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About to start job interviews. Need some recommendations for a new suit.

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  • About to start job interviews. Need some recommendations for a new suit.

    Current PGY4 (male) about to start interviewing for jobs in the next few months. I could use an upgrade on my wardrobe a little bit (well... a lotta bit but we'll start small). Specifically I need a new suit. I haven't bought one in years and was curious to get an opinion from the group. I'll admit that I'm not a stylish person but I want something that doesn't look cheap, doesn't cost thousands of dollars and is relevant nowadays.

    -Where best to buy it? Nordstrom, Brooks brothers, etc....

    -Color? Solid, faint pin stripes, etc...

    -I was thinking 2 buttons, no cuffs or pleats

    -Any other thoughts?


  • #2
    You mentioned my top two choices, Brooks Bros and Nordstrom's. A good suit can last for many years-- I had my residency interview suit for over 20 years and just recently retired it.

    That said, most male docs I know are lousy dressers (myself included), and a clean, inexpensive suit from Jos Bank's will do the trick. No need to look like you are a model or movie star, just buy a classic dark suit, wear a white shirt with a bright, unwrinkled pattern or stripe tie, and you will be fine. (Skip the Disney tie, even if you are interviewing for a Peds job).


    • #3
      Fan of Brooks Brothers also, though never owned a suit.  Found the $700'ish plus tailoring a bit much for me though the suits are very classic and will never go out of style.  The issue with Jos. A Bank, though the suits are a step below in quality relative to Brooks Brothers these really make sense in my mind when you are purchasing multiple suits.  May make more sense to get the quality step in Brooks Brothers if getting a single suit.  Brooks Brothers also has good sale twice per year (early June/early December) I believe.  Not sure if you would be wearing a dress shirt under your white coat, but highly recommend the Brooks Brothers dress shirts (non-iron), you can usually get three for around $170ish.


      • #4
        If you are really just getting one for interviews (not planning on wearing one to the office every day), I think the quality of Jos A Bank is acceptable to last several years.  Get on their email list and wait until a clearance sale.  You should be able to get a Traveler suit for ~$150-180.  Take it to a tailor and you'll basically be out $200 + tax, or less.  I'd recommend a dark suit but not black (remember when 80% of men wore black to residency interviews?)- blue, dark grey, etc.  Solid or a faint pattern.  Belt and shoes that match/compliment, and two shirts and ties and you're good for 2 interviews anywhere.

        Since you may have multiple visits/interviews at some of these places (I did), I'd recommend wearing the exact same suit/shirt/tie to every first interview, and the other to every second interview.  That way you can keep them straight and not wear the same ensemble to the same place twice.


        • #5
          Suit Supply (online or in person) is the best bang for your buck. I get complimented on that suit all the time (got a charcoal for interviews). Half canvas. Excellent fabric quality. Very fair prices.


          • #6
            I bought a new suit for fellowship interviews and my wedding.  Went to Macy's, got a great deal on a suit (solid color, navy), for like $120.  Nordstrom and Jos a bank were just too expensive imo.  I would agree with the comments above, definitely black is out, go with a ligher color.  I wore navy suit with a patterned/stripped shirt with light brown shoes and belt.




            • #7
              If you aren't going to be wearing the suits regularly and probably even if you are, Jos A Bank is fine. Regarding needing multiple suits for multiple rounds of interviews, I doubt many people will remember what you are wearing unless it is memorable for some reason (e.g. bold pin stripes). If they do remember and hold it against you, you probably don't want to work there anyway! Admittedly I am pretty cheap when it comes to clothes though.


              • #8
                No one will remember your suit. Just get a classic color and style. If you don't plan on using it for other events, spend as little as possible.
                However if you are traditional medical student you probably have weddings and other things where you might need a suit coming up.


                • #9
                  Dont know about Jos A Bank pricing, I think Ive been in there once and thought it was spendy. Got most of my suits at Nordstrom during the half yearly sells, getting them around 50% off.

                  Even though they were decent deals, I regret buying them since I almost never wear them. Also, nowadays you can get a good looking suit for much cheaper than in the past. If youre fit/trim, even Express will look amazing and be about 250-300. I have a friend that swears by some online company. Lots of options, dont waste money.

