dewzen

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 25, 2005
48
0
36
Status
I've been to a few interviews and at everyone I've been the only guy not in a suit. I wear a blazer with khakis and I feel like I look respectable, but I never see anyone else dressed like I am.
What's the deal? I don't own a suit and don't really feel comfortable in one. I don't know. I don't want to put out a fake impression.
 

Brain

Taking over the world
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 5, 2004
464
0
38
Houston
Status
MD/PhD Student
It may or may not matter whether you have a suit. Who really knows? I personally think it's stupid to have broke students spend that much money. However, interviews are not the time to stand out and take chances after all of the hard work you've had to do to get where you are. I'd invest in a suit if you have anymore interviews. Purchasing one will probably be less money than reapplying and you'll probably get to wear it again (ie, residency interviews if it still fits). Just my $0.02.
 

beep

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Nov 6, 2003
450
5
Visit site
Status
dressing appropriately does not make you a fake. the vast majority of other people interviewing do not wear suits every day either, but suits are the acceptable thing to wear to a med school interview. it signals your seriousness and professional aspirations and respect when you wear a more formal & professional outfit.

i personally hate wearing a suit, but sometimes you just gotta do it, and for what i think are ok reasons.
 

Law2Doc

5K+ Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2004
30,981
9,891
Status
Attending Physician
dewzen said:
I've been to a few interviews and at everyone I've been the only guy not in a suit. I wear a blazer with khakis and I feel like I look respectable, but I never see anyone else dressed like I am.
What's the deal? I don't own a suit and don't really feel comfortable in one. I don't know. I don't want to put out a fake impression.
Suits in a professional school interview situation are the norm-- It's time to get comfortable in one. Being in a blazer with a tie is probably minimally adequate, but why make a fashion statement that can hurt you? There are very cheap suits out there these days that look decent. When interviewers fill out their evaluation forms, you can bet that one of the questions covers appearance/grooming and so if an interviewer considers business casual to be inapproprate interview attire, it could hurt you. Better to make a "fake impression" than a "bad" one.
 

wisteria

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Sep 9, 2004
57
0
38
Status
dewzen said:
I've been to a few interviews and at everyone I've been the only guy not in a suit. I wear a blazer with khakis and I feel like I look respectable, but I never see anyone else dressed like I am.
What's the deal? I don't own a suit and don't really feel comfortable in one. I don't know. I don't want to put out a fake impression.
i think wearing these monkey suits are ridiculous and do not make a difference. khakis and a blazer are fine and are a perfectly professional ensemble. i told a family friend who is a physician that does med school interviews early in the fall that i needed to buy a suit. she asked why. i told her for interviews. her response: "really? is that what student's wear?" and she does interviews!

an interviewer isn't going to judge your clothing unless it's really inappropriate, like if you wore jeans and sneakers. actually, at one of my interviews, a guy was wearing khakis and a blazer and i thought he looked great. it didn't even occur to me that he could possibly be considered "dressed down."
 

scrappysurfer

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 13, 2005
264
0
39
San Diego, CA
Status
I've seen men do the khaki/blazer thing and think in looks nice.

HOWEVER, a friend of mine reached the interview stage for med schools two years in a row (even at the same school) without getting in. The second time around he called the admissions department to see what happened. One of the comments made by his interviewer refered to his khaki/blazer as "inappropriate, unprofessional attire." One thing of note, a napoleon complex may have worked against him. He is tall and hot (I am a girl, if you were curious by this point). His interviewer was short and bald.

Conclusion, it may depend on the school/interviewer but is not worth the risk.
 

dankev

Registered: Used
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
May 1, 2003
392
0
NY
Visit site
Status
dewzen said:
I don't own a suit and don't really feel comfortable in one. I don't know. I don't want to put out a fake impression.
Although suits are the norm, the khaki/blazer combo probably won't keep you out of med school.

I've got to ask though, how is it more comfortable? It's the same, except a suit matches.

Also, what "fake impression" are you afraid of giving? Do you think all your fellow interviewees love dressing up, and do so every day? Or perhaps they are all sellouts, because they would secretly rather be wearing shorts and sandals...
 

