Residency Interview Attire Thread

Discussion in 'Allopathic' started by JP2740, 09.20.14.

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  1. JP2740

    JP2740 7+ Year Member

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    There was 20+ page thread on this before that I cannot find anymore. Anyone have this bookmarked or is better at the search function?
     
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  3. FIREitUP

    FIREitUP 7+ Year Member

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  4. D elegans

    D elegans 5+ Year Member

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    Holy sh*t that thread started out on a high level of pretension. How may med students walk around with suits and watches costing thousands of dollars? Christ.
     
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  5. SouthernSurgeon

    SouthernSurgeon Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

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    I made it through three pages of watch porn and penis measuring, and still haven't seen any suiting advice for residency applicants
     
  6. Kaustikos

    Kaustikos Archerize It 7+ Year Member

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    I think you only wear the watch and that's it...
     
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  7. SouthernSurgeon

    SouthernSurgeon Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

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    Here is a very brief summary of the general advice from most of these threads (or at least what I've taken away from it):

    The suit:
    -Should be conservative. By this I mean nothing too fashion forward or edgy (crazy slim cuts, super short, etc).
    -Two button, notch lapel is fairly timeless and will do you well
    -Colors: Navy or Charcoal. Stripes can be nice but also can be douchey so solids may be safer. I.e. if you're having to ask SDN what color suit to buy - just stick to the basics
    -Don't get a three piece suit
    -No pleats
    -No cuffs
    -For pete's sake don't get a black suit.

    The tailoring/fit:
    -There is a huge misunderstanding of what "Made to Measure" means, and an automatic presumption that MTM = better. For most men, they can achieve just as good a look with an off the rack suit and a decent tailor. The role for MTM really should be for men who have a size mismatch - e.g. huge shoulders skinny waist, super tall, tall but with short arms, etc. MTM online ordering is currently enjoying a big popularity surge
    -GET THEE TO A TAILOR. A great quality suit can be ruined by a lack of tailoring. A mid to low end suit can look great with good tailoring.
    -Avoid the X (i.e. suit jacket too tight)
    -Avoid the eighties shoulder pad look (i.e. suit jacket at least one size too big)

    The shirt:
    -Don't wear a button down collar with a suit
    -Again stick to the basics. Solid colors - white, light to mid blue. Some can pull of a pink, pale yellow, paisley, but if you have to ask you aren't one of them. If you have purchased a striped suit, don't mix with a plaid or a secondary striped shirt
    -Spread collars generally better than point
    -French cuffs and cufflinks can appear pretentious to some

    The tie:
    -Don't go super slim or super wide
    -Repp stripes, dark solids/grenadine
    -Half-windsor or four in hand knot. Windsors if you do them please please cinch the knot appropriately tight to get a dimple.
    -Don't wear a bow tie. You'll look like a douche, or worse, a pediatrician.
    -Pediatricians, feel free to wear a bow tie.

    The shoes:
    -Dark brown/burgundy or black are all okay, depending on your suit color
    -Get a pair of lace ups - slip ons of all varieties too casual.
    -Cap toes or oxfords
    -Whatever you do avoid the square toed boxy rubber soled disaster shoes (made by kenneth cole and others)
    -My recommendation would be to just pony up the money for a pair of Allen Edmonds. If you take care of them they will last you a lifetime.

    The budget/where to buy:
    -Don't outspend your means. You can get a very nice suit for 300 or less (plus tailoring) if you watch the sales.
    -Don't feel bad if you can afford to or want to spend more.
    -Some good, fairly safe/conservative resources:
    Suitsupply.com - their purple line suits are all I think 450-500 and are surprisingly good quality.
    Jcrew if you can catch a sale, although I think their quality has slipped in recent years and their suits keep getting skinnier.
    Ruelala.com if you can catch one of their brooks brothers sales (*you need to do a little homework and carefully read the descriptions of the suits to make sure you are getting one of BB's high quality suits and not their outlet quality offerings)
    Brooks Bros if you can wait for their semi-annual sale (usually June/December)

    Anyways those are my thoughts. Nothing revolutionary or exciting in there, but this will get you safely through the season.
     
    Last edited: 09.20.14
  8. PL198

    PL198 2+ Year Member

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    lol if some dude was interviewing for a residency and had a watch in the tens of thousands of dollars on, I'd think they were a little b*tch that depends on their parents. Any PD that magically likes a candidate because they have some uber watch on isn't really someone I want to work for. Just get a decent movado if you have to have a watch.

    Really easy for anyone that is clueless about clothes: Just go to men's warehouse, tell them you're interviewing, they'll set you up with a charcoal and navy.
     
  9. PL198

    PL198 2+ Year Member

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    That's what I'd do, or maybe just the watch strap because I couldn't afford some of the whole watches those dudes are throwing around in that thread.
     
