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Dress code for articling interviews


QueensDenning
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QueensDenning
  • Law Student

I also assume a full suit is preferable to a sports jacket with dress pants and a tie? I got some custom tailored sports jackets recently that IMO look and fit slightly better than any of my suits. Would appreciate some thoughts on this. 

 

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Wearing a tie will not ever cause you to not get the job. 
 

Not wearing a tie very well may. 
 

If interviewing at big firms, I recommend wearing black shoes rather than brown for the same reason (no brown in town). I don’t think anyone cares about that “rule” in Canada, but I’d rather not bet an interview on being right that no body cares.

6 minutes ago, QueensDenning said:

I also assume a full suit is preferable to a sports jacket with dress pants and a tie? I got some custom tailored sports jackets recently that IMO look and fit slightly better than any of my suits. Would appreciate some thoughts on this. 

 

Full suit. 
 

This assumes you are interviewing at a downtown/downtown adjacent firm. A solo crim firm in a small town may be different, but all the same, wearing a full suit won’t sewer your interview.

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In the last 10 years, pretty much the only time I wore a tie was arbitration/tribunal appearances, and job interviews. It's one of the few times left where a tie is expected dress code.

I don't think a suit vs a nice sport jacket makes a difference, and black vs brown shoes definitely doesn't. Brown shoes often look better.

Edited by Jaggers
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realpseudonym
  • Lawyer
28 minutes ago, QueensDenning said:

I also assume a full suit is preferable to a sports jacket with dress pants and a tie? I got some custom tailored sports jackets recently that IMO look and fit slightly better than any of my suits. Would appreciate some thoughts on this. 

As long as the jacket doesn't clash with the pants, it sounds fine to me.

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10 minutes ago, Jaggers said:

I don't think a suit vs a nice sport jacket makes a difference, and black vs brown shoes definitely doesn't. Brown shoes often look better.

Madam Justice Southin would spank you for writing this.

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QueensDenning
  • Law Student
37 minutes ago, Jaggers said:

In the last 10 years, pretty much the only time I wore a tie was arbitration/tribunal appearances, and job interviews. It's one of the few times left where a tie is expected dress code.

I don't think a suit vs a nice sport jacket makes a difference, and black vs brown shoes definitely doesn't. Brown shoes often look better.

Yeah, this is sort of my reason for the question - I don't think I've seen anyone at my summer firm ever use a tie aside from zoom court appearances - but noted and will be wearing a tie.  

I also think brown shoes look a lot better, especially with a blue/grey suit. 

If anyone else is willing to humour me - if going for a blue sports jacket over a suit, what would you recommend for pants (keeping in mind I will be interviewing exclusively with prominent downtown Toronto firms)? I assume nice, black dress pants? Or would upscale dressy-khaki's also be appropriate? Something like this https://bananarepublic.gapcanada.ca/browse/product.do?pid=809143003&vid=1&tid=bcpl000023&kwid=1&ap=7&gclid=CjwKCAjw3K2XBhAzEiwAmmgrAptSGv3egl5TSBqIGO3efifOV2xhfk9a5cLq9Giqe9K6P-u2N5vZrBoCgpIQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds#pdp-page-content 

 

 

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QueensDenning
  • Law Student
3 minutes ago, Cool_name said:

Yes, wear this exact outfit, including the silk scarf. 
 

 

or this? https://www.harryrosen.com/en/product/tiger-of-sweden-tense-viscose-dress-pants-20086479061 

More asking about colour clashing, because if it's not clear I'm not great with style and my girlfriend who I usually defer these questions to doesn't know much about mens formal wear. 

No need to be a dick. 

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A suit is preferable to a sports jacket and trousers, because the latter is not quite standard, formal, conservative business dress. 

If you must wear a sports jacket, don't wear khakis. They are too casual for an interview. Ivory pants would be eccentric* - I've never seen them downtown. Instead, I would recommend medium grey dress trousers (good with blue jacket), or charcoal (OK but not ideal). That can be nearly as conservative. Don't wear black anything, except shoes/belts and maybe part of a tie pattern. Try to get wool - I note those ivory ones are viscose. 

Do wear a tie.

