Column: Fashion Forward
Keeping It Classy For Internship Fair
Published: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 17, 2013 01:01
It’s a new year, and that can only mean one thing: resolutions—goals we set for ourselves to achieve the best versions of us. They usually revolve around our bodies (eating healthier, exercising more, etc.), but what about what we put on our bodies? After all, shouldn’t the frame match the picture? Sure, that’s easier said than done, especially when one has to worry about upcoming essays and exams during the semester, yet a little effort goes a long way.
College is the gateway between high school and the real world—a place where the majority of Boston College students will eventually occupy highly ranked and recognized positions (sooner or later), so why wait? It’s not a good idea to get comfortable with sweats (“Under Armour is considered business attire”—said no one ever) however convenient they might be when rushing out the door for that class in Carney.
With the Internship Fair just around the corner, it’s the ideal time to start considering how what you wear shows how much you care. Of course, your resume is more important than your raiment, but if you show up looking like you’ve just left the gym, it is unlikely that potential employers will get past your ensemble and on to your eligibility. Smiles and handshakes matter, and so does how you present yourself, so avoid sluggish and go for sharp.
The convenient thing about business wear is that it’s classic, so it’s easy. A suit (preferably black, navy, or gray), white dress shirt and solid tie will do. That’s the thing about elegance—it’s simple. But because the fair takes place in the morning, afternoon, and early evening over the course of two days it gives you room to play around with your attire. For those looking to spice things up a bit, there are a few options that can be taken into account. Those who are attending in the morning/midday/afternoon can opt for plaid, a pattern seen trending on the runways in the most recent Milan Fashion Week. The collections of John Varvatos, Versace, Jil Sander, and Moncler Gamme Bleu all featured different kinds of the pattern—so don’t hesitate to incorporate it into your ensemble. Pairing a plaid tie with a solid jacket or vice versa can allow you to stand out, yet look appropriate for the occasion. It doesn’t have to be a plaid suit (this has only been pulled off by the greats e.g. Steve McQueen)—pairing a patterned jacket with solid pants works just fine. If the companies you’re applying to approach business less formally than others, this is definitely an option. Other items seen trending on the runways (Dsquared2, Gucci, Bottega Veneta) were double-breasted jackets, which could definitely make you memorable. If you are not keen on taking risks, the initially mentioned suit, white dress shirt and tie combo is a safe, yet timeless and classic choice. One way of taking this getup to the next level is by adding a tie clip and/or cufflinks. Just make sure that, if you’re going to wear both, whatever color they are (gold, silver, etc.), they should match.
Speaking of things that should match, so should your shoes and belt. Whether black or brown, make sure that they both are the same color, or at least similar tones. Whatever your choice, the important thing is that they are more formal than casual—a suit and Sperrys does not work (not on this planet, anyway). A good thing to remember is that when it comes to menswear, the rule—or, at least, the guideline—is that after 6 p.m. it is strictly black shoes, for the sake of formality, which in turn means a black belt.
Like your belt and shoes, your socks should match your pants. For example gray pants with gray socks. The only forbidden color is white—particularly white gym socks. It’s an atrocity, but I’ve seen people wear them with a suit. When it comes to formalwear, wearing white socks is worse than no socks, a look the Milanese sport well in warmer weather (not the current state of affairs, but something to keep in mind come spring).
Make sure that your jacket or suit is as best fitted as possible: that it hugs your shoulders; that your sleeves end at your wrists, and the cuff of your pants at the top of your shoes. Fit is fundamental. Too big is just as bad as too small. Most drycleaners offer tailoring services, so if you must, pay them a quick visit.
Whatever you wear come the fair, do it with confidence. It can take a suit from a Zara to a Zegna, and a man from an applicant to an associate. If doubtful, go for classic—nothing makes us men feel more self-assured than a well-tailored suit.