In Pursuit of a Suit

2 Dec

Be here in 15 minutes... and suit up! (image from

My first internship interview is happening in a little less than 2 weeks, and I’m going to be expected to wear a suit. The suit I owned in college is a flimsy one that suffers from Problematic Gap Syndrome (PGS) in the chest area. I got it from the JC Penny junior section for $25, so I guess I shouldn’t have expected anything better. No, it’s time I owned an Adult Suit, one that will carry me through internship interviews and job interviews and dazzle all who lay eyes upon it.

Unfortunately, shopping for work clothes is really challenging for me. I don’t have a great handle on what’s fashionable, I have almost zilch tolerance for discomfort or inconvenience in the name of fashion, and my list of shopping rule-outs borders on unreasonable. (No clothes that need ironing.  No leather. No clothes that need dry cleaning. No clothes that need hand-washing. No squeezy sleeves. No see-through shirts that always have to be layered with other shirts. No shirts that aren’t long enough to cover pants pockets. No pants without back pockets. No skinny jeans. No clothes that are tight in the wrong places. No clothes that are loose in the wrong places. No sweater dresses. And so on.) Suit shopping has all the challenges of shopping for regular work clothes, with the added pressure of the knowledge that people are going to carefully scrutinize you when you’re wearing this suit. Also, you will probably have to spend a lot of money. Also, you are unlikely to find a suit that is machine-washable and never has to be ironed.

Thankfully, some of my more fashion-adept friends have agreed to go suit shopping with me this weekend and steer me in the right direction. I’m hoping to find a gray suit, since I think a gray one will be formal but less severe than a black suit. It makes me a little sad that suits in nontraditional colors are off the table – I saw a fire-engine red one at Macy’s that I liked a lot – but I don’t think they’d make the impression I want to make. Better to be seen as unique for your accomplishments than for your outrageous attire.

Is anyone else in the process of hunting for a suit?


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