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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there. Please excuse my cluelessness. If a
FAQ covers this please point me to it.

The Story:

Yesterday, I received a fedex package in the mail.
I have been offered a job interview with the
Foreign Service of the US State Department. The
Interview will be held on 6/20 at Main State in
Washington, DC (AKA the building where Secretary of
State Condoleeza Rice has her office)

I need to look like a professional diplomat -
serious, conservative, authoritative. Right now
I look like a gas station attendant.

In true government fashion the date and time were
assigned and are pretty much set it stone. I have
about 30 days to make arrangements to get myself to
the other side of the country and get a wardrobe that
makes me look like I should be discussing trade deals
in Brussels.

I have absolutely no experience in buying or wearing
a suit. The last time I was even remotely dressed up
was when I went to a halloween party in a rented tuxedo.

I will need an entire wardrobe, suit, tie, shoes, etc.
Given my meager budget (and the fact that The Man isn't
reimbursing me for anything, including travel) the
absolute maximum I can spend on clothing and shoes is about
$500. I know that isn't going to buy much. Where should
I concentrate my efforts? Where can I cut corners without
damaging my chances?

I need to look like I've been wearing a suit for years and
that it's like a second skin to me. From reading this forum
there are a lot of rules I just discovered. The suit needs
to carry an aura of authority and not look like I bought it
at JCPenney. The accessories need to complement the look
and suggest that I am the right person for the job. The shoes
need to be comfortable because I'm likely to do a lot of
walking that day.

I have no problem buying used or on ebay if that helps. I
don't have anyone around here to borrow a suit from. Living in
a west coast hippie enclave makes it a challenge to even find
a decent looking suit. There is a nordstrom in portland if
that helps me. I do have access to an alterations tailor.

Another issue is finding the right fabric. Late June in
DC is insanely hot and humid. I don't think I'd make a
good impression if I show up covered in sweat.

Assuming I get hired I'd like this suit to become part of
my regular wardrobe so I'd like to do it right and not
cut corners. This is definitely a suit-and-tie
mandatory job.

From reading the forum it would seem I should avoid buying
a suit at the mall or at the Men's Wearhouse (which of course
was my first thought)

Any advice you can offer in turning a slovenly grad student
into the impeccably dressed face of American Diplomacy
would be greatly appreciated. Money saving tips or secret
handshakes, etc. would also be welcome.

Thanks 1000000000000

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