freedom of movement for teaching sports or related subject matter, a classroom teacher dresses for success by wearing professional attire appropriate to a classroom learning environment. As you are dressed, so shall you be perceived. As you are perceived, so shall you be treated. (so if you are interviewing with a school that values a professional look, dress accordingly; if you are interviewing in a 'progressive' type environment, you may want to dress down a bit....)

    As the OP was looking for an alternative to a suit, I would suggest many of the other PROFESSIONAL looks advised here...Silverspoon is here on the east coast- if I remember correctly, looking for a job in a new area...Delaware or Pennsylvania?? (I think you are looking to move from one to the other?) In any case, most districts in both those states are going to appreciate a polished, professional look.

    And remember...'You're never fully dressed without a smile' :) :D
     

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