:::: MENU ::::

Well Dang!


Okay, so the general consensus on this post is that my job lead #2 (the “not-an-interview” lead) is basically a dead-end. At least at this moment in time. I do agree with those who have commented that this still presents a great networking opportunity and could potentially prove fruitful at some future time of job acquisition and/or relocation. But right now, for this current hiring season….the lead is dead.

So we’re back down to 1 viable job lead. Not to put all my eggs in one basket (and I’m still looking for other opportunities to pop up, but there’s nothing yet), but I am really hoping this job lead pans out. I’ve been borderline-obsessing over it. Turning over different talking points in my head again and again. Hunting for the perfect interview suit. I hate shopping, and yet I’ve spent several hours in the past few days hitting various consignment shops, department stores, etc., and still nothing perfect yet. Men’s sections have huge variety in their suits, but women’s are much harder to find. They’re typically shoved in a tiny little corner in a department store with approximately 3 different options (black, pin-stripe, and something colorful like pink or teal). Or, I’ve also found that some places have tons of separates (this is true of J.C. Penny & Kohls), but literally do not have a single full suit-set (coat & pants) for a lady. You can mix and match, but I really want an actual matching set for my interview….not a mix & match deal. Suggestions on this?? I want to find a really high quality suit. But I want to spend a reasonable amount…not $1,000. Is this possible? Am I being unrealistic?? Sigh.

So, yeah. Like I said…..obsessing over this.

I still have two full weeks to prepare, but the sooner I’m ready (with talks complete & suit ready to go), the better I’ll feel. Or maybe not. Maybe I’ll keep obsessing over everything. But I like to think that it will make me feel more comfortable.

So, yeah. All my eggs? Get in that 1 little basket! And you better not break!



  • Reply Joanna |

    When I wore suits on a daily basis the best shop I found was Ann Taylor – the outlet store especially. I think we’re about the same age and I found those to be mature enough but not too mature, and they carried petite, if that’s a concern. It’s been a few years since I’ve worn suits to work but I bet they still carry them! Good luck!

    • Reply Ashley |

      Ugh!! That was the #1 place I wanted to go, but apparently our Ann Taylor store in Tucson has recently closed!?! Welp! It’s still listed on the Ann Taylor website as being located in a certain mall, but I’ve been to the mall TWICE now, and it’s definitely NOT there (and not listed in their directory either). Boo!!!

      • Reply Joanna |

        Maybe it’s worth a trip up to the Casa Grande outlets, or even the Phoenix area? Can you tell I grew up in Tucson? 🙂
        I know it’s probably more difficult with little ones but the drive would be worth it if you found awesome suits at a great price. Especially with the holiday coming up, I bet stores will have tons of sales!

  • Reply Walnut |

    I also purchased my last interview suit at Ann Taylor. If you have outlets near you, I purchased an awesome dress/jacket at Saks Off 5th. Banana Republic has suiting collections and runs frequent sales. Worst case scenario, order from Nordstrom and return what doesn’t work. If there’s a Nordstrom Rack in the area, you can give that a go as well.

    Suits are extremely challenging. I have a four day meeting with professional dress required in three weeks and I am probably lacking a bit. I’ll let you know if I find any good deals!

    • Reply Ashley |

      I’ve hit Off 5th and Nordstrom Rack and both were decidedly lacking. Rack didn’t even have a single full suit-set and Off 5th had exactly 3 suits (different sizes of the same style), but they were skirt-suits and I want a pants-suit for the interview.
      I’ll have to check out Banana.

  • Reply Kim |

    I agree Ann Taylor. Have you thought of going the route of a dress? I often think women in a well fitting dress are more memorable.

    • Reply Ashley |

      You think? I’m basing this solely on things I’ve read (not on personal experience), but I’ve read that its better for women to downplay sexuality in any way possible – pants, not skirt/dress, and a little more conservative rather than fitted/accentuating assets. Because of that I’ve really been on the lookout for pants suits specifically (I’ll admit it has been easier to find skirt suits, so if I need to go that route, I’m confident I can find something)

  • Reply TPol |

    I think, skirt suits should be fine as long as the skirt is not too short and sensible professional looking pumps are worn under it. You may also get away with flat shoes, with opaque tights under a skirt. I love my wingtips even though they are a bit too masculine for some.

    Do you have any Dress Barn stores around you? Whenever I am in the US, I check them out all the time. Last time I bought a very good quality pant suit for less than USD 150.

