There reaches a time in every 4th year medical student's life when they must set out on their own, like a little birdie flying from the nest. I am that little birdie, because it's INTERVIEW SEASON!! Tweet, tweet.
Tomorrow I have my first interview, in my home turf at Stanford. What is the first thing a gal should have before she goes on interviews? That's right....a business suit. That professional uniform that you will ONLY wear when you go on interviews. Kind of like a wedding dress, you wear it once, maybe two or three times if you fail the first time. But you must spend $$ on it or else people will think you're a poor, in debt medical student whose income is negative $80,000 a year. Oh, wait...
No, instead, you must portray yourself as a classy, conservative, sophisticated, doctorly woman who will be an asset to their institution. You and everybody else will be wearing identical black business suits with white shirts. You cannot stand out, but some how, you have to stand out.
The first thing I did was pull out the suit I wore on my medical school interviews, but it was sooooo 2008. Black and blue pinstripes, what was I thinking! Ok, it wasn't really that bad, but I decided I needed a new suit anyway. You know what this means...an excuse to go shopping. Yay! I realized that I'd hardly gone shopping at all since starting my clinical rotations 1.5 years ago. I must be in shopping withdrawal. After all, shopping is that crack of a hobby that falls into the same category for every woman as chocolate, wine, Ryan Gosling, and Pinterest. Onward, to the mall!
1. First, I went to Express. They have affordable business suits there for the young professional, right? Their suits weren't bad, especially if you were interviewing at a clothing store or media company or something sort of trendy. But we doctors to be are supposed to look smart and boring. Our fashion cannot speak louder than we do. We must tread over the hospitals in our Dansko clogs and scrubs and hair that we don't have time to style so we just throw it up in ponytail. We are not supposed to look too trendy or our patients might think we do something other than work in a hospital. This means only black, gray, tan, or navy blue suits. I decided I wanted a gray suit, just to be a smidge different from the black suit and still fall within the arbitrary rules. I liked this suit below, but in medicine, it would be an outcry to wear a black lapel with a gray suit! Oh my!
2. The next stop was the Limited. This is where I went to buy my medical school interview suit. The suits were OK. The first thing I noticed was they didn't have all the pieces in all the sizes. I need a long pant size, and they only had a few jackets that matched long pants. Minus 1 point. When I tried the suits on, I realized that the material looked pretty cheap and the buttons looked to be falling off. They always seem to have a deal going on here too, so the suits actually are pretty cheap.
3. Next stop: Nordstrom. When I think about the well-dressed, female attendings I've had, I think of Nordstrom, especially since there is a Nordstrom literally next door to Stanford hospital where they all hang out. Nordstrom has really nice clothes that are well made and fit the "doctor" criteria. I kind of liked this Hugo Boss suit. The only problem: the entire suit costs about $1000. It also looks a little mature in my opinion for someone who is 27, even a soon to be doctor.
4. Ann Taylor
I'll be honest. I had never been to Ann Taylor before this week, except to buy my mother in law a Christmas present. But I walked in, put on their gray suit, and thought to myself, YES! Say YES to the suit! This is the one! Total cost: $293, which isn't cheap for a student, but the suit doesn't look cheap. It also doesn't look too trendy or too frumpy or too mature.
Ann Taylor Verdict: Give this store a shot first
*Disclaimer: I'm pretending like I know something about fashion, while I actually know nothing. After all, future doctors aren't allowed to know fashion. I'm sure I'm missing lots of potential stores where you can buy nice, reasonably priced suits, so please take my opinions with a grain or salt. Any recommendations recommended!