Onyi Odueze (WG ’16) reminds you to make smart choices for your recruiting outfits, as you will for your Halloween ones. This article is a good preview for next week’s Recruiting-based Wharton Journal edition.
The leaves are turning, the air is crisp, and core courses for first year Wharton MBAs are a sea of navy and black suits. Recruiting for the class of 2016 has officially begun! Gone are the days of showing up to class looking like a zombie. Supergas, cluster t-shirts, and skinny jeans have been swapped for Allen Edmonds shoes, shaved faces, and leather messenger bags.
For some students, wearing suits daily is reminiscent of life prior to Wharton. You came to business school with two pairs of jeans and a handful of casual shirts – all of which were purchased right before moving to Philadelphia. For others, wearing a suit is a stretch experience in and of itself. The only real suit you own is the one you interviewed with senior year of college – and it is likely either too boxy, or loose in the chest and tight in the abdomen. Fortunately, your resident fashion expert is here to help!
At some point this week you will go through your closet to see what can serve as a Halloween costume. While you’re looking for that sexy cat/cop/nurse costume from last year, try on your suits and business casual clothes to make sure the tailoring is current. If the pant leg openings are wide-legged, flared, or bell-bottoms, it’s time to buy a new pair of pants. Alternatively, send them to a tailor and have the legs taken in for more of a straight or skinny leg. Try Master Tailor & Cleaners at 1620 Spruce (215-735-1499). They do a great job. And depending on the number of alterations needed, they can be the most economical option.
For dresses and skirts, double check that hemlines and fits make sense. If, as you’re trying them on, you wonder whether or not they’re too tight, low cut, or short, they definitely are. Trust me, opaque tights and flats will not make them any better. Another tip: if you put your arms straight down by your sides and the skirt or dress doesn’t reach your fingertips, don’t wear it to an EIS.
Also assess the footwear and accessories you pair with outfits. Pair black suits with black shoes, not brown or burgundy shoes. Pair charcoal grey suits with black or burgundy shoes. Navy suits and medium to light grey suits are similarly flexible. You can comfortably pair these with shoes from all color families. When wearing a belt, match the color of your belt to that of your shoes.
Think timeless and classic for accessories. A watch and simple earrings should do. You don’t need 15 pieces of flair or a statement necklace. It would be a shame if your latest RueLaLa purchase was more memorable to recruiters than your well-rehearsed 30 second bio.
Lastly, the devil is in the detail. Shine your shoes. Iron or steam out all wrinkles. Run a lint roller over your coat. And replace that missing button you think no one notices… because they will.
Have a fashion dilemma for Onyi? Email firstname.lastname@example.org