School clothes

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while — I’ve been enjoying my unemployment! In school news, I now have a student line of credit for emergencies, and a new pair of pants.

Trying to come up with a b-school wardrobe has been more work than I expected, half because of Ottawa’s dearth of menswear stores and half because I have only a very rough idea of expectations. Some schools demand smart business casual and up from students, who they feel are representing the top tier of the b-school to the undergrads and visitors; others only recommend it.

I realized today that for the next year I am going to be predominantly selling: selling ideas to classmates and professors, selling my abilities and judgment to my group, selling myself to potential employers. And one of the rules of business dress is that the person doing the selling dresses smarter than the person being sold to.

So based on that I suspect that as long as I stay within business casual I probably don’t need to worry about overdoing it.

I’ll get to take advantage of the perk of men’s business wear, at least.: people don’t notice when you wear the same pants (or even suit) twice a week, providing your shirt (and tie, in the case of a suit) differ, provided the pants (or suit) are solids. So basics it is, then.

I’m looking forward to having something to dress to, though; the problem at Mitel was that I couldn’t justify even business casual given that coworkers tended towards vendor polos and jeans. Wearing a dress shirt and wool trousers had me dressing like senior IT management which just felt awkward. At school I know I’ll be underdressing the faculty provided I don’t wear a suit and tie to class.

(I will need a suit or two, though, for presentations and events and interviews and so on. First one will probably be H&M or Zara, since I need it for early September; second one I might get through my father, although I’m also tempted to try out Thick as Thieves, a made-to-measure line launched by a StyleForum regular.)

3 responses to “School clothes”

  1. Hlghlaghlgh. I always, always get that wrong. Once something’s flagged as an exception in my brain it’s an exception FOREVER. Thanks!