Your Law School Interview Suit

The good news for the law student is that the classical mens suit style has remained the same for a hundred years. The bad news is that there are a lot of fashion suits out there that become dated faster than you can purchase them and wear twice. The key is to ignore temporary fashion, and understand what your timeless style is.

charcoal grey suitRemember three things when choosing an interview suit: Fabric, Style, and Fit.

When selecting a suit fabric for a law school interview, take into consideration the fabrics construction, makeup, and color. Try to go with a natural fabric, preferably a worsted wool. If you go with a blend, try to ensure the synthetic make-up is 40% or less and that it doesnt have a shine to it. Although blends keep the cost down, they do not last as long and have a tendency to breathe less. As to color choice, the safest selections are navy blue, charcoal, and black. Although you can move outside these, understand you will stick out (not always a bad thing!).

When it comes to mens suit style, go with a classical cut. In the United States this is a single breasted, notched lapel, two or three button jacket with a single or double back vent and regular flap pockets. Ensure you have at least as many cuff buttons as you have front jacket buttons (four buttons on the sleeve is normal) and check for a left breast pocket. Avoid patch pockets, peak lapels, and slanted side pockets for legal interviews. Also pay close attention to lapel width: a trend right now is thin lapels; avoid this fashion fad. With your trousers, consider pleated fronts. They are more formal that flat front trousers, and are generally more comfortable. Cuffed bottoms usually look best on tall men, although either cuffed or un-cuffed is fine for a law interview. After that inspect the jacket and trousers for quality construction by tugging on buttons and inspecting the sewing.

Finally, fit; most men wear suits that are too large in one area or another. Try to find a brand whose cut matches your build, and dont be afraid of going custom if you are difficult to fit or value your time and do not want to spend weeks shopping. Ensure the sleeves (when standing) show ½ to 1 inch of cuff and that the jacket lapels lay flat. You do not want the jacket when buttoned to form an “X” from tightness and the jackets shoulders should not extend past your shoulders. Finally, the jacket back should cover your backside, there should be no bunching of fabric in the back near your neck, and your jacket collar should show ¾ of an inch of shirt collar. One way to get a perfect fit is to have your suit made to measure or hand crafted by a tailor, commonly referred to as bespoke. For the law student or recent graduate willing to invest at least 600 to 1000 dollars per suit, this is a great option; it will save you the time and frustration of searching for the ideal fitting jacket by helping you get exactly what you want quickly. Men who go down this path fall in love with the selection (thousands of fabrics), control over the build (any style, secret pockets, etc), and of course the perfect fit that no off-the-rack mens suit can emulate. And when you are spending 100K+ on your education, the cost of the suit seems insignificant when it helps you land the job you seek.

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