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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, guys this is my first post. Im going to be a 3rd year medical student. Ive been the typical jeans and tee shirt/polo type now that im getting older 26 and becoming a professional im really interested in upgrading my wardrobe. I know wearing suits during 3rd year rotations are over the top but i figure i need 2 or 3 good suits for research presnetation, residency interviews etc. some nice trousers, shirts, ties, shoes etc.

My biggest problem is i played football in college, im 6' 245 (looking to cut down to like 220) have wide shoulders and big thighs wear a 48 L jacket. so im a tough fit in a lot of OTR stuff but really cant afford a whole wardrobe of MTM now.

Im looking to get suggestions on brands to look for. like for shoes i know i want to get a pair of AE park avenues etc. any help would be appreiciated thanks
 

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It will be a long time before you need more than a basic dark blue suit. You'll want something to wear to the weddings of your friends who were smart enough to go to law school and are knocking down 135K while you are just starting your internship.
Wait for a JAB sale, buy one of their "separates" so you can get a jacket in one size and matching pants in another.
A navy blazer should be your next purchase. Trust me, you're not going to have enough time to do much besides work, even with the new residency rules about time off.
 

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If you are serious about trimming down 20 to 30 pounds, I'd wait to invest in any clothing until then. You will loose weight from everywhere with that much weight loss going on, and then nothing will fit right. After that I'd agree that investing in one nice suit first is smart, with a few more shirt and tie options to make the suit look unique each time. You probably want to avoid anything too ostentatious for your first suit, stick to navy or charcoal, as a solid or a very small pinstripe. I'm guessing your going to want something that will last while you finish school and pay it off, so look for something in a super 80's to super 120's wool, probably not any more than that, and that has canvassing. you can use the search function to learn more than most salesman will know about those terms if you don't already know. If you can look for something from corneliani or a similar brand, it has a nice make and I believe a larger drop than the standard 6 inches. This will help with your bigger shoulders/smaller waist.

For shirting go for what colors you like and look good in, but remember for presentations of research your probably going to want one or two white shirts and/or blue shirts.

enjoy the forum
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
yeah, i plan on losing about 20 to get to about 225. I weighed 235 in my last season in school. I have searched on Cornelani, Canali, Canali seems to fit real nice even though im a bit overweight. Joseph Aboud fit well but how is the quality, didnt see anything about them here. Would everyone say BB for shirts. I usually wear Kenneth Cole shirts and i dont like the fabric. again they are very baggy because even at 225 my neck is about 17.5-18 and my sleeve is 35.

For the docs out there for rotations you would say just trousers, shirt and tie. how many pairs of pants and shirts would you say are good.

shoe suggestions because i want to look nice but i dont want my feet to kill while on the floor.

Also, where are the best places to get good deals on great suits/shirts, what is considered a good price for the kinds of suits ive mentioned. my friend just got 2 hickey freeman suits for like 450 a pop at an outlet store but he is a much easier fit then i am
 

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Some suggestions:

Suits:

1. You probably only need one dark suit, at most two, for interviews and presentations. Keep them solid and conservative, so if you need to wear them a few times in a week or so, they won't be memorable. Odds are you won't be need to do so.

2. I would keep the prices on the low side. If I wore a suit 6 times per year as a resident, it was lot. If you go on a dozen interviews, and keep the suits for about 4 years of residency, you are only talking about 30 chances to wear it. A lot of these will be year-end dinners, wedding, and funerals. You just won't have the time for a whole lot else, and when you do, you will rather just do some lounging, trust me.

3. JAB or (gasp!) Men's Warehouse may be good choices. You don't want to have over $1000 sitting in your closet gathering dust. If you can get local recommendations on a good tailor, you would be surprised at what someone with some skill can do with an off the rack suit. Spend almost as much on the tailor as the suit, especially as a big guy. $300-500 per suit, at least $100 per suit on tailoring. If your (independent) tailor tells you he doesn't have enough material to work with, bring the suit back. The tailors at the store are unlikely to ever say this, and once it is altered, you are stuck with it.

4. Don't stress over avoiding labels. Most people in medicine do not have the knowledge to tell---fit is the most important thing to look good. For the few who can tell if something is bespoke or MTM---they will be smart enough to know you cannot afford it yet.

Business casual for the floors:

1. Many residents wear chinos, with a scrub top/t-shirt instead of a collared shirt. I am not thrilled about how this looks, but it is much better than all scrubs. Despite universal precautions, you will still lose more than a few articles of clothing to blood stains or other secretions. The 1/2 scrub look is practical, and makes it easier to wash your hands.

