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It's tough out there these days. So if you're looking for work, you should be putting as much thought into your wardrobe as your CV. We helped seven on-the-hunt guys refine their looks so they can nail the interview and land the gig.
Jesse Gill, 23
Job he wants: Formula One engineer
Jesse's got the right colors for Europe — navy suit, brown shoes-but his outfit needs to be streamlined, like the race cars he hopes to one day design.
1. Way too young to be sporting a yellow power tie. This blue silk knit brings out the blue in his shirt and goes with just about everything.
2. Unless you're a CEO, go with fine-line pinstripes — more urban gent, less robber baron.
3. As any Italian will tell you, there's nothing wrong with caramel brown shoes. But for an interview, go with a darker, more subdued shade.
Wool suit, $595, by DKNY. Shirt, $390, by ETRO. Tie, $135, and shoes, $670, by Salvatore Ferragamo. Watch by Hamilton.
Felix Lugo, 19
Job he wants: IT consultant
In a brightly striped shirt, double-wide tie, and weekend khakis, Felix looks like what he is: a kid who just graduated from high school.
2. Maintain clean lines — place your phone in your shoulder bag, not on your belt.
Sweater, $199, by Club Monaco. Shirt, $145, by Jack Spade. Tie, $130, by Alexander Olch. Pants, $60, by H&M. Shoes, $598, by John Varvatos. Watch by Bulova.
Michael Vickers, 22
Job he wants: Art-gallery curator
A simple rule for all job interviews: Avoid black on black on black unless you're auditioning for Twilight.
2. Shaggy artist hair is appropriate for painting, not interviewing. He still looks creative, but now he's more on point. So on point, in fact, that during the photo shoot he scored the groomer's digits.
"In the art world, you're either an artist, so you dress poor-chic, or you work in a gallery, so you dress fancy even if you can't afford the clothes. It's all about faking it. But in this outfit, I'm not faking anything. I just feel more confident."
Wool suit, $1,195, by D&G. Shirt, $195, by Theory. Tie, $125, by John Varvatos. Shoes, $265, by Johnston & Murphy.
Akash Shah, 24
Job he wants: Accountant
Not a bad suit, per se, but too boxy, too dark, too high-buttoned.
1. Even when applying for a job in which you won't see sunlight, you shouldn't dress like you're in mourning. A pale blue or pink shirt adds necessary color and makes you look more alive, less like the drone you will become. (Joke!)
2. A lower-set button stance on the suit jacket instantly makes Akash appear taller and trimmer.
3. No sneakers, driving shoes, or other misguided footwear. Lace-ups or wingtips, black or brown. End of story.
"I've always followed my dad. I shop where he shops, buy suits like his suits, and tie my ties like he does. The first suit he ever picked out for me was double-breasted-I was 12."
Wool flannel suit, $236, by Calvin Klein. Shirt, $150, by Thomas Pink. Tie, $140, by Alexander Olch. Shoes, $425, by Bally.
John Strang, 23
Job he wants: Sports management
John is training for the Olympic trials in the decathlon. Yeah, we couldn't tell either. In pleated pants and a blousy shirt, he looks shapeless and nondescript — not really what you want to project for a sports job.
1. If you're going to skip the jacket, make sure your shirt and pants fit perfectly. Now you can actually tell that John's a fit, athletic guy.
2. He still achieves that all-American style, but with a toned-down color palette, he looks a bit more urbane and a little less Go, Gators!
Shirt, $80, and tie, $75, by Brooks Brothers. Khakis, $78, by Tommy Hilfiger. Shoes, $575, by Florsheim by Duckie Brown. Belt by J.M. Weston.
Martin DuPain, 24
Job he wants: Art director
The military boots and plaid are perfect for spray-painting a mural or seeing MGMT. Less so for showing off your portfolio.
1. Creative doesn't have to mean loud. Keep the accessories simple and understated and the entire outfit slim and modern.
2. Shirt? Tucked in. Jeans? Tucked out.
"This outfit is perfect, because I'm dressed well but not like I'm afraid to get dirty. I still look like I'm ready to roll up my sleeves."
Shirt, $285, by Spurr. Tie, $125, and belt by John Varvatos. Jeans, $30, by Shaun White 4 Target. Boots, $650, by Rag & Bone. Watch by nixon. Macbook Air by Apple.
Greg Scott, 30
Job he wants: Equity analyst
It's hard to judge the suit when it's overshadowed by that tie. Forget for a moment that it's bright pink — the width alone makes Greg look much wider than he is.
1. No razor-line goatees, stubble, or soul patches, please. Unless you have a full beard, shave before your interview.
2. A slimmer tie with a sharp, clean pattern anchors Greg's look, so he appears younger and more professional.
3. Remember, you're not the boss — yet. So no cuff links, no contrast-collar shirts, no oversize rich-guy watches.
Suit, $895, by Boss Black. Shirt, $230, by Acne. Tie, $150, by Black Fleece by Brooks Brothers. Shoes, $455, by Ermenegildo Zegna. Watch by Raymond Weil. Briefcase by Tumi.
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- John Varvatos