Not wearing a full suit at OCIs?

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Anonymous User
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Not wearing a full suit at OCIs?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:35 pm

For some reason, I feel much more comfortable, and even more professional, in suit pants and a collar shirt (without the blazer). Would it be career suicide for me (I'm female btw) to wear dress pants with a collar shirt and no blazer at OCIs?

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thesealocust
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Re: Not wearing a full suit at OCIs?

Postby thesealocust » Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:37 pm

Yes.

Next question?

Anonymous User
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Re: Not wearing a full suit at OCIs?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:12 pm

thesealocust wrote:Yes.

Next question?


OK, this may be just as absurd, but hopefully not quite so.

For women, is it OK to:
(1) Wear a blazer and slightly non-matching pants (rather than a blazer and slacks that were sold together as a suit)? Probably going with black so it will be hard for anyone to tell the difference, but I have a hard time finding pants that fit properly and are sold as part of a suit set.
(2) Wear a pink dress shirt underneath? (I've heard that pink and patterned shirts are to be avoided.)

Also, is there any "plus" to wearing a skirt suit or pointed-toe shoes? I know some firms used to disallow pant suits, and it seems that square-toed shoes are out of style, though both a skirt and pointy shoes would be much more uncomfortable for me to wear or walk in.

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beach_terror
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Re: Not wearing a full suit at OCIs?

Postby beach_terror » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:14 pm

OCI isn't about being comfortable. It's about dressing in a way so that your interviewer doesn't remember what you wore.

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Re: Not wearing a full suit at OCIs?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:18 pm

beach_terror wrote:OCI isn't about being comfortable. It's about dressing in a way so that your interviewer doesn't remember what you wore.


Understood, but that doesn't quite answer my questions above (I'm the poster directly before you), especially with respect to skirts and shoes...

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Verity
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Re: Not wearing a full suit at OCIs?

Postby Verity » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:19 pm

Bad idea.

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beach_terror
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Re: Not wearing a full suit at OCIs?

Postby beach_terror » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
beach_terror wrote:OCI isn't about being comfortable. It's about dressing in a way so that your interviewer doesn't remember what you wore.


Understood, but that doesn't quite answer my questions above (I'm the poster directly before you), especially with respect to skirts and shoes...

I'm a guy, so I can't answer that. It was more in reference to the question about wearing pink - which is a definite no. If it was really pale, then maybe, but I'd still strongly advise against it.

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Verity
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Re: Not wearing a full suit at OCIs?

Postby Verity » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:23 pm

Underneath it all, I'll be wearing a thong to all OCIs. A minor rebellion.

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bilbobaggins
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Re: Not wearing a full suit at OCIs?

Postby bilbobaggins » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:23 pm

Not wearing a suit at OCI, not getting a job at OCI.

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Re: Not wearing a full suit at OCIs?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:25 pm

beach_terror wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
beach_terror wrote:OCI isn't about being comfortable. It's about dressing in a way so that your interviewer doesn't remember what you wore.


Understood, but that doesn't quite answer my questions above (I'm the poster directly before you), especially with respect to skirts and shoes...

I'm a guy, so I can't answer that. It was more in reference to the question about wearing pink - which is a definite no. If it was really pale, then maybe, but I'd still strongly advise against it.


Thanks - so does that basically leave shades of blue solid-colored shirts as the only safe option for women? I find that white shirts makes the suit look too much like a uniform for a stewardess or waitress. Not trying to waste your time, these are serious questions I've been contemplating....

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AreJay711
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Re: Not wearing a full suit at OCIs?

Postby AreJay711 » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:30 pm

Verity wrote:Underneath it all, I'll be wearing a thong to all OCIs. A minor rebellion.

I would never hire a woman with lines showing so good for you.

lawfirmrecruiter
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Re: Not wearing a full suit at OCIs?

Postby lawfirmrecruiter » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
thesealocust wrote:Yes.

Next question?


OK, this may be just as absurd, but hopefully not quite so.

For women, is it OK to:
(1) Wear a blazer and slightly non-matching pants (rather than a blazer and slacks that were sold together as a suit)? Probably going with black so it will be hard for anyone to tell the difference, but I have a hard time finding pants that fit properly and are sold as part of a suit set.
(2) Wear a pink dress shirt underneath? (I've heard that pink and patterned shirts are to be avoided.)

Also, is there any "plus" to wearing a skirt suit or pointed-toe shoes? I know some firms used to disallow pant suits, and it seems that square-toed shoes are out of style, though both a skirt and pointy shoes would be much more uncomfortable for me to wear or walk in.


1. This is fine and long as it looks professional and goes together.
2. Pink dress shirt us fine as long as it is pastel. Any pastels are fine.

Our firm does not require skirts so if you were interviewing with us, I would suggest you wear what you feel the best in. Best suggestion would be to call the firms you are interviewing with and ask the receptionist what the dress code is. You can do this anonymously and get all the info you need. As for shoes, wear ones that are professional and forgettable if you are uncomfortable in pointy heels.

Anonymous User
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Re: Not wearing a full suit at OCIs?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:34 pm

lawfirmrecruiter wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
thesealocust wrote:Yes.

Next question?


OK, this may be just as absurd, but hopefully not quite so.

For women, is it OK to:
(1) Wear a blazer and slightly non-matching pants (rather than a blazer and slacks that were sold together as a suit)? Probably going with black so it will be hard for anyone to tell the difference, but I have a hard time finding pants that fit properly and are sold as part of a suit set.
(2) Wear a pink dress shirt underneath? (I've heard that pink and patterned shirts are to be avoided.)