2. If you can afford it, you will have an advantage if you wear chinos or dress pants with a shirt and tie every day. You will look like you have it together. You can find some good deals at Sierra Trading Post. try Bills khakis---they will stand up to a lot of hot water washing, and maybe a little peroxide to get out the blood.

3. For shirts, you can find a decent selection of Polo Ralph Lauren or Hilfiger at Marshall's or TJ Maxx---if you go to a few stores and visit regularly. Try to get 7-10 shirts in the 1st 6 months---you don't know when you will have a chance to do laundry or go to the dry cleaner. (same applies for underwear and socks!). I would guess a 17.5 neck and 35 sleeve would work for you, and they are not hard to find at about $40 each. Pants--$80-100, at least 5 pair.

Summary for the above---don't worry about labels, spend some money on a good tailor, and most of all--be sure they are all comfortable---you will have long days.

Shoes:

I wish someone gave me this advice when I hit the floors---this is where to spend your money, even if it means up to a year to pay off your credit card. My feet were pretty beaten up by the time I graduated residency, and then it took me a few years as an attending to realize what fit me properly. Your feet literally carry you through 14 hour days, and you will have a lot of them that long, and longer.

1. Do NOT buy shoes at discount stores---you spend more time on your than anything else---go to a real shoe store and get them professionally fit.

2. Think about sticking to brands like Allen Edmonds and Alden. The former can usually be bought at a decent discount if you search these forums and Google. These shoes are generally very high quality and can be recrafted--so when the sole wears you can have them replaced. If you send them back to the factory, they will look almost new coming back, for a fraction of the cost of new. Put topys on leather soles though---wet hospital floors are slippery.

3. i would suggest one penny loafer style and one lace up shoe like a cap toe bal. Dark colors like cordovan (also known as ox blood or burgundy) go with everything, and hide stains. If you can swing it, get a pair in shell cordovan (special leather made from horse rump) it is very nonporous and can be simply brushed clean---but get a dark color. They will last you 20 years. An Alden Leisure Handsewn loafer (986) will last you a very long time, and the AE Park Ave is a good idea too.

4. Whatever you do, avoid sneakers, unless you want to be treated like a kid. You will see a lot of sneakers on your fellow residents--avoid the temptation.

5. if you cant afford Allen Edmonds or Alden---think about something like Rockport--light and rubber soled. But, you will probably throw out a pair every six months---good shoes, even in shell cordovan, will be cost-effective over the entire time of your residency.


If you choose a surgical specialty, ignore most of the advice above. You will be in scrubs all day, and even though you should not, you will probably go back and forth to work in them. If this is the case, spend more on your suit (think Brooks Brothers) and one good pair of shoes. If you are happy with you casual wardrobe, leave it alone. Try on some good clogs and buy 2 pairs--odds are when it is time to throw out the 1st pair you will miss them and wish you had that exact one again and will have trouble finding it.

Do not regret your decision, you will actually be doing something that makes a difference. Your friends will get a jump on you if they went to law school or into finance, but you will pass them in the long-term, and will also have the satisfaction and gratitude of the many lives you will have changed for the better. Also take heart in the fact that well before your 40th birthday, you will be able to buy bespoke, and will never open the morning paper and look at news like last week's and have to worry about having a job.

Good luck on your rotations!
 

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Medical person I see.

I'm 26, but I'm not a doctor. If your doing presentations. You might as well have a regular dress shirt (washed, dried, and ironed) for presentations. Just be sure to soak them if you have stains, I suggest for colored shirts, use color safe bleach like I do, and soak over night. I do that, and sometimes it will come off if it is easy to get off, and sometimes it wont.

If you see what size you are at the dress shirt stores. They can measure for you. I am a small/medium sized person. So I usually buy mediums and put them in the dryer, sometimes they shrink and sometimes they don't.

I don't mind if they shrink a bit, but usually I hang them up to dry and I usually save a lot of energy and money :)

Dress pants go for dark black and wash in COLD WATER ONLY oh, and you should probably turn your pants inside out when getting washed, and that helps preserve the color, and then turn them back to outside in when they go into the dryer.

After iron if necessary.

Some shirts are cotton/polyester, and some will say no iron, but you can do a light touch up of a steam iron.

You might not need to get cotton polyester shirts, because they are harder to get off the stains.

I stick to 100 % cotton. Some will shrink, and some wont. That's just the nature of the shirts.

Suits don't really need to be washed, unless you want to wash them just put them on a delicate cycle or permanent press cycle, and then possibly iron them later if they are wrinkled after getting out of the dryer.