    • Reply Ashley |

      *Facepalm* I didn’t even think about Dress Barn, and yes we have one. I just checked out the website and it looks like they do have several suits (pant suits & skirt suits), so I’ll be sure to hit them up – all reasonable prices, too! Looks like you can get a full suit for $80 and right now there’s a sale for $20 off a purchase of $75 or more, so that’d really be only $60!!! Adding Dress Barn to my list!!!!

      • Reply Kristen |

        There is a dress barn coupon in our entertainment book (central CA) – do you know any one who has one you can use? If you find one there…

  • Reply Angie |

    Just FYI, you may want to get the suit ASAP. I find that even with mid-priced places like Banana and Ann Taylor, I need minor tailoring on the pant hems and sometimes the arm length. It really makes the look better when you’re not worried about the clothes being too long or too short.

  • Reply Holly |

    Perhaps try The Limited if there’s one in your area. They are a little pricier than I normally try to pay but if you sign up for their email they frequently have 50-60% off deals.

  • Reply debtor |

    I second “the limited” they have a great sale going on right now. Also look online at bloomingdales, their stuff is pretty great when it is on sale. and finally, check out the calvin klein outlet if you have one near you

  • Reply Mrs. H |

    Agree on The Limited and Banana Republic. Also, I know it’s a little spendier, but J.Crew has some great suit pieces. You might find a good sale, and they will be great quality. You’ll find much better selection online for any of these stores. You can always order online and return what doesn’t work. Good luck!

  • Reply MW |

    Macy’s usually has a ton of great suits for less than $100, and they often have coupons floating around. Take the money you save and get the suit tailored. You’ll look like a million bucks!

  • Reply Heidi |

    Try the Limited. Just looking online they have tons of options and everything is buy one get one 50%.

  • Reply Marie |

    I think the idea of a matching suit is incredibly outdated. You’ll come across stale and unmemorable.
    You will stand out more as a modern, confident career woman if you mix pieces and show personality. Throw in a print underneath a jacket or a piece of statement jewellery. A matching pantsuit screams ‘conservative traditionalist’. Interview rules relating to matching suits and pants-only for women (since when is a knee length skirt too “sexual”?? Seems as though the audience needs to get THEIR head out of the gutter…) are from the Stone Age.
    In the field of academia, original thought and innovation are paramount. I feel your interview should reflect those values.

  • Reply Emily N. |

    I got a very nice interview suit set (jacket, skirt, pants) at J. Crew a couple years ago. I can’t remember exactly what I paid, but between a sale and opening a store card it was significantly below retail. Unfortunately I gained about 30 pounds before I ever had a chance to wear it 🙁

  • Reply OM |

    Express actually has good reasonably priced suits. Just don’t be afraid to go up in pant sizing as they tend to have their fits a bit more tight than is really work appropriate.

  • Reply Meghan |

    Macy’s has very nice Calvin Klein suits as Every Day Values in grey or black. The grey is nice.

  • Reply cad |

    go with jcrew- they have non-black suits, i’ve bought 2 of them that fit beautifully for each of my graduate school interview processes- and you’ll spend max $300

  • Reply Mary |

    I’ve always liked Nordstrom for most of my suits. I wore mostly skirt suits when I was in the Corporate world and had some pant suits for travel. I think it’s important to invest in a quality suit and there are so many different types of pant suits/suits that can look modern, yet classy. You can add different tops/scarves or shoes to change the looks but for interviews, I’ve always been a bit of a traditionalist. You could always go to Nordstrom and have a personal shopper pull together some suits for you. They tend to have a lot of options and at different price points. They also have free basic alterations. Good luck.

  • Reply KLM |

    Jcrew sales, here as well. I think it is fine to go with a traditional suit in navy/charcoal/black, and do a more interesting shell underneath. Now if I could just lose my baby weight, I could wear them again….

    • Reply Ashley |

      I hear you on that! If I didn’t have the extra baby weight I wouldn’t have this issue since I already have a perfectly good interview suit (just about 3 sizes too small) : (

  • Reply AT |

    The YouLookFab blog editor is always recommending suiting from Express, a couple variations on pants styles, jackets, skirts, etc. Things you can wear as separates later.

    Agree that a matching suit is probably overkill unless you are a b-school or law school faculty candidate.

So, what do you think ?