Black Suits --> No-no?

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hopefullaw27
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Black Suits --> No-no?

Postby hopefullaw27 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 1:52 pm

Was wondering if wearing a black suit to an interview is a faux pas. have heard various things. i own black and wondering if it's worth it/necessary to get charcoal or navy blue for interviews...

BlueDiamond
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Re: Black Suits --> No-no?

Postby BlueDiamond » Tue Jan 04, 2011 1:53 pm

wear red

hopefullaw27
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Re: Black Suits --> No-no?

Postby hopefullaw27 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:03 pm

yeah, that was my first choice, but my red suit's sleeve was ripped off at the xmas party. thanks for the help tho

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WVUCelticFan
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Re: Black Suits --> No-no?

Postby WVUCelticFan » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:06 pm

I've never heard of black being a problem, nor has it ever been for the various interviews I've been to. You obviously wouldn't want a tux or something that makes you look like a funeral director, but a nice black suit should be fine. Just make sure to take a lent roller over it first.

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Dr. Van Nostrand
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Re: Black Suits --> No-no?

Postby Dr. Van Nostrand » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:11 pm

Black is a very formal, I definitely think navy or charcoal are better choices for an interview setting (you aren't going to a funeral or court). That said, I don't think it matters so much that you should go out and spend the money to buy a new suit. If you have the money ready for that, sure having more than one suit never hurts. I only say this because I talked to the gentlemen who sold me my last suit and when we were discussing colors, he told me he would advise against black because you don't want to out dress your interviewer. Sure enough, after OCI and all my callbacks, I don't recall seeing many of my interviewers wearing black. Just my two cents though.

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bk1
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Re: Black Suits --> No-no?

Postby bk1 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:14 pm

Dr. Van Nostrand wrote:Black is a very formal, I definitely think navy or charcoal are better choices for an interview setting (you aren't going to a funeral or court). That said, I don't think it matters so much that you should go out and spend the money to buy a new suit.

solidsnake
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Re: Black Suits --> No-no?

Postby solidsnake » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:52 pm

Wear charcoal. Knowing how to dress appropriately for the occasion (a corporate job interview, not waiting tables at an upscale steakhouse) is a big part of social intelligence, which is in itself a large part of what these interviews are trying to assess.

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bk1
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Re: Black Suits --> No-no?

Postby bk1 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:54 pm

solidsnake wrote:Wear charcoal. Knowing how to dress appropriately for the occasion (a corporate job interview and not waiting tables at an upscale steakhouse) is a big part of social intelligence, which is in itself a large part of what these interviews are trying to assess.


I feel like the black being too formal thing is starting to fade. Then again, it could be that my eyes have a tough time distinguishing navy from black, let alone a darker charcoal from black.

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Lwoods
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Re: Black Suits --> No-no?

Postby Lwoods » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:58 pm

bk1 wrote:
solidsnake wrote:Wear charcoal. Knowing how to dress appropriately for the occasion (a corporate job interview and not waiting tables at an upscale steakhouse) is a big part of social intelligence, which is in itself a large part of what these interviews are trying to assess.


I feel like the black being too formal thing is starting to fade. Then again, it could be that my eyes have a tough time distinguishing navy from black, let alone a darker charcoal from black.


Black for women is acceptable.

For men, though, I don't like it. It's not that it's too formal; it's for servants*. I suppose you could argue that attorneys are essentially servants, but if you can swing it, invest in a grey, navy, or pinstripe suit. If you can't swing it, black will be fine.


*and funerals

formerbiglawpartner
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Re: Black Suits --> No-no?

Postby formerbiglawpartner » Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:00 pm

You should be fine. I wouldn't go out and buy another suit unless it is already in the budget. In that case, go with navy or charcoal. Keep your ties conservative, too. You might get away with beige in the summer, but why not stick to the most conservative look if you have a limited wardrobe?

hopefullaw27
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Re: Black Suits --> No-no?

Postby hopefullaw27 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:08 pm

thanks for the advice. i think i'm going to see if i can find a nice charcoal suit. i figure i'm going to need it, if not this year (1L), at least for 2L OCI.

