To wear, or not to wear: that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of prejudice or rejection (during an job interview), or to take arms against a sea of fashionistas, and end them, by rebelling or making such style your own.
The burning question being, “Should I or shouldn’t I wear a business suit?” So in honor of that question, I am devoting this post to clarify 5 very importing things you should bear in mind before you decide to gear yourself up in the traditional business suit.
1. Research Corporate Culture
It is often assumed that financial companies always warrant wearing a business suit and that creative, tech, retail, or entertainment type of companies do not. Well, be sure to do your homework on the culture of the specific company you are scheduled to visit (whether it’s for an interview or a business meeting). I have often been surprised when a firm with a creative portfolio of companies is very buttoned up and traditional in their office attire. On the other hand, I’ve met with financial services executives who dress in a preppy-casual manner on an everyday basis. In business, we aim to instantly earn trust and acceptance. Mirroring the corporate culture through your attire choices is paramount to establishing yourself in the eyes of a potential business partner.
2. Consider the Benefits
As much as some people dread wearing a full-on, jacket and skirt or jacket and slacks suit, others welcome it because they see the benefit of choosing one over separates. First of all, you don’t have to stress too much over coordinating or creating a clever fashion combination. A suit is pretty much of a uniform, and regardless of price or design, it typically looks neat and professional. Additionally, a coordinating suit elongates and slenderizes your silhouette with it’s continuous color scheme and/or pattern. Who doesn’t want to look taller and leaner when making a first impression (or even a second or a third)?
3. Practicality Counts
Are you meeting in their office, or are you meeting at their manufacturing plant? In both instances, you surely want to make a positive impression. However, is it practical to wear a suit in an environment where everyone, including the person you are meeting, is wearing jeans and a t-shirt? It is wise to ask the attire protocol given the venue you are planning to meet. Doing so prevents embarrassing first encounters by having a suit seem out of place. Throw in weather conditions into the practicality mix, as it may be impractical to wear a suit in scorchingly hot weather, monsoon rain, or polar vortex (though you may opt to reschedule the meeting altogether).
4. Make it Your Own
While to some, a suit sounds like a safe and humdrum option, there are many ways you can let your personality, creativity, and fashion-sense shine through. Think of a suit as a blank canvas, one in which you can “draw” in as little or as much detail as you feel comfortable and appropriate. Accessorize it with a classic pearl necklace or pearl earrings (note:matchy matchy jewelry is ultra conservative) for a traditional look, or pair it with a subtle platform pump shoe to give it a fashion-forward jolt. An oversized tote,coordinating clutch bag, or cool sunglasses (appropriate for an outdoor lunch meeting) can also add tons of pizzazz.
5. Fit Counts
For those of you who think wearing a suit is square, dated, or frumpy–think again. It may just be you’ve not yet found the right fit that makes you feel like a rock star. Most ready-to-wear suit makers have Classic Fit (tailored & slightly tapered), a Modern Fit (tailored to the body w/tapered waist), and Slim Fit (closely tailored to the body & fitted). Choosing the fit that works best for your body is imperative to feeling confident and not like you’ve borrowed the suit from your friend or your neighbor, who is two sizes bigger than you are. If the suit‘s fit accentuates or camouflages your proportions in the proper way, you will undoubtedly embrace it as your apparel item of choice.
Max Mara Suit, Weekend Max Mara T-Shirt, Majorca Pearl Necklace, Jimmy Choo Peep-Toe Shoe, Anya Hindmarch Ebury Tote, L.K. Bennett Clutch, Mikimoto Pearl Earrings, Chloe Carlina Round Wire Sunglasses