Mom question regarding suits

Discussion in 'Nominations' started by debcst, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. debcst

    debcst Member

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    Practical questions here:

    -Is a suit overkill for nomination interviews?

    -If we purchase a suit for this purpose and our son is fortunate enough to get into a service academy, will he have the need for a suit during his SA years? I'm thinking only for weddings and funerals? But would appreciate input from those who have been there/done that.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    If your child does not own a suit, I would NOT purchase one. Have your child wear to the interview what he/she would wear to a wedding or similar formal social function.

    If you buy a suit and your child has never worn one, he/she will be/look uncomfortable in it. Better to have him/her wear something nice that's familiar.

    The MOC nom committee reps are from your area. They know what constitutes appropriate attire for high schoolers where you live. If that's nice jeans and a collared shirt, that's fine. If it's a sport coat and khakis, that's fine.

    If your child is accepted to a SA, he/she won't have much use for a suit. Thus, don't waste your money. As noted above, have your child wear the nicest clothes he/she has -- clean and pressed -- and he/she should be fine.
     
  3. HCDS

    HCDS Member

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    my 2 cents

    Son is now in 2nd year at service academy. During his senior year he had the following interviews: AROTC, NROTC, Congressional nomination X2, reception after receiving nomination. He wore a suit for all of these. It was helpful for him to have one set of clothes that he would wear for all - this removed any last minute questions of "what do I wear..where is my tie, my shoes don't fit" etc.
    Two years later, we crossed paths with an individual who was on one of the nomination interview teams. He remembered interviewing my son and commented on his demeanor and appropriate attire.

    Thus far, he has not needed to wear a suit while at the SA
     
  4. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    I chair the USAFA nomination panel for my MOC.

    We have candidates come in all manner of dress; but I will say this, it's usually "professional" in appearance.

    Suits are VERY common and if the candidate has been shown how to wear one, and is comfortable, they DO stand out. Ladies are almost universally in dresses. I have seen males in khaki's, nice shirt, with tie. That can look very nice as well.

    In the end...it's what YOU (the candidate) decide to wear and how you "appear personally" that will or won't stand out. The finest dressed person can really "not look good" if they're not happy/comfortable'thoughtful. Example: we had one male show up, on paper the finest candidate you could hope to find. He was in an immaculate suit, very nicely tailored, etc...etc.. He had long (very) hair which none of us could care less about EXCEPT...it was totally unkempt. He went to all that trouble with the suit, shoes, etc...and on his head it looked like a rats nest.

    Didn't go over well.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Flieger,

    I agree females very comfortable in dresses, but I would add one thing to that comment.

    Girls, make sure you break in the shoes. Wearing those pretty pumps that make your feet hurt after half of an hour, will make it difficult for you to concentrate on the questions being and asked while you can feel your feet pulsing in pain.

    Also if they are new remember to scratch the soles up because you don't want to walk on carpet and slip because they were brandy new.

    For guys,

    You may want to think of a 3rd option. Khakis, dark sport coat and a brand new mock turtle neck. This will give them the best of all worlds. There will be no tie to feel constraining around their neck, the sport coat if classic (think navy or black) will never go out of style and will dress up the look of khakis.

    It will also give them an age appropriate outfit that they will feel comfortable in while giving them a more respectful image.

    Same thing about the shoes for guys as it is for girls, maybe even more so. Guys, at least my DS's wear rainbows, boat decks or sneakers. They are not accustomed to dress shoes. So if you are going for that suit, remember they will wear dress shoes, and they are confining compared to other shoes. Have them break the shoes in prior to the interview.

    I also agree about the personal image look. I remember sitting at one for our DS and it drove me crazy because I wanted to pull another kid into the bathroom and tell him scrub under your fingernails. I remember thinking if he offered me his hand to shake I would feel uncomfortable or at the very least look around for a bottle of Purell. Now maybe he had an excuse (worked pt as a mechanic, or landscaper), but overall I could not stop staring at his hands.

    Girls same for you, no chipped nail polish or insane colors with long tips that make it impossible for you to dial a phone without a pencil. People look at hands, it is one of the 1st things they see as you extend your hand to shake theirs. Some people like me get caught on it, just like Flieger got caught on the rats nest of the hair.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2011
  6. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    I think you are going to get mixed answers on this forum from folks, it is definitely one of those opinion things. I wore a suit to my MOC interview and most of the people there were in a suit or at least a sport coat and slacks (equivalent or dresses for females). A young man can never go wrong with having the standard navy blue sport coat and tan or gray slacks. I suspect with your son being a senior in high school he may get some use out of a suit or at least a sport coat with interviews, graduation events, etc. Not sure if he is still sprouting upwards or not (hopefully he won't out grow it in 6 months), but a suit/sports coat for a 18 year old will get some use in the future years for more formal events such as weddings, Christmas parties, Thanksgiving events, funerals, etc. Yes he will have a uniform to wear in the future, but there will be times he will not want to wear that. When we checked into TBS in Quantico we were required to have a suit and actually had to wear them to several events vice uniforms. Obviously that is still down the road. Good luck!
     
  7. debcst

    debcst Member

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    Thanks for all the input! Lots of good thoughts here.

    He generally wears a navy sport coat for formal events- we live in a casual college town where suits aren't generally required- so debating whether to buy one now or not.

    NavyHoops, you hit the nail on the head about growth- while he's about done adding height, he keeps packing on muscle. That's an argument for waiting on the suit.
     
  8. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    We did the blue blazer and khakis for DS and his interviews. Got both for $11 at Goodwill but they look new and gave him that sharp, professional look.
     
  9. Romad

    Romad Member

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    Black Blazer, Khaki's, Dad's shirt, tie, and loafers... SHARP! :)

    (couldn't do anything about the crossed eyes and knock knees though...)
     
  10. dohdean

    dohdean Member

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    Three years ago, our daughter was told by one MOC's office to wear a suit. She wore a conservative navy blue suit, white blouse (not low cut), stockings and low heels to every interview. We live in a generally casual college town, but to her a suit made the most sense. She is a junior at USAFA and has not had the need to wear the suit again and probably won't have the need while at the Academy. It was however a good investment at the time. It is hard to find professional looking, girl's business attire dress in our area. A professional suit was a better choice. For girls, nothing low cut, revealing, tight or too short and no stilleto heels. Make up should be modest. Hair should be pulled back and out of the interviewee's face. Overall appearance should be appropriate for a female to wear for a professional/office job interview, for court, to work in a conservative office. Some of these interviewers are older -- even in casual areas they may be dressed in a suit and given the importance of the interview may expect students to be similarly dressed. For our daughter, the overall interview look was much like the female skirt uniform at USAFA -- certainly some interviewees are more casually dressed. In our case, we followed the recommendation of the local senator's office as to appropriate attire.
     
  11. engineer

    engineer Member

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    Son wore one of his dad's nice Italian suits (grey) with a black shirt and tie. Interviewers made a point of telling him he was definitely the best dressed candidate......he looked nice and he didn't look the same as all the other candidates.
     

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