2tall

1K Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 2, 2004
1,952
5
USA, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy
Visit site
Status
dewzen said:
I've been to a few interviews and at everyone I've been the only guy not in a suit. I wear a blazer with khakis and I feel like I look respectable, but I never see anyone else dressed like I am.
What's the deal? I don't own a suit and don't really feel comfortable in one. I don't know. I don't want to put out a fake impression.
why not just rent a tux? If you're going to stand out...at least do it with pizazz! :laugh:
 

VPDcurt

2K Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2004
2,644
23
Status
Attending Physician
Blazer and Khakis? That's appropriate for Sunday school up until the 5th grade. Get yourself a suit.
 

VPDcurt

2K Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2004
2,644
23
Status
Attending Physician
wisteria said:
i think wearing these monkey suits are ridiculous and do not make a difference. khakis and a blazer are fine and are a perfectly professional ensemble. i told a family friend who is a physician that does med school interviews early in the fall that i needed to buy a suit. she asked why. i told her for interviews. her response: "really? is that what student's wear?" and she does interviews!

That's insane. I've never seen a guy wear anything but a suit. What school are you talking about here where she does interviews?
 

2tall

1K Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 2, 2004
1,952
5
USA, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy
Visit site
Status
I'll answer the question seriously now. One should preferably wear a suit on interview day. As to your comment about a fake impression...I just don't get it. I don't know you, but I'm assuming you don't wear khakis and a blazer on a daily basis.

A suit offers a more professional appearance...and as someone has already mentioned...the drug of choice for interviews.

As your your khakis...perhaps dress slacks would be a better option. When I think of khakis...it's not too pretty.

If cost is an issue...there are consigment stores and other cheaper options.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression (and your ONLY impression for adcoms).
 

doc05

2K Member
15+ Year Member
May 24, 2003
3,517
1,435
U.S.A.
Visit site
Status
dewzen said:
I've been to a few interviews and at everyone I've been the only guy not in a suit. I wear a blazer with khakis and I feel like I look respectable, but I never see anyone else dressed like I am.
What's the deal? I don't own a suit and don't really feel comfortable in one. I don't know. I don't want to put out a fake impression.
you've been to a few interviews?? I'd think after the first one you'd realize that a suit is the only appropriate attire. Blazer and khakis is very informal and frankly unprofessional. be an adult -- buy a suit.

and p.s. wear a dress shirt and tie with the suit.
 
OP
D

dewzen

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 25, 2005
48
0
36
Status
I dont know. I think the medical profession is a little different. I'd rather be treated by a doctor wearing khakis and a tie than one in a suit. In a business meeting I'd rather be talking to somebody in a suit, if I was interviewing for jobs i'd get a suit. My pre health advisor said khakis were fine, but apparently the response here doesn't really seem like it is. Don't want to ask my parents for any more money. Can med schools tell that you're wearing a really budget suit from TJ Max. What about buying a suit and then returning it, does that work? I know I'd get screwed and somehow not be able to return it.
I dont know, I grew up never dressing up, so wearing a blazer feels like I'm super dressed, but I guess I'll deal with it...
 

beep

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Nov 6, 2003
450
5
Visit site
Status
when you interview, you are not treating patients, you are interviewing. the general rule is that you dress more nicely for an interview than for day-to-day work--in any profession.

check out secondhand stores. or tj maxx is fine. or maybe some friend or relative of yours has a suit you can borrow or have? i guess you could hide the tags and return a suit, but (a) you may not be able to totally conceal the tags, (b) you may hurt the suit and be unable to return it, and (c) you may want to go to another interview on short notice. probably best to just suck it up and buy something. compared to the total cost of applying and going to school, the suit $$$ is small potatoes if you are a thrifty shopper (or actually even if you aren't!).
 

markss22411

Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 15, 2004
45
0
Visit site
Status
wisteria said:
i think wearing these monkey suits are ridiculous and do not make a difference. khakis and a blazer are fine and are a perfectly professional ensemble. i told a family friend who is a physician that does med school interviews early in the fall that i needed to buy a suit. she asked why. i told her for interviews. her response: "really? is that what student's wear?" and she does interviews!

So she conducts interviews and doesn't know what students wear? Are these phone interviews?

As to the OP. Get a suit. It's an investment that you'll use more than once. Wear a suit to any interview. Act like you're professional and actually interested in the position your interviewing for.
 

Blue Scrub

The Gift & The Curse
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 16, 2005
1,028
1
Status
If you're aspiring to be a professional, the least you could do is try to look and act like one. Get a suit, a cheap one at least. Some people dont even make it to the interview stage. If they had a shot, you know they would do everything they could to impress. Why dont you?
 

