Women's suits

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sheD
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Women's suits

Postby sheD » Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:07 pm

There's so much more info for men on this forum! I have two questions, but I'm hoping that this thread will be helpful for others as well.

1. Is a lighter gray suit acceptable for OCI? (Think this color: http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/pr ... =905669012.) I know black is the most formal option for women, but if I look/feel better in a suit this color, think it would actually get me dinged if I would have gotten a CB/offer otherwise?

2. Is it necessary to wear the jacket buttoned? What about seated vs. standing?

Thanks ladies!

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glitter178
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Re: Women's suits

Postby glitter178 » Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:20 pm

It's my understanding that black is reserved for court -- I think gray should be fine. The bigger issue is whether you should wear pants instead of a skirt (interested in others' thoughts on this.)

sheD
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Re: Women's suits

Postby sheD » Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:23 pm

I think the conventional wisdom is skirt with pantyhose unless you will feel much more comfortable in pants (to the point where it will affect your interview performance).

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alicrimson
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Re: Women's suits

Postby alicrimson » Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:28 pm

I've heard the black is only for evening and funerals, but I've also read that darker suits (navies and blacks) are best for interviews because they are more formal and if you're wearing them over several days, wrinkling is less of a problem. IMO, skirts are a must, but I'm from the South. I think here its more expected. If you do skirt suit, you MUST wear pantyhose.

On a similar note, what do you all do for shells? White? Button down? Silk shell? I'm curious. I'm trying to put together my screener outfit and my callback outfit. I'm wearing a navy suit to the screener with a white button down. I wear my collar over the lapels. For the callback, I was going to go with a black suit and I am debating purchasing a blue silk shell. I would go with the berry, but apparently its awful to wear any sort of pink?

--LinkRemoved--

I'm not crazy about the white one with my coloring (fair with blond hair and blue eyes). What are all of you ladies planning? I'm glad this thread was started. I was just thinking how jealous I was that the boys had their own mega thread and now we can potentially have our own as well.

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akili
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Re: Women's suits

Postby akili » Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:35 pm

Is wearing a black suit a problem for interviews? I was under the impression it was preferred :(

(and I just bought one)

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alicrimson
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Re: Women's suits

Postby alicrimson » Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:37 pm

akili wrote:Is wearing a black suit a problem for interviews? I was under the impression it was preferred :(

(and I just bought one)


Ditto. I was always told navy or black.

keg411
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Re: Women's suits

Postby keg411 » Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:42 pm

akili wrote:Is wearing a black suit a problem for interviews? I was under the impression it was preferred :(

(and I just bought one)


Black suits are fine for women.

As for shells, I prefer silk or even cotton to button downs and it doesn't matter if they're colored or not. I have a pretty teal one that I wore one day of OCI and it looked better than the button downs, and another friend of mine wore purple. Looking back, I would've bought a nice short sleeved or sleeveless cream shell (preferably silk or similar feel). But if you want to wear pink-ish or another color, I really doubt it will hurt you.

ETA: Also, prefer skirt suit to pants suit. But again, pants probably won't hurt you unless you're interviewing in the South/TX/extremely conservative firms.

sheD
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Re: Women's suits

Postby sheD » Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:44 pm

My understanding is that for men, navy or charcoal are preferred, while black is the staple for women. I just have a gray skirt suit that fits me really well that I would probably feel most comfortable in - trying to figure out if I need to buy a black one or if it's OK to wear the gray.

For tops, I think button-downs or shells are OK, whichever will look best. I think I've read that if you wear a shell, you're supposed to keep your jacket buttoned, while if you wear a button-down, you can leave it open - but I have no idea if that is right.

Anonymous User
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Re: Women's suits

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:50 pm

Heels necessary or no? I am 5'11ish barefoot so obviously any kind of heel puts me into the 6 foot range. I kind of like this, but I've noticed some male attorneys who are on the shorter side really don't like it, and in previous interviews I've had (usually shorter male) interviewers comment on my height when I'm wearing heels, which is always awkward.

Also, my main problems when suit-shopping are 1) I have really broad shoulders, and a lot of women's suits have REALLY BIG shoulder pads, so I look a bit like a linebacker and 2) I'm skinny, but I have really long arms--so anything that fits my torso is too short in the arms, and anything that fits my arms I'm swimming in the fabric. Any tips?

sheD
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Re: Women's suits

Postby sheD » Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Heels necessary or no? I am 5'11ish barefoot so obviously any kind of heel puts me into the 6 foot range. I kind of like this, but I've noticed some male attorneys who are on the shorter side really don't like it, and in previous interviews I've had (usually shorter male) interviewers comment on my height when I'm wearing heels, which is always awkward.

