Being Captain Jobless, I tend to go on a lot of interviews. Okay, not A LOT of interviews, but some. Well, maybe just a few. Yeah. I go on a few interviews every now and then, whenever I’m lucky enough to score the opportunity. From the moment I schedule an in-person sit-down, my mind immediately starts putting together an outfit that would both express my personality and be appropriate for the job and the company.
For example, if a hip, trendy advertising agency wants to see me on Wednesday afternoon (which they do this Wednesday, thank you very much), I think a nice, modern-fit blazer with a button up shirt and maybe some flat-fronted khakis or dark pants with brown shoes and a killer smile would be appropriate. Honestly, I think I could get away with wearing dark denim on an informal interview like this, but wouldn’t risk it just in case the interviewer is a little older and a stickler for tradition. Never a good idea to wear jeans to an interview, no matter what the position. Ever. Okay, well, maybe Wal-Mart.
Other places of employment require a suit. Interview at a large corporation? Better believe I’m rockin’ a suity-suit. Nice tie, not too flashy. Shiny shoes. Jacket buttoned when I’m standing, unbuttoned when I sit to let the great pumpkin breath.
Have an interview with an insurance company to do some door-to-door sales or something along those lines? They’re just looking for anyone who will wear a tie. Just throw on a pair of pants with a buttoned-up shirt (it can even be a short-sleever). As long as you have a pulse and are wearing a tie, they’ll give you a job.
So herein lies the problem, friends: I don’t have any decent interview clothes. I own one suit. I wear it to weddings, funerals, interviews and the fancy-schmancy Arby’s out in Short Pump (It’s really high-class. They even serve beer). I bought it a few years back on super-discount. The pants don’t fit anymore because… they shrunk. Yeah. THEY SHRUNK, okay? The jacket fits fine, but the cut of it makes me look like I’m about to host Late Night at the Apollo in 1998.
I have one sport coat, bought from some outlet store, once again many years ago. It’s made out of some kind of thick wool or Mexican rug, so it’s not exactly the ideal choice for a mid-August outing.
I own a few dress shirts, minus the ones that no longer fit around my marshmallow neck because, uh… THEY ALSO SHRUNK. So, I have maybe 2 or 3 that I can wear comfortably without popping a button or asphyxiating myself. Some of them are made of that shiny sateen material that makes you look like you’re covered in plastic wrap, especially in photos that require a flash. The colors are hideous, save for a striking green one that I wear to every. single. interview.
I’m also lacking in the necktie department. Most of my ties are from the days of high school dances and weddings of long-divorced relatives. They have super fabulous paisley patterns and are just wide enough to be considered outdated and just thin enough to look like they belong to a child. Remember ten years ago when Who Want’s to be a Millionaire took the world by storm and everyone wanted to dress like Regis with his monochrome shirt-tie combination? Yeah, well, I’m sportin’ neckwear from before then.
So what gives, Mr. Matt? Why don’t you have any decent clothes?
Good question. Honestly, no one too terribly close to me has died recently (knock on wood), so I haven’t really needed to update my funeral, wedding, interview, Arby’s suit. I have attended a bunch of weddings, but the jacket usually comes off and the top button of my shirt collar pops as soon as the ceremony is over and the bar opens. I spent 8 years working at a television station that allowed me to wear jeans, t-shirts and hoodies every day. Then I got a job in a corporate office, but the dress code was semi-relaxed. They just asked that I didn’t look like a hobo or a television director. So it’s not that I enjoy looking like a slob, it’s just that I never needed super dressy clothes. Now I need to update my wardrobe.
They say, “The clothes make the man,” and I agree with that. Therefore, I’ve decided to pry the plastic out of my cold, dead wallet and at pick up a nice blazer, a properly fitted shirt, some decent pants and a pair of shoes that don’t look a tank rolled over them. I need to buy a suit – badly, but I don’t think that would be wise right now because I just can’t afford one. A nice suit is expensive, and I need to eat. Unless somebody dies, then I’ll have to go buy one. So please, if you’re gonna die, just wait until after I get a job. I mean, this is why I’m getting the blazer/shirt/pants combo – to help me look a little more attractive & stylish to a perspective employer. One thing is for certain: I’m going to look and feel great at next Wednesday’s interview.
This is Day 113, folks. True story: I only own one brown belt. I stole it from my father when I was in high school. I think it’s from the late 70s.