Our experts offer no nonsense advice for buying, wearing, and caring for your new suit. We pay special attention to dressing for a job interview and making a good first impression. Cutting edge industries and emerging fields have brought a new spirit of creativity to the workplace, and the suit has changed right along with the rest of the business world. The rules have changed, but the game is the same. We'll help you play to win.
THE FOUNDATION: SUITS
Your first interview suit depends in large part on the type of job for which you're interviewing, but charcoal gray and navy blue are always appropriate. Whether pinstriped, plaid, solid, or herringbone, these colors always represent a professional look and are ideal for more conservative fields like accounting, law, and medicine. Two-button, vented, and softer shoulder garments in medium to dark tones are ideal for these types of interviews.
If you're interviewing for a position in marketing, advertising, high-tech, service industries and other more creative or casual fields, you can go with the above options or with a more fashion-forward suit, such as three- or four-button models in earth tones or possibly even black. Add houndstooth and more textured fabrics in lighter to medium tones to the above options, as well as non-vented jackets with extended shoulders. Here's a general rule of thumb: the more creative the work environment, the more creative your options for the color and style of your attire.
Look for suits made of 100% "worsted" wool. The worsting process involves selecting long wool fibers and twisting them into tight and resilient yarns. Worsted wool yarns create year round, wrinkle resistant and durable fabrics. Wool is a natural fiber that breathes, which means you'll be more comfortable, you'll perspire less, and the fabric will travel well.
Look for suit jackets that are fully lined and pants that are lined to the knee. Lining increases comfort and reduces wrinkling.
Adding a crotch liner to your suit pants will reduce the abrasion between your thighs and the fabric. Crotch liners help your pants last longer.
A single-breasted suit is appropriate for all fields of employment. Single-breasted jackets come in a variety of styles, including the classic two-button and modern three- and four-button styles. Always leave the bottom button on a single-breasted jacket undone.
When wearing a single-breasted suit with more than two buttons, you may button just the top, just the middle or all of the buttons—except, of course, the bottom button.
You may prefer a double-breasted suit for your interviews. They usually have two columns of visible buttons on the front of the jacket and one hidden anchor button inside of the overlap. Always button the anchor button so that the right and left sides of the jacket hang evenly. This takes practice.
Most suits come with pants that are either double- or triple-pleated. Whether you go with a cuffed or plain hem is a matter of personal preference. The weight of a cuff helps pleats to hang smoothly and gives the pants a stylish drape. Suit trousers fit differently than jeans and casual pants. They should feel fuller through the thigh and should be worn at your waist, not on your hips.
Jacket pockets are sewn shut to prevent the wearer from using them and potentially disfiguring the drape of the jacket. However, should you choose to have open and functional pockets, just ask your Wardrobe Consultant or Master Tailor to remove the tack stitching.
Always use curved hangers for your suits, with the curve going forward, and leave space between garments in your closet. Cedar hangers will absorb moisture, retain the shape of your jacket, and repel moths.
When sitting, pull your slacks up at the thigh to reduce stress on the fabric and seams. Make sure to pull up your socks; no skin should show when you cross your legs.
Always unbutton your suit coat when sitting; when you're in a car, make sure you hang it up rather than wear it.
If you must put your garment bag in an overhead bin when flying, wait until others have put their items in first, and lay yours on top.
Of course, there will be times your suit will get wrinkled. Men's Wearhouse will press your suit free of charge - forever – at any location. This not only saves you money on dry cleaning, it also increases the life of your suit.
FYI: You only need to dry clean your suit when it is dirty. Suits worn regularly usually only need to be dry cleaned a few times per year. Natural fibers become brittle when dry cleaned too often, and brittle fibers break. So if your suit's just wrinkled - but not soiled - have it pressed. It'll last much longer!
DON'T BUY SIZE…BUY FIT.
No matter how beautiful or costly your suit, if it doesn't fit well, you're not going to look good. That's why we have Master Tailors in every store that will customize your fit.
First rule: your suit should feel comfortable. Take a few deep breaths and relax. Take a stroll around the store and practice shaking hands in your suit.
The jacket collar should closely follow the silhouette of the neck - with no gaping.
Your suit jacket should lie smoothly over your shoulders and across your back.
The length of your suit jacket should be long enough to cover up your entire seat and look proportional to your physique.
Your jacket sleeves should fall just at or below the break of your wrists. A traditional look is to show 1/4 to 1/2 inch of shirt cuff below your jacket sleeve, but it is really a matter of personal preference.
The waist of your trousers should be just at or slightly below your navel and should fit snugly without feeling tight. A standard suit waist size is generally six inches smaller than a suit's jacket size. However, there are different cuts created by suit manufacturers such as European (smaller waist) or Executive (larger waist). With our wide selection of clothing and the expertise of our Master Tailors, we can accommodate most any physique.
If we've previously altered any seam on your suit, Men's Wearhouse will re-alter that seam free of charge if your weight changes.
WHICH SHIRT ON YOUR BACK?
White shirts are best for your first interview. Observe other employees' shirts during your interview to judge the appropriateness of other colors for your second interview. When in doubt, wear white!
One hundred percent cotton works best for shirts for the same reasons that wool works well for suits: it breathes, so you perspire less and feel more comfortable.
A tee shirt worn underneath your dress shirt gives you added protection against noticeable perspiration and will help your shirt last longer.
Button tab collar and point collar shirts work well with all styles of suits. Never wear a button-down collar shirt with a double-breasted suit. Tip: Ask your Wardrobe Consultant for free collar stays for all of your point collar shirts.
Ask your dry cleaner to hang, rather than box, your laundered shirts so that you won't have to press them again later.
A shirt should look as good, and fit as well as your suit. It should be smooth around the neck and allow for an index finger of breathing room in the collar.
There is no such thing as a short-sleeved "dress" shirt. Always wear a long-sleeved dress shirt to your interview and for all business occasions.