I don't think "no brown in town" applies in any Canadian city. But dark brown is more formal than light. 

 

*Eccentric is bad in a job interview, not necessarily life in general of course!

Edited by Psmith
Black shoes/belts are fine, of course
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10 minutes ago, Psmith said:

*Eccentric is bad in a job interview, not necessarily life in general of course!

Unless it's for a criminal defence position.

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Disbarred
  • Law Student
21 minutes ago, Psmith said:

A suit is preferable to a sports jacket and trousers, because the latter is not quite standard, formal, conservative business dress. 

If you must wear a sports jacket, don't wear khakis. They are too casual for an interview. Ivory pants would be eccentric* - I've never seen them downtown. Instead, I would recommend medium grey dress trousers (good with blue jacket), or charcoal (OK but not ideal). That can be nearly as conservative. Don't wear black anything, except maybe as part of a tie pattern. Try to get wool - I note those ivory ones are viscose. 

Do wear a tie.

I don't think "no brown in town" applies in any Canadian city. But dark brown is more formal than light. 

 

*Eccentric is bad in a job interview, not necessarily life in general of course!

Should we not be wearing a black tie?

I’ve worn a skinny all black tie with a white shirt with both grey and navy suits in the past because I thought it looked cleaner than any of my coloured ties and I have no fashion sense

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TobyFlenderson
  • Articling Student

Not in Toronto but black ties are my go to choice and nobody’s ever given me a hard time. I wore a black tie in my articling interviews (got a job out of it) and I wear a black tie to work and no one has said anything.

 

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Lawstudents20202020
  • Lawyer

Business formal ties should always be one of either solid colour, striped or foulard. I'm personally a big fan of foulards because I think they had some character while still fitting into a formal setting. You really can't go wrong with a solid black tie. 

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Fruitdealer
  • Lawyer

When in doubt, wear the more standard/formal clothes. This applies for interviews, first days, etc, but especially interviews.

I would go full suit, pants, shirt, tie. Shoes black or brown are both fine - I don't think many people have an opinion on that. I also think any standard suit colour is ok and it doesn't have to be black. I.e., Black/charcoal/grey/blue are all acceptable - don't wear a white or pink suit or something like that. Same with ties, any reasonable colour is ok, no weird patterns or designs.

Personally, I love 3 piece suits and would give you a +0.1% for wearing one, but that's just personal. Haven't even worn a suit for work in forever.

 

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I would personally find it a little weird that someone would wear either a full black tie, or a three piece suit. But I don't think it would affect my judgement of qualifications.

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Lawstudents20202020
  • Lawyer
34 minutes ago, QueensDenning said:

I had to google this term, but those look very nice. 

It's a fun word to throw around because it makes you sound like you know something about fashion. 

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2 hours ago, Disbarred said:

Should we not be wearing a black tie?

I’ve worn a skinny all black tie with a white shirt with both grey and navy suits in the past because I thought it looked cleaner than any of my coloured ties and I have no fashion sense

A plain black tie without a pattern or texture is "traditionally" not business wear. I only wear mine at funerals. I doubt it makes a difference to interviewers in 2022, but a few might think it looks odd. 

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Lawguy193
  • Law Student

Bumping Psmith’s post. I’d take it further and say sports jacket and pants are a big no. Wear the full suit. Wear the tie.

Do not try to go against a dress code norm which has been prevalent through all professional services interview processes. Once you have the job it’s a different story.

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Rashabon
  • Lawyer

You're interviewing to be a lawyer so it's a good time to remember that a large part of law is dealing with proper allocations and mitigations of risk. Option A is safe in all scenarios and Option B may be safe in most scenarios. The obvious choice is to go with Option A and avoid unnecessary risk. I don't think the majority of people care, I certainly don't pay attention to what candidates are wearing outside noticing they are dressed up instead of looking like a slob, but for the minority that do, they do actually care. In practice people are a lot more relaxed these days. But you need to demonstrate you can read the room and prepare accordingly.

I had a client come in for a meeting on Tuesday for the first time. I wore a suit and tie because at worst I come across as formal until I open my mouth. Despite currently working in basketball shorts and a t-shirt. There's no point playing around at the interview stage for zero gain.

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