Palestine Magazine January 2019 - Page 23

Gentlemen, MEN’S FASHION button that blazer and lose the Tee for life’s big moments H iring is the worst part of my job. No matter how much I screen candidates, selecting one is a crapshoot. And for a real downer, nothing beats having to tell applicants they didn’t get the job, especially if they really needed or wanted it. Conducting job interviews can also be a grind. For me, they were eye- opening. For the three openings we’ve had in my 18 months here – all white-collar jobs – I interviewed five men and four women. Of the five male candidates, only one – Lee Watkins from Memphis – wore a suit. The rest wore T-shirts or polo shirts, usually with jeans. Coming from Detroit, where practically every man tries to look sharp, I didn’t expect guys to show up for a job interview, looking like they had just changed their oil. Maybe I’m old school. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, one of the world’s richest men, wears T-shirts (costing probably $900 each) in most public appearances. But even Zuckerberg rocked a suit when he testified before Congress. Jeff Gerritt Showing respect Wearing a suit or sports jacket for an important occasion shows re- spect, for yourself and others. If you don’t dress for a job interview, I don’t know where you would, other than your own funeral. This isn’t about money or snobbery. Detroit is one of the nation’s poorest cities: If you want to see poverty, take a ride on the east side. Even so, on Sunday mornings, in the hundreds of churches that dot Detroit, you’d be hard pressed to find a man without a suit, or some- thing sartorially similar. The Detroit Free Press, where I worked for nearly 20 years, sponsored high school apprentices in summer. Apprentices came to interviews wearing a shirt and tie. Maybe they got that white shirt and tie at Goodwill, but it was starched, pressed, and clean. Those kids showed pride and respect. Blazer versatile choice Every man should have one dress outfit for life’s big moments, including funerals, job inter- inter views, weddings, and your daughter’s high school graduation. If you have just one, a navy blazer makes sense. It’s not the freshest option, but it’s versatile and classic. Dress it up with dress slacks, or dress it down with khakis or jeans – even white jeans in summer. Wear it with a shirt and tie, an open-necked shirt, or contrasting polo shirt, sweater, or T-shirt. If it fits, it looks good. If you’re feeling fly, stuff a linen or silk pocket square in the breast pocket. New blazers run from $60 to $600 – more if you go with high-end designers like Tom Courtesy photos Ford. On sale or in discount stores, a decent blazer can be had for $150 or less. Get one in year-round worsted wool for maximum use. Navy blazers come single- or double breasted, with center or side vents, and brass or plain buttons. No wrong choice here, but single- breasted blazers are more versatile, plain buttons more contemporary. Above all, make sure the coat fits. A $1,500 suit that doesn’t fit looks like something the cat dragged in. A cheap can still look good if it fits. Get it tailored. Sleeves should break at the wrist, not hang to your knuckles. You should be able to comfortably button the coat, but avoid oversized blazers. After the blazer is altered, take if for a test drive and enjoy the compliments you’ll get. In time, you may even want to wear it more often, experimenting with combinations of pants, shirts, and accessories. Clothes do not make the man. But in important moments like a job interview, they can make a difference. JANUARY 2019 23