Letter to the Editor


Hello, I stumbled on to your blog while looking for ideas on what to wear to an interview.  I consider myself somewhat fashionable (I grew up in Japan after all), but not too trendy.  I’m more of a less is more/ casual comfortable, but not a slob or lazy when it comes to wardrobe.  I’m a young guy like yourself (24 yrs old) and I’m getting ready to apply to medical school.  What color suit would be most appropriate in an interview situation?  I feel like I want to leave an impression and be unforgettable, but do not want to look too flashy.  Any bit of advice would really help.  And so as the subject entails, I do have a coupe of questions to ask, so cutting through the BS here they are:
What type of work do you do that allows you to afford such a massive wardrobe?  Especially for someone as young as you.  You must either be neck deep in credit debt or have rich parents.
Where do you find most of your deals?
How do you feel about high top sneakers?
Can I really mix black and brown?

If you feel like you don’t want to answer any of the questions, then don’t.  I’m not pressing the issue, just curious.  Although I would appreciate a response for the interview question.  Thanks!




For the interview I’d go with a charcoal grey or navy suit. Light gray and black have the same place really in my book though being at different sides of the spectrum–when mixed in with part of your rotation, not a problem, but as your first impression piece they say the wrong thing. Gray says “easy going” and black says formal. Charcoal and navy definitely will come across as subtle and stable, all the while making you look like you know what you’re doing. Keep it plain is probably the best advice I can give you. White shirt always works in keeping things grounded. If you want to stand out a bit, and draw some attention to yourself in a positive way, you should ‘accessorize’ in a way that says “this is the loudest of the basic.” For example, an elaborate cuff link–but in plain silver, no other colors. Also, perhaps, a red tie–but not a power tie. Something maroon, of good weight, and with a neat pattern. Carry your resume in a leather(ish) pouch or a clean, adult looking folder. Brown shoes, brown belt–all done.

Other questions:

I work for a large consulting firm and I made the jump from junior analyst to consultant fairly quickly due a lot to luck and (getting assigned to a project with a few overnight personnel turnovers that lead me to the period I’m in now where I’m…)  working long hours. But no, I make a pretty average income for a finance major a few years out of school in the DC area. The wardrobe really started beefing up my last year of school (when I started the blog) because I was working full time during a period in my life where rent was almost free (God, how I wish that were the case now). I do actually have a second job and yet I still live just about check to check, albeit with savings, some penny stock holdings, and minimum 401k (whatever they match) contributions. I average about $200 a month spent on clothes, without fail. However, when half of ties are eBay finds, clocking in at $8.00 shipped, it’s not hard to acquire a pretty good deal of stuff. Lastly, I spent the majority of childhood being dragged through department stores by my mother who may/may not end up on an episode of that show about hoarders. I shop smart, and now that I have so much quantity, I focus more on buying fewer, better items; tailoring old items; or vintage shopping on Etsy/eBay.

High-tops? I only have one pair and they kick ass, but they only see the light of day once a week. Plus they were a gift from someone special so I keep them in the nike box to preserve crispiness.

On mixing black and brown.. yes.. kind of. Black and tan are better to start with as the paler nature of tan doesn’t set off the black/brown clash alarms (idk.. same alarms that queue up the fashion police, I believe). However, at a certain point it almost becomes  a game of skill where you must appear to have mastered the basics before pairing the two, at which point you can find a balance where black and brown can coexist. I don’t know if that served to answer or further confuse the matter, however, now I have nothing left to say on it.

Hey can I I’m going to use this for a post?. I’m sure you don’t mind…

Hope I helped some!

Paul Beirne

One Response to “Letter to the Editor”
  1. I just wanted to add a couple cents on the money = wardrobe issue:

    There are two ways to shop…free-spirited and brand-obsessed. Some times, like a vinn diagram, these two can intertwine, but it is definitely easy to amass a respectable wardrobe by spending less dollars than people will ever be able to tell.

    Mr. Editor, I’ve always admired your ability to find great deals on ebay/etsy and from sales…especially when you shares those deals directly with me (kudos on lands end canvas).

    The fact is that there are baseline items you need in your wardrobe. For instance, denim is an important part to any man’s attire. You’ll need a darker wash for night time, lighter washes for day time activities, and may be a funkier pair to deviate from the norm. Now you could go high end and drop $150 plus, shop in the moderate range which I usually define as $50-$100 or you can buy crap. Either way there are tips and secrets for making each item look its absolute best on you. One of my main obsessions – tailoring.

    The easiest way to build is to make a list of all the essentials…this is important if you are starting out with a completely new wardrobe and this is probably the expensive part. Once you are done with the revamp, then you can do the one at a time investment piece shopping or the every once in awhile if its a good deal type shopping that helps add the diversity.

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