Finding a Suit for Less

“I need a suit, but they are PRICEY!”

While it’s true that you need a suit for your upcoming interview, keep in mind that the interviewer won’t know where you got it. If the price tags on the sales rack at Crossroads Mall make you want to lose your lunch, consider these alternative ways to find a suit in Kalamazoo.

Check out local second-hand stores.

Besides saving money you might just feel eco-savvy as you re-use items others no longer wear — minimizing your impact on the environment and saving resources all around. A quick run through the dryer with a fabric softener sheet or a cycle at the cleaner’s will refresh a used garment, so you look and feel like a confident candidate.
Here are some local places to check for used professional clothing (if you know of more, send them to Rachel Wood):

  • 360 Degrees: 4618 West Main, 269.276.0288 Goodwill (3 Locations): 4408 Stadium; 411 W. Milham; 420 E. Alcott Salvation Army: 5117 Portage Road, 888.868.9305
  • Second Impressions: 3750 S. Westnedge, 269.345.7757
  • Clothes Mentor (Women’s only): 649 Romence Road, 269.459.8490
  • Style Encore (Women’s only): 6410 S. Westnedge, 269.459.6655

Borrow a suit from a friend or acquaintance.

Another option is to ask a similarly-sized friend or acquaintance to lend you a suit for the interview. Take care to ensure that the borrowed suit fits you as well as possible.

Tips for dressing professionally:

  • Wear a business suit in dark colors. A suit includes a jacket and pants/skirt made together (not a blazer and pants).
  • Shirt/tie should be kept modest.
  • Skirt should have a hemline close to the knee.
  • Wear dark, freshly-shined shoes that are comfortable with moderate heels.
  • Wear nylons (without patterns) with a skirt, dark socks that cover calves with pants.
  • Wear only minimal jewelry.
  • Have well-manicured nails, with any polish limited to none or clear.
  • If you wear make-up, it should be applied lightly.
  • Your hair should be out of your eyes or pulled back, with facial hair clean neatly kept or shaven.
  • Any perfume or cologne should be used only sparingly, or not at all.