11) A few misc. tips
* Do not wear a button-collar shirt. This is a strictly casual look.
* Buttons pt. 1: There is no such thing as a single-button jacket. There is no such thing as a 4-button jacket (unless you are over 7-feet tall). These cannot exist in a world that is good, just, and fashionable. Two buttons is conservative. Three buttons is a bit more modern. A 1-button jacket is the equivalent of a 2-door sedan. A 4-button jacket is the equivalent of a 4-dour coupe. Let us not speak of them.
* Buttons pt. 2: The middle button of a 3-button suit (or, on a two button, the top) button is always buttoned. Always. The only exception is when you are sitting down. Then, you UNBUTTON your jacket.
* Buttons pt. 3: On a three-button, you can (and many men, especially in the US, do chose this) button the top button as well. Technically - as in England 19th century technically - this is improper. However, now adays, it is acceptable. (So too is only the middle button being buttoned, of course).
* Buttons pt. 4: If you button the bottom button of a suit jacket, please remove the suit jacket entirely. Better yet, remove the entire suit. Stand naked in the cold night air and think upon the folly that lead you to this error. You no longer deserve to wear a suit.
* People go back and forth on whether pinstripes are acceptable in a suit. What I think everyone (who is in the know) would agree upon is that, if you are going to do a pin, make sure it is a LIGHT (meaning intensity, not color) pinstripe. You do not want to look like you're wearing a prison outfit. [Personally, I'm all for a pin, particularly if it is in a complementary, muted color)
* Color coordination is extremely important (and would take up another huge post, so I'm not going to do it here). A good starting place for determining color-match with suiting can be found by searching "Ask Andy Fashion Forum" on google. It's a great website. The members are a bit ... too sartorial / stuck in the mud for my taste. But they also have a ton of information and a great color wheel chart.
* Either ditch the cologne entirely or restrict yourself to 1 (one) single spray of a pleasing fragrance. Ask women for advice on this if you can.
* Do not wear a backpack to a meeting, interview, luncheon, gathering, etc. I'm not kiding - this happens. A mess. bag is a good compromise. Portfolio works great. Unless you want to be labelled 'Mr. Tool' do not use a briefcase as a summer associate.
* Hopefully this isn't news to anyone, but do not wear white socks. A fun 'extra' can be to throw in a pair of colorful socks. It's interesting without being overly bold.
* Your shirt should fit you such that you aren't swallowed in a billowy cloud of material. Depending on who you ask, one-two finger spaces between a closed collar and the most prominent point in your neck is the rule of thumb (or finger as it were).
* A well-tailored shirt/suit combo will have the shirt peek slightly beyond the length of the suit arm. Not critical, but, if this is happening for you, it means you've done things well. (And hopefully listened to my advice and had your suit tailored)!
* Often, when people have their first pair of suit pants tailored, they'll have a sense that the length is too short. Unlikely. A proper-length pant should never descend below the top of the heel on your shoe. When you are standing perfectly straight, it should be (depending on what fashion wave you are following) anywhere between 1/4 and 3/4 down the length of your back-shoe surface. The front of the pant should show a slight
* Wear a decent watch. If you don't have a decent watch, better to go without than to put on your seiko / gi joe / timex. It doesn't have to be a patek philippe guys. Simple things like a polished metal band watch will do wonders.
* Keep the jewelry to an absolute minimum. No chains. No 'beach' bracelets. No 'men necklaces'. No earrings. A watch. Maybe maybe maybe a nice pair of cufflinks. And that's it.
* ties: I don't want to get too far into this, as you'll find a lot of ink is spilled on this issue. Don't wear a bow tie. Don't wear no tie. Don't wear a knit tie or a 'too-cool-for-school' ultra-thin tie, at least if it's an interview or client meeting. (Whether they'll be acceptable once you are working at a firm will depend on individual culture). Don't wear a tie that says 'I'm an a-hole' or 'I never dressed myself before' e.g. looney toons, mickey mouse, star wars, etc. I'm not kidding - they've all walked into the door. Personally, I'm a big fan of Ferragamo. They're a bit expensive, but they are excellent quality and intersting designs and prints. (Just don't buy anything too wacky or out there for the interview - elephants are awesome when you're a litigating partner but might be looked on with slightly less approval when you're a 24-year-old potential hire). If in doubt? Complementary color, solid pattern, and you're good.
* Of course, be clean shaven. Shower. Keep your hair trim. Nails clean. Wear deodorant. Wipe your nose. Don't chew gum. Don't hcack to clear your throat. Avoid excessive yawning. These are common sense things that no 25-year-old should have to be told. Guess how many 25-year-olds will be told this in the upcoming interview season? too many.
* A good suit should be dry-cleaned as little as possible. Having it steamed once in a while is great to get wrinkles out (a very hot shower will work in a pinch if you can't get to a dry cleaner) But actual dry cleaning? Ideally, no more than once or twice a year. This may be unrealistic if you only have a few suits - don't wear them to the point of being disgusting. But, certainly, try to minimize the number of trips to the dry cleaners. It distorts the fabric and ages the garment.
* My final piece of advice: attitude matters TREMENDOUSLY when you are dressing for these environments. Particularly as you get used to the idea of constantly (or even more than occasionally) wearing a suit to work / party / interview / gather. If you project confidence and comfort in your clothing - that it is a natural extension of who you are rather than a torture-filled venture in not-wearing-my-oh-so-comfortable jeans for the day - it will reflect on you in a great way.
Hope this helps. Yes, I know - I've become a sellout. But not really. Don't look at having to dress formally as a chore or a burden. Look at it as an opportunity to learn a new (nonverbal) language of skill, power, and confidence. It is a threshold test - it will get you into many many doors. Once in, your character, quality, and effort will matter more than anything else. But, in a client-based business, they don't let you in if you don't have the 'dress' pass.
Especially if you are wearing square-toed shoes!