Also, my main problems when suit-shopping are 1) I have really broad shoulders, and a lot of women's suits have REALLY BIG shoulder pads, so I look a bit like a linebacker and 2) I'm skinny, but I have really long arms--so anything that fits my torso is too short in the arms, and anything that fits my arms I'm swimming in the fabric. Any tips?


J. Crew suits seem to have fairly long arms (at least, I have to get them shortened a bit and my arms are probably average length). Have you tried them? Just wish their skirts fit me better...

I think at least low heels are best. You should be able to find some 2" ones or so.

drd
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Re: Women's suits

Postby drd » Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:55 pm

Just bought a dark gray suit for OCI, and was thinking of wearing blue/white striped or purple button downs underneath (i look awful in white). are black heels the way to go with this? or are cream heels like these OK with that outfit: http://www.anntaylor.com/ann/product/AT ... Color=7176

and are 3.5 inch heels too high for the more conservative firms? i don't want to buy low heels because i'll never wear them outside of interviews

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alicrimson
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Re: Women's suits

Postby alicrimson » Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Heels necessary or no? I am 5'11ish barefoot so obviously any kind of heel puts me into the 6 foot range. I kind of like this, but I've noticed some male attorneys who are on the shorter side really don't like it, and in previous interviews I've had (usually shorter male) interviewers comment on my height when I'm wearing heels, which is always awkward.

Also, my main problems when suit-shopping are 1) I have really broad shoulders, and a lot of women's suits have REALLY BIG shoulder pads, so I look a bit like a linebacker and 2) I'm skinny, but I have really long arms--so anything that fits my torso is too short in the arms, and anything that fits my arms I'm swimming in the fabric. Any tips?


I am also 5'11 barefoot and I usually go for a 2-3 inch heel just because I feel it pulls a skirt suit together. As for being tall, I'm assured that that's a good thing. I can't help you with the shoulder pads. I do have broad shoulders thanks to my college rowing days. I'm not "skinny" (size 8...sometimes 10 for reference) but I like Tahari and J.Crew in size tall. These seem to be very figure flattering. Good luck!

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queenlizzie13
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Re: Women's suits

Postby queenlizzie13 » Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:24 pm

drd wrote:Just bought a dark gray suit for OCI, and was thinking of wearing blue/white striped or purple button downs underneath (i look awful in white). are black heels the way to go with this? or are cream heels like these OK with that outfit: http://www.anntaylor.com/ann/product/AT ... Color=7176

and are 3.5 inch heels too high for the more conservative firms? i don't want to buy low heels because i'll never wear them outside of interviews

I'd probably err on the safe side and go with black. Those heels are nice, I have the cream pair and they are really comfortable. But the only problem is that they can squeak a little if your feet are sweaty. They didn't at first but now they do.

Vince Camuto has some nice black ones on sale at Nordstroms. I think they are around $52.

How tall are you? If you're shorter you can get away with a little higher heel probably.

drd
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Re: Women's suits

Postby drd » Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:41 pm

queenlizzie13 wrote:
drd wrote:Just bought a dark gray suit for OCI, and was thinking of wearing blue/white striped or purple button downs underneath (i look awful in white). are black heels the way to go with this? or are cream heels like these OK with that outfit: http://www.anntaylor.com/ann/product/AT ... Color=7176

and are 3.5 inch heels too high for the more conservative firms? i don't want to buy low heels because i'll never wear them outside of interviews

I'd probably err on the safe side and go with black. Those heels are nice, I have the cream pair and they are really comfortable. But the only problem is that they can squeak a little if your feet are sweaty. They didn't at first but now they do.

Vince Camuto has some nice black ones on sale at Nordstroms. I think they are around $52.

How tall are you? If you're shorter you can get away with a little higher heel probably.

ooh good to know. i just bought them in black this weekend (1/2 price at an outlet), so i'll be sure to wear them to work some to check for squeakage. hose may help with that. and i'm about 5'3" and those heels are 3.25...they don't even look that high, so hopefully they'll be fine

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akili
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Re: Women's suits

Postby akili » Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:05 am

http://www.ninewest.com/Izabela/7892428 ... st-catalog

I just bought these this weekend. I'm kind of a heel newbie and I have to walk about .5 miles to where the interviews will be (don't have parking permit for school). They were really comfortable and didn't get into the stub heel territory.