  10. username456789

    username456789 SDN Bronze Donor Bronze Donor 7+ Year Member

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    If you're clueless and you go to MW, you'll almost certainly leave just as clueless and out if a few hundred bucks.
     
  11. SouthernSurgeon

    SouthernSurgeon Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

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    Just say no to mens warehouse.

    Their stuff is crap and their sales staff is clueless.

    If you're clueless about fashion, odds are you'll walk out of there with an ugly boxy suit that is two sizes too big.
     
  12. lymphohystiocytosis

    lymphohystiocytosis MS4

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    Oh, that's good to know. So do you recommend a polo or a tank top with a suit?
     
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  13. Ismet

    Ismet PGY-fun SDN Administrator 5+ Year Member

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    How about for women? I'm not interviewing until next year but I was just planning on using the suits I wore for med school interviewing. Haven't changed sizes and they have been hanging in a garment bag in my closet since being cleaned after my last interview. Two pantsuits- grey suit with a cream blouse and black suit with a soft pink or cream blouse.

    Thoughts on heels? I wore a really comfy pair of 3 inch black heels for my med school interviews, but since then I've broken my ankle and haven't been able to do heels since. I could always try a 1-2 inch or I guess a chunkier heel for more stability, but even this low of a heel makes me cringe. And chunky heels usually don't look as nice to me. I'm assuming flats are out of the question, but flats and Danskos are really the only professional shoes I've been able to stand for the last 2 years.

    I'm sure the great @Winged Scapula has opinions :)
     
  14. SouthernSurgeon

    SouthernSurgeon Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

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    :rolleyes:

    To clarify for the extra sarcastic, I meant a button down collar.
     
  15. lymphohystiocytosis

    lymphohystiocytosis MS4

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    Oh jeez. I would never have imagine people would wear a button down collar with a suit. I'd prefer the tank top.

    Is a nice blucher too informal of a shoe?
     
  16. Deadlifts

    Deadlifts Warming up with your max 2+ Year Member

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  17. sinombre

    sinombre 2+ Year Member

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    Wow, I'm so clueless about this stuff it's embarrassing. Thank you for the summary @southernIM
     
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  18. tiedyeddog

    tiedyeddog 7+ Year Member

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    Anyone have opinions on pocket squares? I was going to use a plain, white cotton one. Too much?
     
  19. SouthernSurgeon

    SouthernSurgeon Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

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    I mean, in general I like them.

    But I think in a residency interview all you do is risk that someone will think that it looks pretentious.

    Same reason I don't wear them at conferences.
     
  20. tiedyeddog

    tiedyeddog 7+ Year Member

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    Good point
     
  21. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

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    I doubt people notice 2 dinky buttons to hold down your collar.
     
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  22. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Lifetime Donor SDN Chief Administrator 10+ Year Member

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    Some of us do. ;)

    Its more that a button down collar is considered more casual, ergo not appropriate for interview.
     
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  23. PL198

    PL198 2+ Year Member

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    Sounds to me more like a problem with the individuals you've experienced, not the store itself. I don't get what you're recommendation is. If you are trying to go cheaper, it's not likely you're going to find anyone knowledgeable because they wouldn't be working there if they knew anything. I've had 3 transactions there and 2/3 dudes were great and 1 was a moron.

    Maybe if you want to spend big money where you can guarantee the people are studs but MW is the best you can get outside of that range.
     
  24. SouthernSurgeon

    SouthernSurgeon Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

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    My only experience with MW is when friends have used them for wedding tux rental (i.e. when I am required to use them), and when others have bought stuff from there that I've seen.

    My point was that I think there are better options for only a tiny bit more money. Not that I think there are better cheaper options.
     
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  25. PL198

    PL198 2+ Year Member

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    BB or what? I checked your post and all of the other ones were online. I agree people that know what's up can beat MW, I'm talking for noobs that are going to need an in-person interaction.
     
  26. SouthernSurgeon

    SouthernSurgeon Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

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    I think Brooks Brothers is very reliable, if not known for being fashion forward.

    I would hazard to guess that anyone shopping at a MW budget will be appalled by BB's prices. But if you wait for their semi-annual sale suits are usually 40-50% off which makes their 1818 line sub-$500.

    Better deals still if you can be patient and watch Ruelala.com - they will have either last seasons' or seconds. I've seen Golden Fleece suits for as low as $399 and 1818's for $250.

    Other options would be (a) local men's store - not a big box chain, (b) jcrew during a sale, or even (c) jos banks. Even though it gets a lot of flak I would rate jos banks miles ahead of mens warehouse.

    And yes, most of my recs were online. People need to get over their phobia of online shopping.
     
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  27. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Lifetime Donor SDN Chief Administrator 10+ Year Member

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    Much of the advice for men goes for women as well, although the latter have more leeway in terms of color.