Also, is there any "plus" to wearing a skirt suit or pointed-toe shoes? I know some firms used to disallow pant suits, and it seems that square-toed shoes are out of style, though both a skirt and pointy shoes would be much more uncomfortable for me to wear or walk in.


1. This is fine and long as it looks professional and goes together.
2. Pink dress shirt us fine as long as it is pastel. Any pastels are fine.

Our firm does not require skirts so if you were interviewing with us, I would suggest you wear what you feel the best in. Best suggestion would be to call the firms you are interviewing with and ask the receptionist what the dress code is. You can do this anonymously and get all the info you need. As for shoes, wear ones that are professional and forgettable if you are uncomfortable in pointy heels.


Great, these are the exact answers I was looking for - thanks!

TheFriendlyBarber
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Re: Not wearing a full suit at OCIs?

Postby TheFriendlyBarber » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:For some reason, I feel much more comfortable, and even more professional, in suit pants and a collar shirt (without the blazer). Would it be career suicide for me (I'm female btw) to wear dress pants with a collar shirt and no blazer at OCIs?


Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn. Put it on and shut it, hussy.

ShiftyPig
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Re: Not wearing a full suit at OCIs?

Postby ShiftyPig » Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:58 pm

If you don't wear a suit, you'll be known as the person who didn't wear a suit.

Ask yourself if you mind the connotation connected with that and you have your answer.

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Pufer
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Re: Not wearing a full suit at OCIs?

Postby Pufer » Fri Jul 08, 2011 4:11 am

Back in the mid-90s, Chief Justice Rehnquist became so incensed during the argument of a female Deputy Solicitor General that he didn't pay attention to a single argument she made, and called an emergency meeting of the Justices as soon as argument was concluded to discuss the attire of the attorney.

The attorney's mistake? She wore a conservative, chocolate brown skirt suit before the Supreme Court. Rehnquist wanted the Court to sanction her. The other Justices apparently were able to calm him down, but he still sent a sternly-worded letter to the Solicitor General in which he admonished the attorney for her incredibly poor judgment (resulting in a new clothing policy at the Solicitor General's office)

Did Rehnquist wildly overreact to something that nobody else paid much (if any) attention to? No doubt.

Was Rehnquist acting like a sexist asshole (and a total hypocrite given his own choices in professional attire)? Absolutely.

Issue is, women are often held to an insanely different standard in professional dress. Further, even when they not held to a different standard, an equal opportunity stickler would have a hard time with a guy wearing a pink shirt or tie or pants that didn't quite match his jacket, and wouldn't likely be too keen on a woman doing something akin to either of those things either. Guys are expected to fit into a dark plain suit + plain white shirt mold, so why not the ladies?

To be safe, prepare for the Rehnquists of the world, and then you'll be totally fine with the sticklers and everyone else who doesn't really care.

That said, it's almost certainly gotten to a point where pant suits are appropriate in a vast majority of interview settings (and when they're not, you'll probably know about it - certain US Court of Appeals judges are notorious for dinging prospective clerks because they're not in skirts). I wouldn't worry too much about that as you'll probably get fair warning about the Rehnquists kicking around.

Not going with an actual suit is a rather a risk, but I suppose it really turns on how close the match is between the jacket and slacks. That said, I generally spend about $120 tailoring each one of my suits; even a guy who needs very little work on a cheap suit will probably spend in the neighborhood of $40. To get an interview suit that's actually a suit, get the pants tailored to where you like how they fit (pants alterations are generally quite cheap, yet I'm often surprised at how many women demand that business garb fit them perfectly off the rack, allowing for a hem at most; now, I suppose that there are folks out there so weird-shaped that no suit pants can reasonably be tailored to their bodies, but I rather doubt that describes much of the population).

As to the white shirt looking like a uniform thing, you are in fact wearing a uniform. A professional uniform, but a uniform nevertheless, especially at an interview. 100% certainty that Rehnquist would be expecting a white shirt.

If not white, I'd be looking either very pale blue, off-white/beige, or very pale yellow. Solid only. Going with any sort of pink/purple/green/darker color, etc., would be akin to a guy sporting a pink polka-dot tie. Most probably wouldn't care (including, I suspect, lawfirmrecruiter based on his posts in the men's suit topic), but you'd risk not only the Rehnquists taking note of it, but the sticklers as well (i.e., I'd probably notice if you were wearing a pink shell or something under your jacket, but likely wouldn't note much about anything white).

In other words, you'll never have to worry about it if you go as conservative as possible. Dark navy/charcoal/black, plain pant or skirt suit. Solid white (or pale beige, yellow, or blue) conservative blouse complimenting the neckline of your jacket, collared button down, or a fine-woven turtleneck or shell (depending on season, I suppose). Dark, conservative shoes (knowing nothing much about women's shoe fashion, boxed toe boxes are definitely out in men's dress shoes (and were never appropriate for an interview anyway), so I would probably avoid them purely to avoid the association to a faux pas on the men's side). Minimal unobtrusive jewelry, preferably all matching in metal color.

-Pufer

Anonymous User
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Re: Not wearing a full suit at OCIs?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:45 am

Anonymous User wrote:For some reason, I feel much more comfortable, and even more professional, in suit pants and a collar shirt (without the blazer). Would it be career suicide for me (I'm female btw) to wear dress pants with a collar shirt and no blazer at OCIs?


Female 3L here. Trust me - wear a full suit. The dress code is "business formal," not business casual (i.e. "no jacket"). You'll stand out and look unprofessional otherwise, particularly since all of your interviewers will be wearing business formal.




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