To Suit or Not To Suit...

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by shoreline02, Jun 15, 2015.

  1. shoreline02

    shoreline02 Cohort

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    Jun 15, 2015

    I know this has been discussed before but recently I have noticed many people not wearing suits to interviews. I even talked to a few students in my graduate class who said they did not wear suits to their recent interviews.

    I've always worn suits. Would I be under dressed to wear dress pants and a nice shirt with a cardigan?

    :confused:
     
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  3. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Jun 15, 2015

    It depends on where you are. In my area, a suit is not required. A very nice dress paired with a cardigan would work.
     
  4. jennaleigh

    jennaleigh Rookie

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    Jun 15, 2015

    I always wear a suit. I always see other people not wearing suits. So I'm in the same boat as you, shoreline.
     
  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I think the concept is to look professional, and if that means suit to you, so be it. Personally, neat, clean, just stylish enough will be fine. If you have suits and wear them, go for it. Honestly, I was always told heels, but the truth is, if you feet hurt, you won't be able concentrate, so that can go by the wayside as well. I am old enough to know that it is more than what you wear - it is mostly about your confidence, knowledge, and how pleasant you can be while fielding questions under fire. Love suits, and have them? Wear them. Otherwise, save your money.
     
  6. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Jun 15, 2015

    This. Do I need to dress in nice pants, dress shoes, a button-up shirt every day? No...many others around here rarely do that. But I feel comfortable in it, and that allows me to perform better.

    Same with the interviews - as long as it remains professional, wear what will allow you to go in there and feel as though you are the person for the job and can wow them in the interview. The clothes themselves won't win the job (though they could lose the job...haha...but that's probably in rarer cases)
     
  7. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Jun 15, 2015

    I always say it's better to be overdressed than underdressed. People don't wear suits in my area. It's casual in general. Sometimes people joke that "business casual" in my city is cut offs and flip flops. However, I always wear a suit for job fairs and 1st round interviews. I figure it can make me stand out in a good way, especially at things like job fairs when a P might see hundreds of people over the course of a couple of days and being "the one that wore a suit" is something they can remember me by. For 2nd round interviews or demo lessons where I had to see the same people again, I bought a really nice dress.
     
  8. TeachCafe

    TeachCafe Comrade

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    Jun 16, 2015

    I always wear a cardigan and slacks. Both black with some color underneath. Usually variations of blue - royal, navy or white, black and white print, etc.

    I always look like this for interviews, job fairs, getting a job. It's the illusion of a suit without the personal uncomfortable for me.

    [​IMG]
    It's the illusion of a suit without the personal uncomfortable for me.

    And not once has someone said I look unprofessional. I've had people say I look really nice and professional...because I usually stand out in a sea of this look:

    [​IMG]

    This exactly type of look or with one of those see-through peasant tops or some kind of peasant top.

    The all black IMO looks professional. I don't feel comfortable in suit jackets. I'm short but broad shouldered and I've yet to find a suit coat that fits where I can comfortably cross my arms.

    I feel uncomfortable and I know that would shake my confidence.

    The latter picture is IMO for daily teacher wear after I've gotten the job. It's super casual and like a date night "dressy".

    It's stylish but I show my style daily after I've gotten the job.
     
  9. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jun 16, 2015

    I don't wear black, at all, ever. When I have gone on interviews I dress in my most colorful outfits. I still look professional in a jacket and dress pants. That is what gives me confidence.
    I also stand out in the sea of interview black around me.
     
  10. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jun 16, 2015

    I have never worn a suit to an interview. Mostly because interviews have happened in the summer and it's too hot to wear a suit in Texas summers. I do always dress professionally though.
     
  11. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Jun 16, 2015

    In my area it's not necessary. In the northern part of my state I would definitely wear one though. I got my current job wearing black cotton pants, a bright pink blazer, and a grey print top.
     
  12. tkayy

    tkayy New Member

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    Jun 16, 2015

    I am wondering the same thing! I have an interview this week and don't know if I should wear a suit or a dress with a blazer.
     
  13. OneBerry

    OneBerry Comrade

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    For most of the teaching interviews I've had, I wore the same suit. It was gray with black detailing and it made me feel professional and pulled together. I usually wore black heels with it, and a variety of shirts. For one interview, I wore a pencil skirt and sweater (also with heels). I've never felt overdressed for an interview... if I was going on one today, I'd wear a suit again.
     
  14. physteach

    physteach Companion

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    I always wear a suit. I reason that it can't hurt to be overdressed in a suit, but if you walk in underdressed it might be a problem.
     
  15. tkayy

    tkayy New Member

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    physteach and OneBerry... do you think a pencil dress past the knees and blazer is not good enough?
     
  16. 4815162342

    4815162342 Companion

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    I think its up to your area for sure. I've never even owned a suit, lol.
    I just wear whatever the school dress code is. And I wear flats because I can't do heels.
     
  17. physteach

    physteach Companion

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    That is also a suit. Doesn't have to be a pants suit.
     
  18. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Jun 16, 2015

    More than good enough. Trust me, unless you are way off in left field in your attire, you will be fine. Nothing denim, nothing excessively tight or loose, neat, clean, and be very cautious on the use of perfumes, colognes, scented soaps - for those who are sensitive, it can take your breathe away, and not in a good way. It is hard for them to concentrate on you if they can't breathe.

    Now, knock 'em dead!
     
