Women OCI Interview Attire?

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Anonymous User
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Women OCI Interview Attire?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:55 pm

Posting a new thread because I couldn't find a current enough one to ask my question and didn't want to offend the board by reviving a dead thread.

It seems that the consensus is skirt suit+hose+pumps is the best combination for women, in general. I have a few other questions on the specifics though (I'll be targeting LA/SoCal area):
1. For LA, is pantsuit equally ok? I've read threads that say don't go outside of certain parameters for LA, and others that say LA is more open to variation. I'm somewhere around 6' tall, 36" inseam and it has honestly been impossible to find skirt suits that will hit at or below the knees without going outside of my budget(and maybe not even then). I have a black pantsuit and dark blue one, which I've worn to 1L and 2L fall externship interviews. Never interviewed for Biglaw yet though, so I don't know if the standards are different.

2. Part of the reason I go for pant suit is that I'm allergic to nylon, which seems to be the material 90%+ of hose is made from. Does cotton/rayon hose even exist? If yes, where would I find, provided that the forum strongly suggests I find a skirt suit?

3. Shoes: I wear black or dark brown flats that basically look like this:

--ImageRemoved--

Do I have to go pumps? My concerns about not wearing flats are (1) Previous sports injury which resulted in a weak ankle which leaves it likely that I'll trip and fall on my face walking in the room(but I could practice that, of course) and (2) I'm already taller than most men, with an extra 2 inches would that leave a bad image(being too domineering, especially in addition to my pant suit issue?)? On the other hand, I've read the threads that say flats are just less professional by nature, and one should suck it up and wear heeled shoes.

Thanks for any constructive feedback in advance, apologies if my neurotic issues bother anyone.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Women OCI Interview Attire?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:01 pm

Not at all saying you shouldn't post here, but there's a huge ladies' fashion thread here viewtopic.php?f=10&t=149168 and OCI stuff often comes up.

short response: I don't know anything about LA, but I would think pant suits are fine, as I think they're fine pretty much anywhere. (Except with some mythical very conservative judges.) I could be overruled if it's a REEAAALLLLLLY conservative firm, but I saw lots of people interview in pants suits.

I think the nylon thing is tough - I suspect there are still silk stockings floating around in the universe but they'd be pretty expensive. (I have never heard of a nylon allergy, how unpleasant!)

I think heeled shoes are more professional for an interview, frankly, although you could stick with pretty low heels. I also think if you were going to go with flats, the gathers at the front of those shoes are too casual - unadorned, smooth leather, slightly pointier-toed flats would look more professional to me.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Women OCI Interview Attire?

Postby rinkrat19 » Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:06 pm

I think a conservative pants suit is fine, especially for LA. You should definitely practice wearing heels to see if you can pull it off. There might be some acceptable flats, but those are too casual. Even just a kitten heel pump would look much more professional.

http://www.ninewest.com/Swaymeso/116319 ... =Low%7cMid
If you absolutely can't manage a small heel, a very conservative wedge is probably at least better than flats: http://www.ninewest.com/Mela/11633254,d ... =Low%7cMid
--LinkRemoved--

With pants, and with your height, I think a low heel or very conservative flat (basically a heeled pump without the heel) would be ok. But I don't think you need to shy away from wearing heels if you end up liking them, just because of your height. If you are comfortable and confident at 6'3" in heels, then that confidence would serve you well in interviews. If you feel awkward being "too" tall, however, aim lower.
Last edited by rinkrat19 on Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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BVest
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Re: Women OCI Interview Attire?

Postby BVest » Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:06 pm

As a guy, I actually think that wearing flats or very low (3/4-1") would be appreciated by most men (and possibly even some women) given your height. But of course they should be very conservative as mentioned above. (Also, if you're wearing a pantsuit, it will make your heel height less obvious anyway).

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Re: Women OCI Interview Attire?

Postby tictactoe » Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:07 pm

If pantsuit is fine (and it sounds like it may be, esp given your hose/allergy problem), then I don't see a problem wearing flats. Especially given your height, I don't think anybody woudl even notice.

I would also agree, though, that those flats aren't very professional looking. I've seen some very professional, sharp flats around downtown, so they're definitely out there!

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Re: Women OCI Interview Attire?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:17 pm

OP: Thanks for the feedback. It seems that pantsuit is probably fine, heels are on a case by case basis (some of you seem to let the flats go given the height, some of you say low heel regardless).

@ Nony Mouse sorry I must have missed that thread. I'll move my future questions there.

1. Can some of you post pictures of flats that would be acceptable? I honestly have no idea regarding the small shoe details, and nobody has ever noticed because my pants cover half the shoe when standing. Should I just go for something with no details whatsoever? (So the black flats in question, sans gather or anything else).