2tall

1K Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 2, 2004
1,952
5
USA, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy
Visit site
Status
Can people buy a suit off the rack and just wear...with no alterations? Must be nice. Couldn't you borrow one from a friend of a friend's cousin or something?

Your premed advisor said khakis were okay!?!? Could it have been a joke?

TJ Maxx sells suits? Real ones? Maybe so...I've seen some in Marshall's and Ross.

From your other posts...it seems as though you're European (Correct me if I'm wrong). Maybe the blazer and khakis would work for you. I'm sure all interviews are ranked on their personal appearance...whether or not it is professional. The way you speak...the way your carry yourself. My point is that there is more to a professional appearance than a suit.

I know I was tired of seeing conservative black suits at my interviews. Perhaps it's a good thing you stood out...refreshing even.

Buy a khaki-colored suit! :thumbup:
 

Spiff

Wing-nut
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Sep 24, 2004
46
0
Status
Bottom line... fair or unfair, if you are interviewing in the U.S. and medical school is important for you then get a suit. Period. There is simply no substitute. Appropriate attire supports your image as a person who takes the interview process seriously, and make no mistake that you will be judged by how you present yourself. Sure you might run into the occasional person who doesn't mind the casual attire, but they are a tiny minority, and besides... why gamble like that? You will never, ever be faulted for dressing in proper business attire.

In my opinion, here are some basic guidelines (again, just my opinion):

The suit doesn't have to be black but it should be a conservative black, blue or charcoal. Two button suits are more conservative, but three button suits are fine. Conservative pinstripes or windowpane is ok but beware lest you look like the mafia. Shirt should be either white or light blue (not French blue, Royal blue or a white collar on blue shirt) with a pinpoint or tab collar(if you are large-framed) or spread collar (if you have a thin frame). You have a little leeway as far as your tie, but you don't want to stray too far there either.

The best way to really stand out is to make sure the suit is well-tailored and fits you well (i.e. doesn't look like you are wearing it for the first time). You will seriously stand out from many applicants just by having well-fitting suit. Enhance the look with real leather-soled dress shoes (not black hiking-boot soled Timberlands or loafers) and a good belt. Your only pieces of jewelry should be a nice watch, +/- school ring and +/- wedding band.

Can med schools tell that you're wearing a really budget suit from TJ Max. What about buying a suit and then returning it, does that work?
They know you aren't Mr. Moneybags, but they can tell when you don't give a crap. This is the rest of your life here, and you want to borrow a suit from Uncle Bob or the leftovers bin!?? Get a decent suit. Have it professionally altered. Think of it as an investment. A nice basic, conservative suit will always be in style and last you for years and years of weddings, funerals, and semi-formal parties. You can even wear the pants and coat as separates later on. As for a blazer being "super dressed," nice banking places like JP Morgan or Goldman Sachs wouldn't even let you through the door on a normal workday much less on an interview. For quality suits on a budget, Jos A Bank has some great suits for the price.
 

Law2Doc

5K+ Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2004
30,981
9,891
Status
Attending Physician
Spiff said:
Bottom line... fair or unfair, if you are interviewing in the U.S. and medical school is important for you then get a suit. Period. There is simply no substitute. Appropriate attire supports your image as a person who takes the interview process seriously, and make no mistake that you will be judged by how you present yourself. Sure you might run into the occasional person who doesn't mind the casual attire, but they are a tiny minority, and besides... why gamble like that? You will never, ever be faulted for dressing in proper business attire.

In my opinion, here are some basic guidelines (again, just my opinion):

The suit doesn't have to be black but it should be a conservative black, blue or charcoal. Two button suits are more conservative, but three button suits are fine. Conservative pinstripes or windowpane is ok but beware lest you look like the mafia. Shirt should be either white or light blue (not French blue, Royal blue or a white collar on blue shirt) with a pinpoint or tab collar(if you are large-framed) or spread collar (if you have a thin frame). You have a little leeway as far as your tie, but you don't want to stray too far there either.

The best way to really stand out is to make sure the suit is well-tailored and fits you well (i.e. doesn't look like you are wearing it for the first time). You will seriously stand out from many applicants just by having well-fitting suit. Enhance the look with real leather-soled dress shoes (not black hiking-boot soled Timberlands or loafers) and a good belt. Your only pieces of jewelry should be a nice watch, +/- school ring and +/- wedding band.