Is nude hose TCR? I'm not looking forward to an extra layer on my legs in the South in August.

Also, I bought a sheath dress from J.Crew and it's very flattering and comfortable. It's black and matches my suit. Would it be acceptable to wear with a matching black suit jacket or should I stick to a skirt suit for OCI stuff?

drd
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Re: Women's suits

Postby drd » Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:45 am

akili wrote:http://www.ninewest.com/Izabela/7892428,default,pd.html?variantSizeClass=&variantColor=GLDBKFB&cgid=8346256&prefn1=catalog-id&prefv1=ninewest-catalog

I just bought these this weekend. I'm kind of a heel newbie and I have to walk about .5 miles to where the interviews will be (don't have parking permit for school). They were really comfortable and didn't get into the stub heel territory.

Is nude hose TCR? I'm not looking forward to an extra layer on my legs in the South in August.

Also, I bought a sheath dress from J.Crew and it's very flattering and comfortable. It's black and matches my suit. Would it be acceptable to wear with a matching black suit jacket or should I stick to a skirt suit for OCI stuff?

i have to walk kind of far too, and i'll probably wear flats for the walk and shove them in my purse for interviews. don't want to scuff pretty new heels! wearing hose sucks even more because you can't really wear flip flops with them for the walk. but ya, nude hose for sure, i'd say as close to your skin tone as you can find. spring for nice ones so you won't get a run. not sure about the dress, might just look weird if you're in 100% black. i'd go with the skirt

also, i'm assuming it's OK to bring purses to the interviews? would a non-obnoxious coach bag be ok?

sheD
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Re: Women's suits

Postby sheD » Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:05 am

I'm sure bringing a bag is fine so long as it looks professional and neat. I think I'm actually going to buy a new bag for OCI, since I don't really have anything that's appropriate. This whole thing is getting expensive...

Also, for others like me who hate wearing heels, the AT kitten heels are super comfortable and look really nice.

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Ozymandias
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Re: Women's suits

Postby Ozymandias » Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:23 am

alicrimson wrote:I've heard the black is only for evening and funerals, but I've also read that darker suits (navies and blacks) are best for interviews because they are more formal and if you're wearing them over several days, wrinkling is less of a problem. IMO, skirts are a must, but I'm from the South. I think here its more expected. If you do skirt suit, you MUST wear pantyhose.

On a similar note, what do you all do for shells? White? Button down? Silk shell? I'm curious. I'm trying to put together my screener outfit and my callback outfit. I'm wearing a navy suit to the screener with a white button down. I wear my collar over the lapels. For the callback, I was going to go with a black suit and I am debating purchasing a blue silk shell. I would go with the berry, but apparently its awful to wear any sort of pink?

--LinkRemoved--

I'm not crazy about the white one with my coloring (fair with blond hair and blue eyes). What are all of you ladies planning? I'm glad this thread was started. I was just thinking how jealous I was that the boys had their own mega thread and now we can potentially have our own as well.

That shell you linked is like the perfect shell. Ordering two when I get paid this Friday!

I never wear a button-down under a suit. I hate the way the collars look together and button-downs look awful on me anyway.

Also, I think pink is fine under a suit as long as it's not hot pink or a super-girly baby pink. It really will just depend on the whole outfit.

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Ozymandias
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Re: Women's suits

Postby Ozymandias » Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:29 am

Anonymous User wrote:Also, my main problems when suit-shopping are 1) I have really broad shoulders, and a lot of women's suits have REALLY BIG shoulder pads, so I look a bit like a linebacker and 2) I'm skinny, but I have really long arms--so anything that fits my torso is too short in the arms, and anything that fits my arms I'm swimming in the fabric. Any tips?

Get a jacket that fits your shoulders and arms, then get it tailored. They can take it in at the waist.

drd wrote:and are 3.5 inch heels too high for the more conservative firms? i don't want to buy low heels because i'll never wear them outside of interviews

I think it depends on your height, what the shoe looks like, and what you can walk in. I never wear anything below 4" and it's never been a problem, but they're not "sexy" shoes and are very plain. People will generally tell you anything over 3-3.5" is a no-no, but I honestly don't care and have always done well in interviews, both legal and otherwise.

rewritten
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Re: Women's suits

Postby rewritten » Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:32 am

Anonymous User wrote:Heels necessary or no? I am 5'11ish barefoot so obviously any kind of heel puts me into the 6 foot range. I kind of like this, but I've noticed some male attorneys who are on the shorter side really don't like it, and in previous interviews I've had (usually shorter male) interviewers comment on my height when I'm wearing heels, which is always awkward.