2. Re: nylon allergy. Yup, I basically thank the Victorias Secret cotton line for saving my life. Before I knew what materials were what I had no brand nylon bra/nylon tights on one day and developed chest/both legs rash within 5 hrs.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Women OCI Interview Attire?

Postby rinkrat19 » Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP: Thanks for the feedback. It seems that pantsuit is probably fine, heels are on a case by case basis (some of you seem to let the flats go given the height, some of you say low heel regardless).

@ Nony Mouse sorry I must have missed that thread. I'll move my future questions there.

1. Can some of you post pictures of flats that would be acceptable? I honestly have no idea regarding the small shoe details, and nobody has ever noticed because my pants cover half the shoe when standing. Should I just go for something with no details whatsoever? (So the black flats in question, sans gather or anything else).

2. Re: nylon allergy. Yup, I basically thank the Victorias Secret cotton line for saving my life. Before I knew what materials were what I had no brand nylon bra/nylon tights on one day and developed chest/both legs rash within 5 hrs.

Something like this, except probably without the gold around the heel edge. (Zappos is blocked at work or I'd look there for another example.) Basically look for a smooth leather pump without a heel.
--LinkRemoved--


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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Women OCI Interview Attire?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP: Thanks for the feedback. It seems that pantsuit is probably fine, heels are on a case by case basis (some of you seem to let the flats go given the height, some of you say low heel regardless).

@ Nony Mouse sorry I must have missed that thread. I'll move my future questions there.

1. Can some of you post pictures of flats that would be acceptable? I honestly have no idea regarding the small shoe details, and nobody has ever noticed because my pants cover half the shoe when standing. Should I just go for something with no details whatsoever? (So the black flats in question, sans gather or anything else).

2. Re: nylon allergy. Yup, I basically thank the Victorias Secret cotton line for saving my life. Before I knew what materials were what I had no brand nylon bra/nylon tights on one day and developed chest/both legs rash within 5 hrs.

Ugh! Allergies are horrible! Poor you.

(And I don't mean that you have to ask in that thread, but it might be helpful, is all.)

I think the above examples are all good. (It's true that if you're in pants they won't be that obvious, too.)

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Re: Women OCI Interview Attire?

Postby Dany » Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:15 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:I think a conservative pants suit is fine, especially for LA. You should definitely practice wearing heels to see if you can pull it off. There might be some acceptable flats, but those are too casual. Even just a kitten heel pump would look much more professional.

http://www.ninewest.com/Swaymeso/116319 ... =Low%7cMid
If you absolutely can't manage a small heel, a very conservative wedge is probably at least better than flats: http://www.ninewest.com/Mela/11633254,d ... =Low%7cMid
--LinkRemoved--

With pants, and with your height, I think a low heel or very conservative flat (basically a heeled pump without the heel) would be ok. But I don't think you need to shy away from wearing heels if you end up liking them, just because of your height. If you are comfortable and confident at 6'3" in heels, then that confidence would serve you well in interviews. If you feel awkward being "too" tall, however, aim lower.

I agree with all of this.

:shock:

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Women OCI Interview Attire?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:18 pm

Dany wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:I think a conservative pants suit is fine, especially for LA. You should definitely practice wearing heels to see if you can pull it off. There might be some acceptable flats, but those are too casual. Even just a kitten heel pump would look much more professional.

http://www.ninewest.com/Swaymeso/116319 ... =Low%7cMid
If you absolutely can't manage a small heel, a very conservative wedge is probably at least better than flats: http://www.ninewest.com/Mela/11633254,d ... =Low%7cMid
--LinkRemoved--

With pants, and with your height, I think a low heel or very conservative flat (basically a heeled pump without the heel) would be ok. But I don't think you need to shy away from wearing heels if you end up liking them, just because of your height. If you are comfortable and confident at 6'3" in heels, then that confidence would serve you well in interviews. If you feel awkward being "too" tall, however, aim lower.

I agree with all of this.

:shock:

:lol:

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Re: Women OCI Interview Attire?

Postby worksmart » Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:18 pm

I agree that a pant suit should be fine, though most everyone I saw at OCI was wearing a skirt suit. You just want to look polished and feel confident. FYI, you do NOT need to wear nylons with skirt suits for interviews in LA. I interviewed with a wide range of firms and ended up at one of the top firms in LA, and I never wore nylons (it was also like 100 degrees last year around interview time). So if you find a skirt suit you like, you can totally wear it sans hose - BUT I would definitely wear a heel then. Someone said kitten heels, which I think looks too casual. But I think you could get a nice low block heel that wouldn't be too high and still look professional.

Everyone has opinions on dress - ultimately, just look put together and don't wear anything so out of the ordinary that the interviewer will notice what you're wearing over what you're saying.

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Dany
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Re: Women OCI Interview Attire?

