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Thread: Good basic suit for interviews and llfe's big moments

  1. #26
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    I've seen some threads on message boards griping about the constant ads for some odd sale by Joseph A Bank, but respondents that have shopped there say their suits are actually pretty decent for the money; a step or two above what Men's Wearhouse offers.

    Sierra Trading Post (website) is another option. It's not just workwear and outdoor gear, but also a lot of mid- to high-end brands, with a fair amount that's made in the USA. Sign up for their daily email specials. It's a bit of a gamble, and after a while you get a feel of what specials are worth taking advantage of. When a made-in-Canada Viyella or made-in-the-USA Gitman Brothers shirt that's $150 retail is listed at a sale price of $50, and you get a "45% off 6,000 items" coupon that day that applies to it, it's time to pull the trigger. They seem to have a lot of Hickey Freeman (made in the USA) and Jack Victor (made in Canada) suits.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  2. #27
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    I've seen some threads on message boards griping about the constant ads for some odd sale by Joseph A Bank, but respondents that have shopped there say their suits are actually pretty decent for the money; a step or two above what Men's Wearhouse offers.

    Sierra Trading Post (website) is another option. It's not just workwear and outdoor gear, but also a lot of mid- to high-end brands, with a fair amount that's made in the USA. Sign up for their daily email specials. It's a bit of a gamble, and after a while you get a feel of what specials are worth taking advantage of. When a made-in-Canada Viyella or made-in-the-USA Gitman Brothers shirt that's $150 retail is listed at a sale price of $50, and you get a "45% off 6,000 items" coupon that day that applies to it, it's time to pull the trigger. They seem to have a lot of Hickey Freeman (made in the USA) and Jack Victor (made in Canada) suits.
    Hmm, I have never thought of Sierra Trading Post for professional clothing, I will have to check that out. Yeah the Joseph A Bank ads always sound great, "buy one suit, get three free" but I have heard not good reports on their suits.

    As a bit of a follow-up, I have worn my Kenneth Cole suit to a couple interviews recently and have been happy with how I looked. I wish I would have gotten the jacket a bit larger, but all in all it is a good suit. I am still on the look out for a nice sportcoat I can throw on for Commission or Council meetings, although I always feel a bit strange because I feel overdressed compared to the others on the dais. The big thing I need to round out my professional wardrobe is a nice pair of black and brown work shoes, although they are a bit of an investment. All in all I like being more dessed up for work, it gives me more confidence. It is amazing the difference I feel in just wearing a dress shirt and slacks versus a polo and slacks.

  3. #28
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Stagewear

    Quote Originally posted by rcgplanner View post
    ... I am still on the look out for a nice sportcoat I can throw on for Commission or Council meetings, although I always feel a bit strange because I feel overdressed compared to the others on the dais. The big thing I need to round out my professional wardrobe is a nice pair of black and brown work shoes, although they are a bit of an investment. All in all I like being more dessed up for work, it gives me more confidence. It is amazing the difference I feel in just wearing a dress shirt and slacks versus a polo and slacks.
    Played a gig the other night (my ragtime piano ensemble) and beforehand the keyboard guy and I discussed what to wear. We settled on what we call "Farrell's," after the ice cream parlour.

    His partner for the four-hand pieces arrived in a colorful top, black pants (picked up some of the shading), and a matching necklace. Looking at the audience (a local community service group, mostly seniors), she remarked, "I'm overdressed."

    Afterwards, I told her about my one band director, who is often the oboe soloist. She arrives wearing something that's clearly beyond the curve; walking in, you can tell that she is The Soloist. And for an announcement in rehearsal, she did a riff on stagewear and being attired in a "uniform" that helps you do your job with confidence and from a position of authority.

    This works in all sorts of situations. Recently I attended a media event to announce the placement of new bike racks in our DT, carefully selecting my attire. Guess who the media gravitated to for further comment.



    At most of my entertainment gigs, my client walks up and says, "I can tell that you are the square dance caller."

    At civic meetings, I've noticed that the person portraying the role of the city attorney is typecast as a matched suit with tie, even for a night meeting with casually-dressed members of the planning boards. At one of my previous municipal gigs, the hired consultant always wore comfortable colorful tennis shoes, sweat pants or jeans, and casual shirts. Her responses to requests for a professional opinion always matched her outfit: "I'll have to get back to you on that."

    In sum: feel good about strapping on your armor as you head into battle!

  4. #29
    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    Played a gig the other night (my ragtime piano ensemble) and beforehand the keyboard guy and I discussed what to wear. We settled on what we call "Farrell's," after the ice cream parlour.

    His partner for the four-hand pieces arrived in a colorful top, black pants (picked up some of the shading), and a matching necklace. Looking at the audience (a local community service group, mostly seniors), she remarked, "I'm overdressed."

    Afterwards, I told her about my one band director, who is often the oboe soloist. She arrives wearing something that's clearly beyond the curve; walking in, you can tell that she is The Soloist. And for an announcement in rehearsal, she did a riff on stagewear and being attired in a "uniform" that helps you do your job with confidence and from a position of authority.

