Ask Belle: Affordable Suiting for Interviews

Apr 8, 2015

Hi Belle,

My campus is hosting job interviews in two weeks and I need a suit.  Can you help me find something for $250 or less for both pieces?  Every suit I find just looks like an old lady would wear it.  Maybe you can find something better.

Thank you, Ava

My favorite source for affordable, quality suiting is the Halogen brand from Nordstrom.  Here are the best pieces from their spring line.

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Dot Print Peplum Jacket ($138)Skirt ($68), and Pants ($88)

I own the same suit in black.  The jacket is a great style if it suits you, but peplums aren’t for everyone.  I recommend trying on the jacket to see if it works for you.  You can also have the peplum tailored to take out some of the bulk.  This suit also comes in petite and plus-size.

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Impulse Suit Jacket ($138), Skirt ($69), and Pants ($88)

This grey-white pattern suit is a nice choice for spring and summer.  It has a classic cut that will work on most figures.  It also comes in plus-size.

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One Button Suit Jacket ($128), Pants ($79), and Skirt ($69)

If you need a basic suit for interviews in a conservative field, this Halogen suit is a good place to start.  It also comes in a khaki color.  Not my favorite hue, but on some skin tones, it really works.

Halogen also has a few more suit styles, including this navy and white pattern.  Also, the cut and material of this crosshatch suit reminds me of Nanette Lepore’s suiting line.

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  1. Allison says:

    Great recommendations! Keep in mind, you might feel like an “old lady” when you wear a suit for the first time, because you associate them with people older than you. Keep the companies that you are interviewing with in mind when you are picking the suit, and the traditional suit is going to be the most versatile. I used to work in TV, and the collarless peplum jacket would have been perfect for an interview there. Now that I am in investment finance the lack of collar would be considered unprofessional. It all comes down to how it fits you, and don’t make the age old college girl mistake of having your suit pants fit as tight as your jeans! They should hang a little loose from your leg. Don’t wear separates- my firm has not hired an intern because she wore a printed skirt and blazer to an interview. Can’t say I agree with that perspective, but you want to give yourself every chance of getting the job. Good luck!

  2. Anna says:

    Your shoes and what you wear under the suit also goes a long way to keeping it young. It’s easy to look like you’re playing dress if you wear a crisp button down or plain shell with your suit. A tie neck or printed blouse looks much more current. And while you shouldn’t wear stripper heels, choose comfortable shoes that don’t “look” like comfort shoes.

    Tailoring also goes a long way. I for one have shorter arms, so off-the-rack suits look like I’m wearing my mom’s clothes unless I get the sleeves shortened.

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