Also, my main problems when suit-shopping are 1) I have really broad shoulders, and a lot of women's suits have REALLY BIG shoulder pads, so I look a bit like a linebacker and 2) I'm skinny, but I have really long arms--so anything that fits my torso is too short in the arms, and anything that fits my arms I'm swimming in the fabric. Any tips?


You can try having your sleeve hems let out by a tailor.
Last edited by rewritten on Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

keg411
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Re: Women's suits

Postby keg411 » Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:14 am

akili wrote:http://www.ninewest.com/Izabela/7892428,default,pd.html?variantSizeClass=&variantColor=GLDBKFB&cgid=8346256&prefn1=catalog-id&prefv1=ninewest-catalog

I just bought these this weekend. I'm kind of a heel newbie and I have to walk about .5 miles to where the interviews will be (don't have parking permit for school). They were really comfortable and didn't get into the stub heel territory.

Is nude hose TCR? I'm not looking forward to an extra layer on my legs in the South in August.

Also, I bought a sheath dress from J.Crew and it's very flattering and comfortable. It's black and matches my suit. Would it be acceptable to wear with a matching black suit jacket or should I stick to a skirt suit for OCI stuff?


Sheath dresses are great for work, but a no go for OCI as they're business casual, even with a jacket over them. Stick with the suit.

Also, how high are those heels IRL? I kind of want them, but I think I need to be wearing higher because I'm short.

formerbiglawpartner
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Re: Women's suits

Postby formerbiglawpartner » Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:47 am

Glad to see this thread. Here are a few observations. First, skirt suits are more formal (with pantyhose, of course.) Having said that, if you have cankles or otherwise look/feel terrible in a skirt suit, by all means go with a pant suit in black, navy, or charcoal. (Think Hillary.)

I would avoid any shade of pink for my screener interviews. White or any shade of blue are the least risky. If you go with a shell vs. a button down, which is perfectly acceptable, just be sure to stay away from shiny fabrics. One of the links posted had a shiny silk charmeuse type fabric. No.

Generally speaking, 3-3.5" are the highest heels one should wear--always a closed toe pump. No sling backs either.

Finally, the most important advice is to have your interview suit(s) tailored to fit you perfectly. This adds to the expense but is a cheap investment in your future. You are spending a small fortune on tuition these days, so be sure to spend appropriately on your interview outfit which forms a critical first impression.

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Gotti
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Re: Women's suits

Postby Gotti » Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:53 am

I'm glad this thread was made! I'm clueless when it comes to suits--my old jobs didn't require any kind of formal attire at all! I don't want to break the bank, but I want a decent suit. Any suggestions?

MissMock
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Re: Women's suits

Postby MissMock » Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:05 am

sheD wrote: 2. Is it necessary to wear the jacket buttoned? What about seated vs. standing?


I don't think anybody's addressed this yet. I have always been told that the jacket should be buttoned while standing and unbuttoned while sitting.

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akili
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Re: Women's suits

Postby akili » Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:22 am

keg411 wrote:
akili wrote:http://www.ninewest.com/Izabela/7892428,default,pd.html?variantSizeClass=&variantColor=GLDBKFB&cgid=8346256&prefn1=catalog-id&prefv1=ninewest-catalog

I just bought these this weekend. I'm kind of a heel newbie and I have to walk about .5 miles to where the interviews will be (don't have parking permit for school). They were really comfortable and didn't get into the stub heel territory.

Is nude hose TCR? I'm not looking forward to an extra layer on my legs in the South in August.

Also, I bought a sheath dress from J.Crew and it's very flattering and comfortable. It's black and matches my suit. Would it be acceptable to wear with a matching black suit jacket or should I stick to a skirt suit for OCI stuff?


Sheath dresses are great for work, but a no go for OCI as they're business casual, even with a jacket over them. Stick with the suit.

Also, how high are those heels IRL? I kind of want them, but I think I need to be wearing higher because I'm short.


Awesome to know about the dress. I figured it might be too much with the all black anyways.

I think they are about 2 inches. I'm 5'4ish and I think they added a nice little bit of height without too much fuss.




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