    This works in all sorts of situations. Recently I attended a media event to announce the placement of new bike racks in our DT, carefully selecting my attire. Guess who the media gravitated to for further comment.



    At most of my entertainment gigs, my client walks up and says, "I can tell that you are the square dance caller."

    At civic meetings, I've noticed that the person portraying the role of the city attorney is typecast as a matched suit with tie, even for a night meeting with casually-dressed members of the planning boards. At one of my previous municipal gigs, the hired consultant always wore comfortable colorful tennis shoes, sweat pants or jeans, and casual shirts. Her responses to requests for a professional opinion always matched her outfit: "I'll have to get back to you on that."

    In sum: feel good about strapping on your armor as you head into battle!
    Okay. If you're the guy with the matching suit and tie, good job. If you're the one bloviating with a head of hair that looks like he just lost a fight with a bat, please go f--- yourself. If you're the guy with the bow tie, clenched fist and baggy trousers, please never step in front of a camera again.

  5. #30
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by chocolatechip View post
    Okay. If you're the guy with the matching suit and tie, good job. If you're the one bloviating with a head of hair that looks like he just lost a fight with a bat, please go f--- yourself. If you're the guy with the bow tie, clenched fist and baggy trousers, please never step in front of a camera again.


    LOL. Left to right:
    Bow tie: city official (not sure what he does)
    White shirt (hidden): not sure
    Shimano T-shirt: owner of the recently-opened DT bicycle shop
    Orange plaid: ED of the Friends of Parks, leaning on his kid-seat bike
    Blue plaid: the other certified cycling instructor in town, whose Grand Idea was to close the M-6 interstate for a one-day recreational bike ride. One of the founders of the local bicycle coalition, which was closed to "outsiders" including moi.
    High vis: yours truly, the token female and obvious cyclist
    Dark suit with brown shoes: the new DDA ED
    Blue shirt/brown pants: acting head of the bike coalition, also a county commissioner

    The two plaid shirts rode there (the rest walked). Blue brought a second bike so as to fill up the rack. Being a visual person, I removed mine from the rack and made it prominent for the TV cameras.

    Usually I take my helmet off ASAP, but I'm the only hi-vis helmet in town, and it was chilly and windy. Kept my hair out of my face and reaffirmed the safety/visibility message. (Not real obvious at this distance: yellow bicycle earrings, bicycle-printed polo shirt. These are favorites of the TV fellows.)

    Another view. Blue is chatting with the newspaper guy; channel 13 came to me after finishing with the DDA.
    Last edited by Veloise; 06 Oct 2012 at 10:25 AM.

  6. #31
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    I have an interview coming up on Thursday so I went and visited my friend’s local high end clothing store (because he offered to give me wholesale prices). Man there is some nice stuff in there! Handmade shirts, jeans from Japan made of the same thick cotton material as Judo Gis – even the socks are awesome. I wanted (want) to look “stylish yet professional” and walked out with a very cool navy linen suit (no vest) with a sharp and unusual cut. I’m excited about it. But it wasn’t cheap. However, at my wife’s urging, I took the leap, all the while embracing the maxim to “dress like the job you want to have.” She was pleased with the results, too.

    Spending money on clothes has never been a high priority for me. But If I get this job, I will have to move it up the list. I should know next week how the interview went.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  7. #32
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    I have an interview coming up on Thursday so I went and visited my friend’s local high end clothing store (because he offered to give me wholesale prices). Man there is some nice stuff in there! Handmade shirts, jeans from Japan made of the same thick cotton material as Judo Gis – even the socks are awesome. I wanted (want) to look “stylish yet professional” and walked out with a very cool navy linen suit (no vest) with a sharp and unusual cut. I’m excited about it. But it wasn’t cheap. However, at my wife’s urging, I took the leap, all the while embracing the maxim to “dress like the job you want to have.” She was pleased with the results, too.

    Spending money on clothes has never been a high priority for me. But If I get this job, I will have to move it up the list. I should know next week how the interview went.
    Congrats and positive thoughts on the interview!

  8. #33
    Just got a suit, two shirts, two ties and a pair of socks from Joseph A. Bank (it was on sale - paid $600 for it - ordinarily I could never afford JoS A. Bank, since my purchase would ordinarily have cost ~ $1,300).

    The suit is charcoal gray. One shirt is white, the other is lavender. One tie is lavender and gray, the other is just a solid, medium gray. I've thought about wearing the lavender shirt to an interview I have coming up, but I decided against it and I'm just going to stick with the safer white shirt and gray tie. The last thing I want to do is look too flamboyant or over the top. Though I like bright colors like pink and lavender, I think there's a time and a place for everything and I generally stick to the more traditional school of thought, that men should err on the conservative side when it comes to formal or business attire, and that women should have more latitude in terms of styles, colors, etc. I think the bright colors can work in a professional setting when paired with darker, more traditional colors (for example, a light pink shirt paired with a black suit and shoes), but not a suit that is equally bright. Maybe that works for a wedding, but not in a professional setting IMO.

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