The times we are currently living in have caused people to constantly ask themselves, is this a need, or want? Needs vs. wants have always been a constant dilemma, but more so now than ever. Life as a college student living on a budget makes this decision even harder. Despite the incresingly difficult economic times and the need for stricter budgets, one should still strive to look their best. You never know when a lucrative opportunity will present itself. As a student approaches his graduation, style and dress should be appropriately evolving to that of a well dressed young professional. Before the conversation and the exchanging of your resume the first thing a potential employer will notice is your appearance.

Essential Interview Items

The Suit

In the corporate setting males should wear navy, gray, and sometimes tan suits. Black suits are less appropriate and should be reserved for formal events. Suits can be very costly, but are well worth the investment. Students on a budget can find an affordable suit at stores such as H&M, Macy’s, and even consignment shops. Having this esssential piece will give the look of a high end custom suit.  Macy’s often has sales in their Men’s department which can be found here. Online Link: Macy’s Suit Sale

The Tie

The tie worn during an interview should preferably be darker in color such as a dark red or blue to avoid being an unecessary distraction. The pattern should be conservative as well. A simple striped or polka dot tie will compliment most shirts and suits well.. Also, stick to the basic knots when interviewing. The most common are the four-in-hand, half-Windsor, Windsor, and Pratt. An interview is not the place to showcase your admiration for  fifth Atlanta housewife Dwight’s love for a triple Windsor knot, with three D paisley print. Save your creative spirit for less trying economic times. Simple interview appropriate ties can be found at stores such a J. Crew, Bannana Republic, and most major department stores. For a more distinct or vintage touch ties may be purchased at consignment shops and thrift stores as well. Online Link: Men’s Wearhouse

The Shirt

During an interview a white shirt without cufflinks should be worn. Once hired pale colors such as yellow, blue, and lavender shirts can be worn in the office. Shirts with simple shirt patterns add a bit of variety and style as well. Stores such as Zara, Calvin Klein, and Express have shirts that will easily accommodate  the budget or a rising executive. Online Link: Express 1MX Shirt $49.50

The Shoe

A simple cap toe lace up shoe is perfect for an interview. The shoe should be brown, black, or cordovan. Your socks should be dark, never white and they should cover all of the skin (no high waters). The belt should match the shoes. As a rule of thumb I advise men to always purchse a belt on the same day they purchase a dress shoe to ensure that the color matches. Stay away from shoes that are wingtip, square toed, or sharply pointed. Being as conservayive as possible is important when interviewing for a corporate position. You want the attention to be focused on what you are saying and not the “#1 Dad tie,” or elf tip shoe. Affordable shoes can be found at stores such as Aldo, Steve Madden, Kenneth Cole and Banana Republic.

All four of these essential items together make up the perfecty panache combination for interviews and transitioning into the office. During interviews simplicity is  key, avoid making unwanted statements by following this simple guide and arming yourself with the knowledge needed to land the position. Remember the man should wear the clothes, the clothes should not wear the man. Last, but certainly not least, confidence is the most important accessory for  the well dressed future executive.. Never leave home without it!

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