Wearing Cheap Suit Versus Expensive Suit To a Job Interview - Will it affect salary offered?

Lets pretend there are these 2 candidates for a specific job position.

Everything about both candidates are the exact same. The same resume, the same age, the same gender, the same school. The only thing different for these 2 candidates is that 1 is wearing a cheap suit (>$200) to the job interview and the other is wearing a very very expensive suit (<$2000).

Based on all these factors, will the candidate wearing the more expensive suit get offered a higher salary, all else being equal?

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Comments (22)

Jan 9, 2019 - 3:26pm

Within reason: in the ruthlessly judgemental world of Finance, people will notice cheap fabric and construction even if it's impeccably tailored. Less of an issue if you're chained to your desk, but something to consider in front of clients.

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Jan 4, 2019 - 1:33pm

Really depends on the job: if it's entry-level Analyst/new college grad, the pay package will be fixed. The "young, scrappy, and hungry" kid from a family who never wore suit & tie might actually have an advantage over a guy who's been thoroughly coddled by Mom & Dad in Fairfield County.

If it's a more senior, client-facing position, the cheap suit could be a deal-breaker.

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Jan 7, 2019 - 4:47pm

suit mcgregor

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

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Jan 9, 2019 - 4:51pm

As long as it fits reasonably well I don't personally judge candidates, especially young ones, for not being able to afford an $8000 Isaia suit.

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Jan 25, 2019 - 12:52pm

I know CEOs of companies that could afford but would never choose to spend the money on an $8k suit. Heck some CEOs wear Timex watches. We should strive to judge people on the content of their character within reason.

Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes.
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Jan 23, 2019 - 2:33am

Well, I think you can wear both types of suits whether it is expensive or not because there are many people that can't afford these expensive suits and sometimes we can also get amazing designs and verity of suits within the affordable price. And if you can afford to go for the expensive one it will last longer and you will be more comfortable in that when it comes to the quality of cloths. Suits give a good impression on your interview and ya at the end your talent will get you to the heights.

Jan 23, 2019 - 5:18am

Yes it has been scientifically proven that a polyester suit will reduce your starting salary on average by 10%.

Seriously tho, just make sure the suit fits and looks presentable

"A guy gets on the MTA here in L.A. and dies. Think anybody'll notice?" - Vincent
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Jan 24, 2019 - 11:03pm

Entry level up to Associate - I think - off the rack and tailored a bit Brooks Brothers about USD 400-800 range is fine. Perhaps after VP level or moved to PE side, get a tailored one above USD 1,000. Throughout the years, I have about 25 sets of suits from USD 200 to USD 3,000 - some are custom-made while some are tailored a bit after buying off the rack. Stick to 2 buttons, medium charcoal or navy colors should last you a very long time.

https://www.brooksbrothers.com/Wool-Blend-Two-Button-Suit/RK00157,defau…

https://www.brooksbrothers.com/Madison-Fit-Cotton-Stretch-Suit/MK00862,…

Jan 25, 2019 - 3:22pm

As long as it doesn't look look like a cheap suit and fits well it should be legit. There are so many brands from reasonable outfitters that you could get something that is more expensive than a cheap suit but don't break the bank (Men's Wearhouse, Brooks Bros, etc.) Find a sale and get 3-4 suits, a collection of solid looking ties and shirts and you have an entire wardrobe.

Jan 25, 2019 - 4:17pm

I wore grey wool slacks and a Navy blazer to my last round of interviews before taking my current position. These were all interviews on the principal side of the business though. I had multiple offers and no one seemed to care at all I wasn't wearing a suit.

Also, as a junior DO NOT wear a super high end tie or watch. This can only hurt you and make you look like an entitled brat. Skip the Hermes/Ferragamo and Rolex.

Jan 26, 2019 - 8:59am

Also, it's very hard to differentiate a suit from suitsupply and one from Corneliani, Canali, Pal Zileri, or other $1500-$2000 brands - at least from the outside. I've owned every brand under the sun, and can wear anything from $500 SuSu suits, to $8k Kiton, and the starting budget suits are getting incredibly nice these days. SuitSupply, Spier & MacKay, etc. are making excellent bang for the buck suits.

Jan 28, 2019 - 8:21pm

For entry level, salary won't be based on it. Here the thing I would say. If it's super expensive, some 2k Armani shit, then I would not want to hire that kid. Clearly he comes from money (or is an idiot with his finances), and he just would not seem very hungry.

Wearing a fraying, ill-fitting, or really cheap suit would just seem highly unprofessional as well. If you can't afford to buy a $500 suit, that's fine. Borrow one from a friend, or go rent one out at the many different services offered today. Hell, there are even services to provide decent suits for free to those who can't afford it (usually rented). It's not a binary answer, find a middle ground

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