Postby Dany » Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:20 pm

worksmart wrote:ultimately, just look put together and don't wear anything so out of the ordinary that the interviewer will notice what you're wearing over what you're saying.

This is the most credited advice.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Women OCI Interview Attire?

Postby rinkrat19 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:22 pm

Dany wrote:
worksmart wrote:ultimately, just look put together and don't wear anything so out of the ordinary that the interviewer will notice what you're wearing over what you're saying.

This is the most credited advice.

Some people have a hard time with that, though.

Hopefully by OCI they've figured it out. But the first couple months of 1L I saw some :shock: outfits.

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Re: Women OCI Interview Attire?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:59 pm

worksmart wrote:I agree that a pant suit should be fine, though most everyone I saw at OCI was wearing a skirt suit. You just want to look polished and feel confident. FYI, you do NOT need to wear nylons with skirt suits for interviews in LA. I interviewed with a wide range of firms and ended up at one of the top firms in LA, and I never wore nylons (it was also like 100 degrees last year around interview time). So if you find a skirt suit you like, you can totally wear it sans hose - BUT I would definitely wear a heel then. Someone said kitten heels, which I think looks too casual. But I think you could get a nice low block heel that wouldn't be too high and still look professional.

Everyone has opinions on dress - ultimately, just look put together and don't wear anything so out of the ordinary that the interviewer will notice what you're wearing over what you're saying.


Are hose necessary outside of LA? They're just so old looking, and I hardly see anyone under, like, 50 wear them.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Women OCI Interview Attire?

Postby rinkrat19 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
worksmart wrote:I agree that a pant suit should be fine, though most everyone I saw at OCI was wearing a skirt suit. You just want to look polished and feel confident. FYI, you do NOT need to wear nylons with skirt suits for interviews in LA. I interviewed with a wide range of firms and ended up at one of the top firms in LA, and I never wore nylons (it was also like 100 degrees last year around interview time). So if you find a skirt suit you like, you can totally wear it sans hose - BUT I would definitely wear a heel then. Someone said kitten heels, which I think looks too casual. But I think you could get a nice low block heel that wouldn't be too high and still look professional.

Everyone has opinions on dress - ultimately, just look put together and don't wear anything so out of the ordinary that the interviewer will notice what you're wearing over what you're saying.


Are hose necessary outside of LA? They're just so old looking, and I hardly see anyone under, like, 50 wear them.

In most cases/places, business formal attire requires hose. A lot of firms are no longer business formal except for client meetings and court, but interviews most definitely are, everywhere. Get used to them.

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Re: Women OCI Interview Attire?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:24 pm

worksmart wrote:I agree that a pant suit should be fine, though most everyone I saw at OCI was wearing a skirt suit. You just want to look polished and feel confident. FYI, you do NOT need to wear nylons with skirt suits for interviews in LA. I interviewed with a wide range of firms and ended up at one of the top firms in LA, and I never wore nylons (it was also like 100 degrees last year around interview time). So if you find a skirt suit you like, you can totally wear it sans hose - BUT I would definitely wear a heel then. Someone said kitten heels, which I think looks too casual. But I think you could get a nice low block heel that wouldn't be too high and still look professional.

Everyone has opinions on dress - ultimately, just look put together and don't wear anything so out of the ordinary that the interviewer will notice what you're wearing over what you're saying.


OP: Really, no hose with skirts in LA? No wonder I saw a friend going to an interview sans hose recently. This is +1 for skirt suits for me.

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Re: Women OCI Interview Attire?

Postby worksmart » Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:55 am

rinkrat19 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
worksmart wrote:I agree that a pant suit should be fine, though most everyone I saw at OCI was wearing a skirt suit. You just want to look polished and feel confident. FYI, you do NOT need to wear nylons with skirt suits for interviews in LA. I interviewed with a wide range of firms and ended up at one of the top firms in LA, and I never wore nylons (it was also like 100 degrees last year around interview time). So if you find a skirt suit you like, you can totally wear it sans hose - BUT I would definitely wear a heel then. Someone said kitten heels, which I think looks too casual. But I think you could get a nice low block heel that wouldn't be too high and still look professional.

Everyone has opinions on dress - ultimately, just look put together and don't wear anything so out of the ordinary that the interviewer will notice what you're wearing over what you're saying.


Are hose necessary outside of LA? They're just so old looking, and I hardly see anyone under, like, 50 wear them.

In most cases/places, business formal attire requires hose. A lot of firms are no longer business formal except for client meetings and court, but interviews most definitely are, everywhere. Get used to them.


All I know is LA, and you DO NOT need to wear hose in interviews, court, or the office in LA. I have spent time in all 3. The only instance where I would MAYBE think you could rationalize wearing them would be to interview with an NY based firm like Skadden, S&C, or Simpson. But as I previously stated, you should do what makes you feel confident.

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Re: Women OCI Interview Attire?