I don't wear suits, nor ties. I don't really like them.

If your a medical doctor helping people then you have a white lab like coat, and then you can wear a dress shirt underneath the coat. Dress pants mandatory too :)

I hope this helps.
 

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Babycatcher has it right. I can add a few things:

1) Leather soles can be -slippery-. Various unpleasant things will fall on your feet. Seamless and undecorated toes will be easier to clean satisfactorily. The Dansko clogs everyone wears do well in this regard, but I found them uncomfortable. Try on lots of shoes and go with what works for you.

2) White shirts can be bleached aggressively.

3) The vast majority of people on your residency interviews will be wearing a black suit. If you wear a dark but not black suit you will look professional and stand out in an appropriate way.
 

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I'm not going to comment on the suits for your residency interviews, but I'll comment on the everyday wear for your hospital rotations.

I agree that several pairs of chinos/khakis are really the most practical type of dress for your rotations. As a student/extern, you will also be wearing a short white lab coat. At the hosptials I'm associated with, students are usually NOT allowed to wear a scrub shirt unless they are on a surgical rotation, and they must change back into street clothes when they are on the floors.

Some students wear ties, some wear polos, and I'd simply recommend a nice, comfortable well tailored shirt, with a tie to make yourself look professional. Your wardrobe does not have to be expensive, just well put together. You will have classmates that look like they just got off the farm, so separate yourself from them (dress wise) and you may catch an attending's eye.

I don't believe it's necessary to purchase a pair of AE's or Aldens considering the amount of possible contaminants, secretions, etc., that may end up on your shoes. I would highly recommend rubber soled comfortable shoes that you can stand on for long hours.

Ecco and Merrell make some comfortable casual shoes that may fit the bill and of course Rockports are always a good option. They are starting to make more stylish looks, but remember these will be "work" shoes so don't get too hung up on the looks.

And my pet peeve is a filthy lab coat. They are simple to keep clean, but are often kept dirty. Look clean and neat, but stay comfortable and remember that this is a great but tough learning experience since it's basically a pecking order.

You're a 3rd year student who has to answer to a 4th year student who has to answer to a first year intern who has to answer to a resident who has to answer to a senior resident who has to answer to a chief resident who has to answer to an attending and so on and so on.

Best of luck and despite how you dress, it's the quality of care you give your patients that ultimately matters.
 

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Agree

I agree with the above MDs.

One dark suit, solid, charcoal or Navy blue, for interviews and special occasions. Avoid wearing suits when seeing patients.

For the wards, khakis (Bills) or cotton or wool dress pants. Cotton shirt and tie preferred over scrubs. Clean white coat, of course.

One or two pairs of dress shoes, dark color more versatile than light. Rockport okay. Allen Edmonds or Alden is better. For special occasions, consider black cap toe.

MinnMD
 

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I don't believe it's necessary to purchase a pair of AE's or Aldens considering the amount of possible contaminants, secretions, etc., that may end up on your shoes. I would highly recommend rubber soled comfortable shoes that you can stand on for long hours.
Hear hear! This man speaks the truth - I know that from experience.

Trust me, being on your feet 7-10 hours straight in a pair of AE's or Aldens is enough to make one contemplate a switch to athletic shoes. Permanently. Leather soles will mop up liquids, and will get slippery FAST. Also consider what secretions/excretions/misc. bodily fluids will get into or in-between the stitching on your shoes.

For your feet, get something reasonably classy looking, but well-padded and with adequate support. Dark brown or black.

And remember - it's not all about how you look; that will only take you so far. It's also about the knowledge you possess and the care you provide. The clothes you wear are merely a vehicle to aid you to be taken seriously enough to provide quality care.
 

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Dress pants go for dark black and wash in COLD WATER ONLY oh, and you should probably turn your pants inside out when getting washed, and that helps preserve the color, and then turn them back to outside in when they go into the dryer.

After iron if necessary.

Some shirts are cotton/polyester, and some will say no iron, but you can do a light touch up of a steam iron.
I stick to 100 % cotton. Some will shrink, and some wont. That's just the nature of the shirts.

Suits don't really need to be washed, unless you want to wash them just put them on a delicate cycle or permanent press cycle, and then possibly iron them later if they are wrinkled after getting out of the dryer.

I hope this helps.
This is not great care advice. I always hang dry dress clothes. You can test out the cottons, and all cottons will shrink some, but usually predictably so based on on weave and quality.