    SUITS
    - wear one
    - trousers are fine; skirt suits are more traditional and may be seen more in conservative fields (e.g., surgery); a dress with matching jacket is fine
    - the suit must MATCH: fabric, style and color. This is not the occasion for those Tahari and Kasper suits you see at Macys with hot pink jackets and black shirts.
    - skirt length at the knee or slightly below *when sitting*; shorter is interpreted as slutty, longer as dowdy
    - when you bend over I should not see your thong, your blouse stays tucked in
    - tropical weight wool, wool gabardine; no cotton sateen, linen, lycra, knits
    - no "fashion" styles: short sleeves, peplums, cuffs, "cigarette" legs, ankle length, pleats
    - navy, charcoal are best; brown is considered casual. Black? Despite internet pundit "wisdom", its not considered appropriate for interviews. If that's what you've got and you're on a budget and can't afford another, then so be it - you will be one of the dozens of others who are wearing a black suit.

    BLOUSES
    - the soft pink and cream sound fine, but boring. If those are your best colors, then definitely wear them but many people look better with a little more bold color. This is where you can deviate from the boys.
    - I tend to avoid the button front blouse as I think they are not flattering on most and are too milquetoast; they are fine for working at The Gap or Mortons
    - I wish it went without saying but no cleavage on view, no visible bra straps, no tank tops, no sheer; keep your jacket on if sleeveless

    SHOES
    - flats and certainly Danskos are not professional despite what a thousand med students and residents think they're doing during clinic ;)
    - unfortunately, heels are considered appropriate for women for interview
    - the shoes in the link you provided are…<ahem> unfortunate
    - clearly, if you are physically unable to wear heels you do not want to appear disabled by wearing them; you'll need to find some lower heeled comfortable shoes. Cole Haan makes some Nike Air Soles that are comfortable; you've some time to work on that element.
    - color: cordovan if wearing navy, otherwise black. Should be darker than your suit.

    JEWELRY
    - one piercing per ear, lobes only
    - its ok to stray from the "pearl stud" stereotype
    - dangly earrings are to be avoided except the smallest ones
    - same stuff about watches for men applies here

    MISC
    - pantyhose are expected; nude are best, very sheer black during the winter are acceptable
    - don't bring a portfolio and a purse; one or the other
    - if you bring a purse it should not look like a beach tote: it must be leather or a good facsimile of, and not so large that I wonder WTF you've got in there and why you need to cart so much stuff with you
    - it should match your shoes
     
  28. operaman

    operaman 5+ Year Member

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    I've had the best luck at little locally owned fine men's clothing stores. Many of them have staff who are very knowledgable and cater to a range of budgets. Agree that some decent tailoring is probably the most important thing. The other little points are nice and probably no big deal, but an ill fitting suit looks less like an interview and more like a court date.
     
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  29. SouthernSurgeon

    SouthernSurgeon Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

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    This times a thousand. Drives me crazy.
     
  30. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Lifetime Donor SDN Chief Administrator 10+ Year Member

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    Agree with @southernIM ; JosABanks is much better than MW in that price category.

    Some of the 3rd years reading here would be well advised to get a sense of what JCrew, BB, etc. suits are like, what fits them and therefore feel confident buying online; by being prepared ahead of time you can be ready when the sales come up. I do most of my shopping on line because I stick to tried and true lines that I know fit me well.

    Finally, a common misconception is that outlets carry the same clothing as the flagship stores. They almost never do. Outlet clothing is generally made especially for the outlet, using cheaper fabrics and poor manufacturing. The labels are give aways as they will be different than the originals. So do not be fooled into thinking that the prices are as good as they seem; you can almost always get the real thing cheaper during good sales.
     
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  31. Apoplexy__

    Apoplexy__ Blood-and-thunder appearance Bronze Donor 2+ Year Member

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    I get way stressed out reading this stuff. It's so annoying that I have to use any amount of brain power on this nonsense.
     
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  32. Ismet

    Ismet PGY-fun SDN Administrator 5+ Year Member

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    Thanks for all the tips! And FWIW the shoes I linked are definitely unfortunate, just tried to make an example that even a kitten heel would be tough for me and that was the first small heel I found when I googled. :p There will certainly be shoe shopping in my future, I just need something with stability as that joint is still somewhat weak and painful on uneven ground even 2 years out.

    Soft pink is one of my better colors, but I'll take the tip and look for something a bit bolder too.
     
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  33. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Lifetime Donor SDN Chief Administrator 10+ Year Member

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    I'm sorry you're stressed out; you needn't be because the rules are easily learned.

    But its not "nonsense".
     
  34. Apoplexy__

    Apoplexy__ Blood-and-thunder appearance Bronze Donor 2+ Year Member

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    Hah, thanks. I guess it just irritates me that such superficial things as aesthetics truly make an impact in such a logical, objective, and professional career.