Postby Lwoods » Sat Jul 20, 2013 9:25 am

You do not need hose. I promise. There are constant debates as to its benefits, but with a nylon allergy, don't let it be a big concern to you at all. I've worked in NY (before law school at a Biglaw firm), LA (2L summer at a downtown boutique firm), and the Midwest (1L summer for a federal judge), and hose has never been necessary. Never. Shave your legs, and find an appropriate cosmetic solution if they're horribly discolored or something, but don't worry about wearing a skirt sans hose.

As for LA specifically... You'll notice me joking about my choices here in the fashion thread. I notice a lot of women wearing pants and flats as part of their business casual attire, whereas I opt for pencil skirts and pumps. You can definitely wear a pantsuit to interviews. I switched it up during OCI between pants and skirt just so I wouldn't get bored. :) I think it'd probably be better to do a small (kitten) heal over a flat, but just make sure your pants are hemmed correctly for whatever shoe you go with.

Ultimately you should be in a suit (unless you're interviewing with Quinn), and you should look professional and put together. You can look professional and put together without hose and in flats. You can't look professional in a mini skirt and platforms (well, not the type of professional who works at a respectable law firm, anyway). Appearance and apparel matter, but only to a certain point. After that it's about you and if you'd be a fit for the employer.

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Re: Women OCI Interview Attire?

Postby captainwasabi09 » Sun Jul 21, 2013 3:39 pm

For a more conservative flat, I would recommend something with a pointed toe instead of a rounded toe. This is just what I've been told. I think it makes sense because while I could picture a 14-year old girl wearing a rounded toe flat, I can't imagine someone young wearing a pointed toe flat. I saw some really cute shoes out there with 1" heels, and those can be professional without adding too much height.

There are markets where skirt suits are heavily preferred, and I know of a federal judge who asked the US Attorney's Office to tell their female attorneys to wear skirts to court. (I'm in the Midwest.) If you want to interview for a clerkship for an older judge, or plan to go to court, in a more conservative area, I would recommend skirt suits. But since you are going to LA, pantsuits are probably appropriate.

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Re: Women OCI Interview Attire?

Postby Anonymous Associate » Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:16 am

The answer will depend on the firm and, more importantly, who your interviewers are. As someone who has conducted interviews, I wouldn't risk pants or flats. I am a young-ish female and I don't really think pantsuits are appropriate for interviews or going to court. You could run into horrible people like me :P

Given your height, what about a kitten heel?

I would go to a good department store re: your allergy-they would know.

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Re: Women OCI Interview Attire?

Postby MoonDreamer » Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:34 am

Heels

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Re: Women OCI Interview Attire?

Postby knope2012 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:52 am

Anonymous Associate wrote:As someone who has conducted interviews, I wouldn't risk pants or flats. I am a young-ish female and I don't really think pantsuits are appropriate for interviews or going to court. You could run into horrible people like me :P


Horrible is right. Where do you work? I just want to know so I make sure never to interview with you, since you don't seem to like women who aren't made in your image.

Peggy Olson would die reading this thread. She worked so hard to beat all the Don Drapers of the world and this is what we wind up with?!? Women telling other women that wearing pants are somehow inappropriate. Seriously? Inappropriate? Congrats on being archaic and misogynist!

Wear a skirt if you want to! Or don't. Never wear a skirt because you're afraid that people will not hire you if you wear pants, as that would rarely happen and you wouldn't want to work with someone like that anyway.

OP, please don't listen to these people, who are perpetrating harmful views towards women (including the women posters). The bottom line is that you need to look put together and professional. If you have flats that will do that, wear those. If you're wearing well tailored pants, you shouldn't really be able to see much of your shoe anyway. If you prefer heels, wear those. Don't feel like you need to wear flats because some sad man will feel emasculated and get his feelings hurt because you're tall. Interviewers are going to see your feet for a matter of seconds and most likely aren't going to notice your shoes. People who decide who to hire based on shoes will make horrible bosses, since they can't even seem to prioritize what is important in a candidate.

This thread makes me sad to be a woman.

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Dany
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Re: Women OCI Interview Attire?

Postby Dany » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:09 am

Great post + username + 'tar combo

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Re: Women OCI Interview Attire?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:48 am

I know dark, conservative colors are TCR for suits and shoes, but what about accessories?

Aside from my normal skirt suit, I have a black dress, blazer, pumps, and purse, and I was thinking about getting a skinny belt in a different color. I'd probably be wearing this outfit to informational meetings with attorneys or "business casual" events, rather than interviews themselves.

Thoughts? I'm afraid the black-on-black-on-black-on-black (though my purse does have gold hardware) will look too "I work for a secret government agency." Or is that just standard for attorneys?

For reference, I'm mostly aiming for SF and LA, along with some NY.

Thanks ladies!




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