Also, never ever wash a suit. Always find a reputable cleaner. Hopefully you know this, and this forum is full of useful information of garment care, but this is not useful and will be destructive to your garments.
 

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Advice from a practicing anesthesiologist

As a 3rd year, keep it simple. You still have some time on your hands, more in your fourth year, and little to none in residency, although the 80h/wk limit will make things better than what I experienced.

Shirts: Cotton, white, blue, and perhaps two other colors. At least one week's worth. You'll be wearing the short, long-sleeved coat. This means ironing only the cuffs, collar, and front of the shirt.

Ties: Perhaps a half-dozen to mix with the shirts.

Pants: Three pair. Enough to rotate when one pair needs a wash in the middle of the week thanks to something you were too slow to dodge (a rare, but likely occurrence).

Shoes: Last item, but most important to your comfort, especially in residency. In the OR three types of shoes were worn by residents in decreasing order of frequency: Danskos, Birkenstocks or Birkies, and running shoes. On the wards I saw Birkenstocks/Danskos/Merrells more often than anything else. Dress shoes such as AEs were rare. Remember, you'll be spilling things on them, failing to dodge something, and walking on floors lubricated with fluids whose coefficient of friction is only slightly higher than liquid silicone on Teflon.

Lab Coats: Get at least two. They take the brunt of the wear, and are also excellent vectors for infection if not washed regularly.

Miscellaneous: I hope they're not still trying to make y'all buy the $500+ oto- ophthalmoscope sets that are always already available if you actually need them. Drop the Pocket Pharmacopeia and learn to use Epocrates on your favorite smartphone or Palm device. You *will* lose pens. Do NOT carry a nice one until you've held on to the same grubby Bic for at least a year.

Stain Removal: Blood - hydrogen peroxide and a toothbrush work wonders. Bile on a white shirt might be interesting. The rest is amenable to your favorite detergent.

Rotations:
Surgery: Find a paperback called Surgical Secrets. It has answers to the most common pimp questions, example of the common notes/orders, and basically everything you need to avoid pissing off your chief or the attending. H&Ps should be less than one side of a page.
Medicine: Probably has something similar. H&Ps should be no *less* than four sides of a page. Fleas...
 

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Scrubs!

Gentlemen

My friends. Regarding clothing for medical school. I agree with my friend from anesthesia. He is right on regarding how to dress. Especially this time frame. I concur with the khaki and scrubs etc!
Your not expected to dress like the Department Chair.
Enjoy, save and buy better when you get out.
No on the Joey Banks. For your purpose khaki, polo shirts. A couple OCBD, couple ties.
You are gold! You will get things along the way. Take your time!

Good luck, enjoy your education!

Nice day my frieds
 

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I'm glad that several other docs were in agreement with me regarding the Aldens and AE's. I simply can not imagine a 3rd year student running around with a pair of 300+ leather soled "dress" shoes on in the hospital during an endless day.

Khakis and an OCBD are ideal. I'm personally not a big fan of Dansko's, but that's an individual preference. Merrell is very big where I practice, and they now make some more mainstream shoes in additional to the "classic" Jungle Moc, (that doesn't look great with khakis).

A lot of hospital personell do wear Crocs with scrubs, but our hosptial requires no ventilation holes. The uppers have to be solid for obvious contamination/infectious disease reasons.

And I agree 100% that the Epocrates program on a Palm or similar electronic device is an amazing resource that I wish I had when I was doing rotations too many years ago. The "manuals" we carried barely fit in our pockets! I'm sure some of you "old" timers remember the classic "Washington Manual" for medicine.
 

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^ You have not convinced me regarding Alden or AE. My advice was intended more for a new resident, with a source of income, rather than an medical student.

A shoe like the Alden leisure handsewn moc can be had for $530---yes, a lot of money. But the #8 color (burgundy) is forgiving,and in shell cordovan, very nonporous.

A $60 pair of Rockports will need to be replaced about 8 times over a 4 year residency,and in the end you will be left with nothing (but sore feet and 8 X $60=$480 less in your pocket). The Aldens will cost $50 more, but at the end you will have a shoe with 10 years of life left in in it and a nice patina. Topys are a must to combat slippery floors, and will indeed cost a little more. If cared for, the shoes will carry you through. If properly fit, the weight will be unnoticeable and give support, while the cheaper shoes will offer little support once exposed to heavy wear.

Of all the clothing needs discussed above, only the shoes, and perhaps a conservative suit, are an investment. All the rest are disposable in the intermediate term.

My advice---buy one pair. You won't go back to Rockports, and you will consider moonlighting to buy a few more.
 
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