                  Like others have said, most doctors are not flashy dressers and wont have a clue. This falls under my thresholds thinking about how life works. You want it to fit/look decent enough you pass as a professional, but not so flashy you're remembered for your outfit. Anything over passable is a waste and even possibly a detriment.



                  • #10
                    No will will care about your suit unless its really tacky.  Another vote for a cheap suit (in the $200-300 range).  No need to spend more than this.  And stick with solid, dark colors.  That way you can wear them to just about anything (interviews, weddings, etc).  Its more important to buy a suit that fits your body shape, regardless of how expensive it is.

                    Right before residency interviews I bought two suits at Jos A Bank (on sale of course, "buy one get the whole store free"), one navy and one dark charcoal.  I think they ran around $200 each after the discounts.  I've worn these two suits to every interview (residency, fellowship, and attending), wedding, and work related event that required a suit.  I've had them for about 7-8 years now, and they will likely last a couple more years before they need replacing.

                    I really would not splurge on a fancy suit (I consider Brooks Brothers splurging unless you get a killer deal).  For all you know, in the next year, you'll be at a wedding, having a great time with your med school friends, and one of your idiot friends will challenge you to a tree climbing race while wearing your suits, and one of you will tear a jacket sleeve because you're both idiots.  And then you'll have to pay a tailor to re-attach the sleeve.  A fancy suit ain't gonna help much there.


                    • #11
                      For $200-300 you can get a nice, well fitting suit, (dark grey, dark blue, dark green, any dark earth color) and match with a nice shirt, tie, belt, and nice shoes.  It is important to be well groomed and classically tailored, and this doesn't cost much.  No one will want you to stand out or be too stylish.  Just look like a serious, professional grown-up who pays attention to detail.  Any department store or men's clothing store can set you up.  Make sure the shoes are in good shape and decently polished.  Good luck.

                      Ps-no cuffs, no pleats, 2-buttons.


                      • #12
                        Solid charcoal grey or navy wool suit. 2 buttons. Well-fitted and not boxy or baggy, tailored to correct dimensions as far as sleeve and pant lengths go (as well as any other tailoring that needs to be done for fitment).  Nordstrom, brooks brothers, suit supply (can be too modern for some though), even Jcrew if you like the style.  White dress shirt, well-fitted, correct sleeve length, spread or semi-spread collar.  Solid black or navy tie. Dark dress socks (charcoal, navy or even black). Black oxford shoes, closed lacing and cap-toe preferably (something like Allen Edmonds Park Avenue), definitely no loafers.  Figure that this outfit could serve you well for interviews, weddings, funerals, parties, events, etc. for many years and it wouldn't be unreasonable to spend a little money on it.


                        • #13
                          Banana, JCrew.

                          Great if you need a suit, don't have time for tailoring, and they fit. Otherwise, any Brooks Brothers or department store can find you something.

                          Dark grey or blue, pressed/ironed shirt, simple tie. Match the belt and shoes. First suit should be dark, so you have a funeral suit too. My 2nd suit is a light tan color. Get a nice fitted shirt or 3, and get them dry cleaned. You may end up without the coat at some point.

                          And wear matching grown up socks. Women always notice my socks. (some level of fun George H.W. Bush socks are okay, but be careful).


                          • #14
                            Most important thing is that it fits. Get measured. If you're slim, get a jacket for a slim guy and vice versa. Got mine at banana republic for a few hundred. Trendy, fit well but not flashy. Definitely no pleats. Mine was a dark charcoal gray/blue color, which looked good. Black is a little risky and you can look like you're going to a funeral pretty easily if you don't pair with appropriate shirt and tie.


                            • #15
                              Charcoal is a good choice for your first suit, then dark navy blue for your second.  Pay the extra $70-120 and get a second pair of pants per suit jacket.  Jos. A Banks, Brooks Brothers, Nordstrom, and Hart Schaffner & Marx all are solid choices.


                              Black is wholly inappropriate unless you are a priest or a naval officer.  (Or perhaps still a goth kid in high school.)