Geist13
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Re: Black Suits --> No-no?

Postby Geist13 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:10 pm

hopefullaw27 wrote:thanks for the advice. i think i'm going to see if i can find a nice charcoal suit. i figure i'm going to need it, if not this year (1L), at least for 2L OCI.


If you're going to buy a new suit and don't have navy, get navy.

RW65
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Re: Black Suits --> No-no?

Postby RW65 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:16 pm

As stated above, your first suit should be navy. It is the standard for job interviews and while wearing a different color might not hurt your chances, why risk it? Your second suit should be charcoal.

Do not get a pinstriped suit. GET THE SUIT TAILORED. Get a nice crisp white shirt, I prefer Brooks Brothers as they usually fit better (they have a single size, i.e. 16, 33 instead of most brands that have 16, 33-34 or whatever). Get yourself a nice red tie to go with your navy suit and white shirt. If you can afford it, buy a really nice pair of leather soled black dress shoes and wear them only for interviews.

HTH

RPK34
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Re: Black Suits --> No-no?

Postby RPK34 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:21 pm

RW65 wrote:As stated above, your first suit should be navy. It is the standard for job interviews and while wearing a different color might not hurt your chances, why risk it? Your second suit should be charcoal.

Do not get a pinstriped suit. GET THE SUIT TAILORED. Get a nice crisp white shirt, I prefer Brooks Brothers as they usually fit better (they have a single size, i.e. 16, 33 instead of most brands that have 16, 33-34 or whatever). Get yourself a nice red tie to go with your navy suit and white shirt. If you can afford it, buy a really nice pair of leather soled black dress shoes and wear them only for interviews.

HTH


No pinstripe? Why (curious, not questioning)?

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masochist
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Re: Black Suits --> No-no?

Postby masochist » Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:22 pm

Geist13 wrote:
hopefullaw27 wrote:thanks for the advice. i think i'm going to see if i can find a nice charcoal suit. i figure i'm going to need it, if not this year (1L), at least for 2L OCI.


If you're going to buy a new suit and don't have navy, get navy.


+1

There are virtually no functions for which a navy suit is bad idea.

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bk1
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Re: Black Suits --> No-no?

Postby bk1 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:22 pm

RPK34 wrote:No pinstripe? Why (curious, not questioning)?


Pinstripe is too much, imo.

spondee
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Re: Black Suits --> No-no?

Postby spondee » Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:23 pm

Brooks Bros. semi-annual sale ends today.

As a 1L, you'll probably be fine using a black suit as long as it fits well, but if you can afford it now, and certainly sometime before 2L, you should invest in decent a plain navy or charcoal interview suit. Navy's more traditional than charcoal, but it doesn't matter much - get whichever you'd feel better in.

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masochist
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Re: Black Suits --> No-no?

Postby masochist » Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:27 pm

RPK34 wrote:
RW65 wrote:As stated above, your first suit should be navy. It is the standard for job interviews and while wearing a different color might not hurt your chances, why risk it? Your second suit should be charcoal.

Do not get a pinstriped suit. GET THE SUIT TAILORED. Get a nice crisp white shirt, I prefer Brooks Brothers as they usually fit better (they have a single size, i.e. 16, 33 instead of most brands that have 16, 33-34 or whatever). Get yourself a nice red tie to go with your navy suit and white shirt. If you can afford it, buy a really nice pair of leather soled black dress shoes and wear them only for interviews.

HTH


No pinstripe? Why (curious, not questioning)?


A very light pinstripe is not a problem, in my opinion. Unfortunatlely most people fail to understand the part about "very light." A good understated pinstripe suit requires one to look twice to determine that it is pinstriped.

One other pet peeve to keep in mind. A suit can have texture or it can have a pattern. It should not have texture AND a pattern.

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patrickd139
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Re: Black Suits --> No-no?

Postby patrickd139 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:30 pm

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=63606&hilit=suits+clothing%2C+law

For the answer to this question and many more, OP.

Renzo
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Re: Black Suits --> No-no?