Also.. think of it as an investment. A nice basic, conservative suit will always be in style and last you for years and years of weddings, funerals, and semi-formal parties. You can even wear the pants and coat as separates later on. As for a blazer being "super dressed," nice banking places like JP Morgan or Goldman Sachs wouldn't even let you through the door on a normal workday much less on an interview.
I think getting a suit is pretty mandatory, but I'm not sure that you need to totally adhere to all of the rules in the above post. I mean, you will still be fine if your suit is dark brown or your shirt is french blue, faded yellow, or ecru, or if you wear a tie tack, etc. The point is you need to look professional. You've jumped through all of the application hoops up to this point -- so what's one more.
And if you never wear the suit the rest of your life after interviews, you can always be buried in it...
 

virilep

What can Brown do for u?
15+ Year Member
Feb 12, 2004
1,563
5
37
Visit site
Status
you know, I went to my UK interview.. and there was a kid that came in jeans and a rugby shirt. he was a cool guy, but it made me kinda wonder. he went to UK undergrad and lived on campus so his luggage didn't get misplaced. he was an engineer :) haha. oh well. but when I was talking to him, he was real cool. i guess u just gotta figure out what to wear when. and to the OP, I think khaki's and a blue coat is fine!
 

Spiff

Wing-nut
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Sep 24, 2004
46
0
Status
Law2Doc said:
I think getting a suit is pretty mandatory, but I'm not sure that you need to totally adhere to all of the rules in the above post.
Sure. Totally. Sorry if I worded this too strongly. I just think you can't go wrong if you stick with those sorts of guidelines.
 

45408

aw buddy
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 14, 2004
16,976
47
Status
Resident [Any Field]
doc05 said:
you've been to a few interviews?? I'd think after the first one you'd realize that a suit is the only appropriate attire. Blazer and khakis is very informal and frankly unprofessional. be an adult -- buy a suit.
:rolleyes: Might not've been a good idea, but try wearing a blazer and khakis to physics class and tell me it's "very informal."
 
OP
D

dewzen

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 25, 2005
48
0
36
Status
well got into columbia so apparently it was "adult and professional" enough for them. Peace to you all good luck with the suits
 

SD Skunk

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 22, 2005
111
0
www.mdapplicants.com
Status
i hate wearing suits as well. but, the bottom line is, it's not worth the risk to wearing anything but a suit. just have to suck it up. you've worked extremely hard to get interviews - why possibly jeopardize your opportunities by wearing a non-suit for a few hours?

if you want to stand out, make yourself memorable by your words, not by your choice of attire.
 

LUBDUBB

Freakaholic
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 7, 2002
686
0
Status
2tall said:
Can people buy a suit off the rack and just wear...with no alterations? Must be nice. Couldn't you borrow one from a friend of a friend's cousin or something?

Your premed advisor said khakis were okay!?!? Could it have been a joke?

TJ Maxx sells suits? Real ones? Maybe so...I've seen some in Marshall's and Ross.

From your other posts...it seems as though you're European (Correct me if I'm wrong). Maybe the blazer and khakis would work for you. I'm sure all interviews are ranked on their personal appearance...whether or not it is professional. The way you speak...the way your carry yourself. My point is that there is more to a professional appearance than a suit.

I know I was tired of seeing conservative black suits at my interviews. Perhaps it's a good thing you stood out...refreshing even.

Buy a khaki-colored suit! :thumbup:
I agree with everything said in this thread. Med school interview is not the place to set ourselves apart from the crowd. Second, we've come all this way, spent all this money on school, applications and so forth - a suit, in the grand total, is a good investment.

2tall, I believe the origins of the suit can be traced back to 17th century France, later innovated by the British, and recently by the Italians. The navy blazer/khaki look, which reeks of blue-blooded good ol' boys, is something I've seen more commonly in the States.

Best Luck to you all.
 

2tall

1K Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 2, 2004
1,952
5
USA, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy
Visit site
Status
dewzen...congrats on columbia. stats and personality trump dress anyday. can't wait to see you in your blazer and khakis at residency interviews.

lubdubb thanks for that piece of fashion history.

dgf32 i'm a little afraid of your post...have you seen Silence of the Lambs?

I personally love my euro cut charcoal pinstriped Donna Karan.