  19. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Jun 16, 2015

    Honestly, I feel like wearing a suit to a teacher interview is an antiquated piece of advice. In all the interviews I have attended, I have never seen even one other person in a suit. I mean hell, my esposo went to his engineering position interview in a pair of slacks, a dress shirt and a tie and felt over-dressed!

    I guess it could definitely come down to the area you live in, but in my area no one wears a suit. Ever. I don't even own one!

    For my interviews I wear a pair of dark colored slacks, "career" heels, and a colorful blouse (with a cardigan depending on temperature). I have always felt sufficiently dressed, never over or under.
     
  20. WISpanishELL

    WISpanishELL Rookie

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    Jun 16, 2015

    I completely agree!

    I understand the need to look professional and for people in other job fields to wear suits to interviews, but I think it is completely ridiculous for a teacher to wear a suit.

    First, why would we spend so much money on a piece of clothing that we will never wear again? I just graduated college and barely have enough professional clothing to wear every day in the classroom. It doesn't make financial sense to splurge on a suit simply for interviews.

    Second, we are TEACHERS, not business people on Wall Street. We live in professional, yet comfy, clothes- especially when working with elementary school students. I feel that if the hiring committee wants to see who I really am, what I really dress like, and how I act on a regular basis, then they should see me in my regular (albeit nicest) outfits.

    Of course, if you have a suit, love to wear suits, or feel more professional in a suit, go for it! I personally just don't think it makes sense to require one given our profession.
     
  21. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Jun 16, 2015

    I know that some will go EEK!:eek: at my next comments, but you can look like you just laid out big bucks at a boutique if you shop very carefully at thrift and consignment shops. My sister is the worlds best thrift store shopper, and I get complimented all the time on the clothes that she sends me. Co-workers assumed I spent a lot of time at the malls, and a good chunk of my paycheck there, as well. I'm sorry, but I work hard enough for my money to want to hang on to it.

    Sis goes over every piece, from where they place the price tag (if in the fabric, not a seam or tag, it will create a hole), to seams (no stress lines, preferably with finished seams), fit, wear patterns (look at hems, pockets, bottom of zipper), maker (we like Talbots, CJ Banks, Chico's, New York & Co., Liz Claiborne, Apt.9 to name a few), and currently in style. She lives in the midwest and there are a lot more thrift stores there, but I have shopped a couple closer to home. I always try to remember her lessons, and I do OK.

    Your best friend with any purchase is a good seamstress who can tailor the fit to you beautifully. If I pay $5 for a nice pair of slacks by an excellent maker, it is worth investing another $15-20 for hemming and minor alterations around the waist. I will now have a $120-$150 pair of dress slacks that I paid $20-25 for, and they will fit me perfectly. Sometimes you even find new product with the tags still on them.

    I know that some people wouldn't be caught dead in a thrift store find if they knew that's where it came from, but there is no neon sign on the clothes to alert everyone where you shop. For new grads, and people underemployed, look like a $100, but pay only a small fraction of that. It can be a secret to take to your grave, or you can just accept the compliments and wear the outfits with confidence. I know I do. When Sis sends me a box of "new to me" clothes, it is like Christmas. If she misses my tastes on rare occasion, it is fine - I simply donate to a thrift store on my end, and I know that someone else will benefit from her careful shopping.

    There can be a thousand reasons why people donate decent clothing to thrift stores, and as long as I can wear the cream of the crop, I will remain very grateful for their generosity. Suits, dress pants, designer blouses, blazers, sweaters/cardigans, skirts/dresses - build a career wardrobe on a shoestring.

    Best of luck - if your choice in clothes gives you confidence, that is what you should wear. Just remember that you have the choice of where to purchase those clothes. :2cents:
     
  22. Banana0

    Banana0 Rookie

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    Jun 17, 2015

    I got a cheap suit at H&M for interviews. Was it great? Nope. Will I keep it for years to come? Definitely not. Did it do the trick while I was interviewing? Yup. I wanted to invest in a nice suit to wear for years, but couldn't justify it solely for interviews. I would have reconsidered had I not gotten a job and needed to keep interviewing for another year.
     
  23. jojo808

    jojo808 Comrade

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    Jun 17, 2015

    Lynettestoy-I could not agree more! Where I live it is something to brag about to get something designer or nice at a bargain price. We have several thrift stores and a few consignment stores on my island. I have even gotten sweet deals at garage sales! And I am plus size (which adds a layer of difficulty in used clothing).

    I have nothing new to add to the conversation--I agree with everyone's advice. Do what feels good to you and don't spend a bunch of money!
     
  24. OneBerry

    OneBerry Comrade

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    Jun 17, 2015

    I think that sounds nice. Blazers look sharp.
     
  25. cupcakequeen

    cupcakequeen Comrade

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    Jun 17, 2015

    I wore a pencil skirt or professional dresses with a blazer and pumps. I'll be honest, if I happened to see other candidates getting ready to interview I always seemed more "dressed up" than them, but it didn't bother me. I tend to dress more formally in my day to day life, it's just a preference.

    I will say that I was on an interview committee yesterday and I was probably the only one on the panel that paid much attention to outfits (I just really like clothes, I can't help it!). As long as the candidate made an effort to look nice and reasonably professional, it was fine. The only one that everyone took notice of was the girl who wore a white blouse type thing with a cut out in the front and back and you could clearly see her pink bra. That was definitely not good, haha!
     

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