Postby Renzo » Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:38 pm

Lwoods wrote:
bk1 wrote:
solidsnake wrote:Wear charcoal. Knowing how to dress appropriately for the occasion (a corporate job interview and not waiting tables at an upscale steakhouse) is a big part of social intelligence, which is in itself a large part of what these interviews are trying to assess.


I feel like the black being too formal thing is starting to fade. Then again, it could be that my eyes have a tough time distinguishing navy from black, let alone a darker charcoal from black.


Black for women is acceptable.

For men, though, I don't like it. It's not that it's too formal; it's for servants*. I suppose you could argue that attorneys are essentially servants, but if you can swing it, invest in a grey, navy, or pinstripe suit. If you can't swing it, black will be fine.


*and funerals



Black is not for funerals, and hasn't been for at least 20 years, maybe longer (I wouldn't know, I wasn't conscious of fashion); that's a terrible cliche. And, black is only for servants because one useful way of distinguishing servants from guests has always been to absurdly over-dress the help (e.g. the coattails and tophat butler stereotype).

Black still looks formal, and to a small percentage of people who care about that sort of thing, it can look like you're trying too hard. At the same time, there is a small percentage of fashion-forwards who reject the no-black-for-business idea, and a vast majority of people who won't care or notice.

OP, the advice you've got here is good. Your next suit should be charcoal or navy, and that should be your go-to interview suit. But, if you can't afford it now, that's fine--wear the black.

Also, the above-quoted thread is a wealth of information and differing opinions on mens' dress, although it got a bit long to be useful.

formerbiglawpartner
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Re: Black Suits --> No-no?

Postby formerbiglawpartner » Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:42 pm

Agree with everything RW65 said. Pinstripe is fine after you are hired as long as it is subtle. Good luck!

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Dr. Van Nostrand
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Re: Black Suits --> No-no?

Postby Dr. Van Nostrand » Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:16 pm

I have to really agree to the merits of spending the extra to purchase some Brooks Brothers non-iron slim fit dress shirts. Not only do they have a nice clean press to them, they do not bulge at the waste and leave your appearance sloppy. IMO, they are well worth the cost. Just watch for the sales, you cant get pretty decent deals on them.

Edit: Also, on the pinstripes. When you go to purchase your suit, they will likely try to persuade you into a pinstripe navy since they seem to be so common. I would personally insist on the plain navy suit. However, pinstripes can work - but the above poster is absolutely correct, I should have to look twice to determine you are wearing a pin stripped suit. If the stripes pop out to me, you look sloppy.

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vamedic03
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Re: Black Suits --> No-no?

Postby vamedic03 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:26 pm

(1) Black suit is generally a no-no.

(2) Subtle pin stripes are fine, and especially with a well-tailored suit, help add length for those of us who are shorter/stockier.

(3) The majority of the suits I wore for OGI were pinstripe and I did fine.

(4) You need at least 2 suits for OCI, preferable 3, so you should start working on building a collection now. When you start doing back to back days of interviews/callbacks, especially during the hot months, you need to have your suits on a rotation.

RW65
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Re: Black Suits --> No-no?

Postby RW65 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:28 pm

There is nothing wrong with pinstripes in general, however when you're buying your first real suit for a legal career and you're going to be using it for interviews with law firms, your best bet is to go with plain navy. There is no reasonable argument that can be made that pinstriped suits are better than plain, however, many will say that plain is better than pinstriped. Therefore, you are better off going with a plain navy suit as your first real suit. Once you have a few suits you can buy a navy suit with a very light pinstripe.

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vamedic03
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Re: Black Suits --> No-no?

Postby vamedic03 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:31 pm

RW65 wrote:There is nothing wrong with pinstripes in general, however when you're buying your first real suit for a legal career and you're going to be using it for interviews with law firms, your best bet is to go with plain navy. There is no reasonable argument that can be made that pinstriped suits are better than plain, however, many will say that plain is better than pinstriped. Therefore, you are better off going with a plain navy suit as your first real suit. Once you have a few suits you can buy a navy suit with a very light pinstripe.


FWIW, I ended up with my 1st navy pinstripe suit (light, subtle pinstripe) because my suit store had a significant discount on Hickey Freeman's outgoing season.




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