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Just found out yesterday that my boss wants me to come along with him and the CEO on a business trip next week. We'll be meeting with representatives of the government agency that we're about to land a 7-year contract with.

The only place I can get a suit on such short notice is Tall Girls in Schaumburg (suburb of Chicago). Last time I looked at suits there, I couldn't find anything that fit quite right... but if I let a salesperson help me and don't look at the price tags, it might go better. :mrgreen:

We have a very casual atmosphere here at the office, so I don't have a lot of dressy clothes.

:D While I was typing this the Director of Inflight walked in, so I decided to ask her opinion. She thinks no, I shouldn't need a suit, just black slacks and a blouse should be fine.

Opinions?

jhack's picture

Get the suit. You don't want to be underdressed. If they're more casual, you'll be OK, but if they're dressed up...

John

kklogic's picture

Terri,

Can you find out what the others are wearing? Personally, I'm more comfortable being more professionally dressed than others in the room over the opposite. The advantage of wearing a suit is that if you ARE over-dressed, you can simply remove the jacket and you're good to go. I also like the fact that the jacket provides additional warmth should you find yourself in a cold boardroom.

Whatever you decide - good luck with the meeting!
~Kat

terrih's picture

I could just ask the CEO, I guess. :lol:

My boss is... not the first person I'd go to for advice in sartorial matters. :wink:

stephenbooth_uk's picture

I'd err on the side of getting the suit. It's a lot easier to dress down a suit than dress up a blouse and slacks if you've misjudged the tone of the meeting.

Stephen

pmoriarty's picture

Get the suit and get it tailored to fit perfectly. An off-the-rack suit looks just that. A well-tailored suit makes it look like you spent twice what you did to buy it.

terrih's picture

Get it tailored between now and Tuesday? :shock:

tcomeau's picture

I think it's worth getting the suit, both because it looks better and because you get some flexibility. Maybe my best argument is that if you don't get a suit, you'll spend some fraction of your brainpower on the trip wondering "Gee, I wonder if I should have worn a suit."

While I do end up in meetings with government people who are in jeans and flannel shirts on a regular basis, I also find their bosses tend to wear coat and tie, or suits, pretty regularly.

As for getting it tailored, my wife has had good luck explaining to salescritters why she needs it tailored [i]today[/i], or going to a better dry-cleaner and getting them to tailor it on the spot.

I hope it goes well, whatever you wear!

tc>

terrih's picture

Good points! Thanks to everyone who chimed in.

I DID ask the CEO. 8) He didn't think there was any need to run out & buy a suit... the meeting will be in either Kansas City or Oklahoma City. (He said, "If we were going to Washington it'd be a different story.")

But he said it's a fair question, and he would try to find out, and if I didn't hear from him I could pester his admin. :lol: (She was sitting right there)

And it turns out the trip won't be next Wednesday, it's being pushed out a bit, I have some time.

I'm taking my husband to O'Hare on Tuesday, he's flying to Texas to visit his family. So I think I'll just go ahead and stop in at Tall Girls on my way home and see what they've got. They do carry some Pendleton, which is pricey but certainly well-made. (I didn't try on any Pendleton last time I was there.)

asteriskrntt1's picture

I know budgets are tight. If possible, make the investment in a suit and get it custom tailored or seriously altered off the rack.

You have another level of credibility and confidence when you come in looking like a serious professional.

*RNTT

rwwh's picture

Is renting an option?

terrih's picture

I'm not sure about renting... I wear a nonstandard size (I'm a 6'1" woman).

Truth be told, I've been trying to work a suit into my budget ever since I listened to the Interview Series. (Would rather have one already in my closet in case of unexpected layoff... or unexpected opportunity :wink:) So in some ways this is just a good excuse to quit procrastinating on that.

I got some money out of savings and I am going to the tall store today. If they can fix me up with a great business suit that fits perfectly or can be altered to fit perfectly, I'll buy it. But I'm not going to pressure myself with the idea that I have to get something today.

kklogic's picture

Terri, be sure to let us know how the meeting went. Wishing you the best of luck. What a good opportunity to have face time with the CEO and impress!

terrih's picture

Found a great suit! Yay! Just needs a little altering. (just because I used to put up with too-short sleeves, doesn't mean I now want my sleeves to brush my knuckles :lol:)