Dressing the man …
A great friend of mine was in the market for an “outfit” for his B-school interview. Having heard of my incessant banter about “buttoning points”, “lapel sizes” and “affectionate sprezz”, he reached out to me to help nail down an outfit for his interview and beyond. It was on short notice (about a week), so we had to look for something local within the Atlanta metropolis.
We spent a little bit of time figuring out what he wanted. Since this was going to be a suit he would wear beyond his interview, i recommended gray or navy. I also recommended something with a little textural interest. He indicated some slim fitting; an ode to the current stylistic cues portrayed by GQ and other mainstream media fashion magazines.
We scoured a few shops; Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss, Neiman Marcus where we looked at Paul Smith, Saks and finally Bloomingdales. It was an all day affair and his unique physique kept posing problems. As an athletic individual with a long history of muscle training, his upper body was well defined in the mould of a 38R. Yet, he was more of a short fitted. Additionally, his lower body required a unique drop. We therefore had to look for separates, since most of the classic drop 7 and 8 options we saw were not working for him.
After about 6 hours of trial and error, and with hope seemingly lost, he recommended a stop by Banana Republic to pick up a belt. Upon entering Banana Republic, we noticed a BR Monogram line to the right hand side of the store. He begrudgingly dragged me over to the BR Monogram suits and we started trying on a few. To my surprise they fit him pretty well off the rack. The one particular suit of interest was a sharkskin gray suit providing the necessary textural interest he desired.
There were a few things about the suit i did not like. However considering the timing, the pricing deal being offered and the functionality of the suit, i approved of the purchase. We dialed up my gracious tailor to put him on alert as to the minor alterations needed for the suit.
We spent some time at the tailor making minor tweaks to the suit. I offered suggestions on things i’d like to be different. Most of my areas for improvement with the suit had to do with the pants more so than the jacket. However, with time being of an essence, and based on the miles we had already trekked without luck, we both agreed this was the best option.
We agreed the best option for the gray suit would be a crisp white shirt and a navy tie. These paired with his medium to dark brown captoes (with medallion) made for a conservative, yet stylish interview choice. I would have recommended a shirt collar with wider points to slide under neath the jacket, however again time did not allow for extended sartorial rumination. He however gained an appreciation for the things i would have done differently given time and i believe his future purchases, would try to incorporate these cues he picked up.
Who would have thought Banana Republic would be the best option out of RL, Hugo Boss, J. Crew, Paul Smith and others. However, this is how the cookie crumbled … and yes, he aced his B-School interview and will be attending Georgia Tech this fall.
Congrats man … Stay stylin’