    I mean, I get that if you walk in with red slacks and a polka-dot bowtie that matches your crocks, it's insulting to the application site. But excuse me for wearing a black (not charcoal) suit. Good thing I got it tailored though -- God forbid the arm lengths are a half inch too short.

    Ugh.
     
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  35. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Lifetime Donor SDN Chief Administrator 10+ Year Member

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    I understand (and it can get better as I broke my ankle years ago and have no trouble with the highest heels). You may have to consider a wedge heel, something like this.

    If its a good color on you, then no need to look elsewhere. I mentioned it only because I find most who wear white/cream/pink do so because they think its "against the rules" to wear something bolder. The best choice is what is most flattering on you.
     
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  36. SouthernSurgeon

    SouthernSurgeon Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

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    See that's funny because I consider dressing appropriately an intrinsic part of being professional.
     
  37. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

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    I would have thought a shirt that has buttons that hold down a collar would be more formal rather than casual.
    [​IMG]
     
  38. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Lifetime Donor SDN Chief Administrator 10+ Year Member

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    I understand that and that not everyone is as interested as I (and perhaps @southernIM , @ridethecliche etc) are. More importantly, your patients care; something about looking successful means you are good at what you do and seen as more trustworthy etc.

    Please don't mistake our comments about black suits, pocket squares etc to mean that these things will affect our ROL. These are "icing on the cake" for those who are interested in stepping it up. Frankly, I love it when a man wears a lavender shirt with a charcoal suit; this is beyond the capabilities of most medical students and almost certainly those asking advice in these threads.

    Square toed slip on moccasins however *will* lower your ranking. ;)
     
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  39. lymphohystiocytosis

    lymphohystiocytosis MS4

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  40. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Lifetime Donor SDN Chief Administrator 10+ Year Member

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    Good Lord where did you get that picture from? Pleated pants, a woven belt, green tie with the lavender shirt? Ugh…its horrible enough to distract from his handsome face.

    Read this about button down shirts. You may apparently wear one in your coffin.
     
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  41. PL198

    PL198 2+ Year Member

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    ugh those are horrible in general IMO. it's like the short sleeve dress shirts. WTF? people wear those at my school and it's like "wtf are you thining?"
     
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  42. SouthernSurgeon

    SouthernSurgeon Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

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    I give this advice mostly because it is a perennial question here. I'm hardly a fashionista and the previous thread with watch porn was over my head.

    And no, it's not like I'm going to be interviewing someone and going - hmm, black suit, minus two points.

    But appearance does matter. It makes an impact on people. All I care is that you look like a professional adult. If you follow even half of the points I made ((esp re: tailoring) you will probably look professional, the rest are just minutiae.

    But we see a pretty good number of applicants who show up to residencies interviews looking like, for lack of a better word, slobs. Ill fitting suits with the tags still on, poorly coordinated outfits, suits that look like they borrowed them from their dad, etc. Those applicants do look bad and I'm sure it negatively impacts the interviewers' perceptions of them.
     
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  43. Apoplexy__

    Apoplexy__ Blood-and-thunder appearance Bronze Donor 2+ Year Member

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    I 100% agree. I think it's the minutiae that's getting my jimmies all rustled over here.
     
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  44. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Lifetime Donor SDN Chief Administrator 10+ Year Member

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    I'd argue that's not whats needed. A fashionista (wearing a Thom Browne suit) is going to be as out of place as the applicant in the prep school blazer, pleated khakis and scuffed shoes.
     
  45. operaman

    operaman 5+ Year Member

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    It varies. You see business leaders and politicians mix the ocbd with a nice suit, but traditionally it is considered less formal. In fact, my guess is the politicians wear them precisely because they appear a little less formal. I've worn them with suits all the time, though not for more formal occasions like a major interview.
     
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  46. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

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    I didn't say the entire outfit was appropriate. Fine here is another one that is more professional.

    [​IMG]
     
  47. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Lifetime Donor SDN Chief Administrator 10+ Year Member

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    I was just teasing you…no need to get your jimmies rustled like @kirbymiester .
     
  48. SouthernSurgeon

    SouthernSurgeon Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

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    I just know what they taught me in Cotillion. ;)

    Button down collar = less formal.

    Appropriate for wearing to the country club with a sport coat.

    Not appropriate for a suit and a job interview.
     
    Winged Scapula likes this.
  49. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

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    I think what turns applicants is off is that medicine which cloaks itself in being above money - values things that are about...wait for it...money. It's unadulterated materialism.
     
  50. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

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    Oh, LOL! Poe's law in action. Thought you were being completely serious. I just don't get how 2 buttons that hold down a collar onto the shirt so you can't see the underside of the tie is "less formal".
     
  51. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

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    Was that before or after a round of golf at the whites only country club?
     

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