Tips on Dressing up for OCIs: Guys Edition
The calm before the OCI storm is coming to an end.
Before the tidal wave of neurotic OCI-related fears sets in, it is worth acknowledging the great start to the school year. Whether you were involved in Orientation (or “Disorientation”), tearing up the dance floor at the first Smoker, or crushing Clubs Day and intramural sign-ups—it’s safe to say September has been sweet. However, the end of September has 2Ls bent out of shape because of On-Campus Interviews…
As you brush up on the experiences listed in your resume and contemplate things like how many pumps in a handshake, I thought I would help mitigate the worry with a piece on how to dress for OCIs. The following article is a basic guide to mens’ suiting based on my brief exposure to retail peddling of suits.
The Italian Cut
The Italian cut is heavily padded with no vents and an exaggerated taper along the waist. Although elements of the Italian cut, such as wide lapels, are resurging among some avant-garde fashion circles, for our purposes this cut is not suitable (pun intended).
The American Cut
An American cut is loose-fitting with a single vent running down the center of the back. The baggy fit and boxy appearance of this suit is outdated and not an ideal choice for looking sharp on game day.
The British Cut
This style of cut is distinguished by the dual vents which run along the back of the jacket. The British cut is slimming because there is limited to no shoulder padding. Look no further because this is the modern standard, and fortunately enough it offers the most mobility.
Wool is the normative suit material and tends to be the most expensive compared to the other fabrics. That being said, it can have a long lifespan if properly cared for. Wool is preferred because it is a natural material that offers wrinkle-resistance and breathability. Breathability is a big selling point for OCIs since wool will help keep you cool when faced with some of those hard-ball questions.
What about wool grade?
Wool is graded along a “super” scale starting at 100s and can go all the way to 200s. A higher super number amounts to a finer, lighter, rarer and of course more expensive suit. However, finer is not necessarily better because higher wool grade is negatively correlated to durability. If you’re like me, you’ll want to invest in a suit that you can use frequently, thus super 100s-120s are perfectly fine.
Cotton is a permissible material for a suit. Cotton also offers breathability, although it has two advantages over wool: it is machine-wash friendly and cost-effective.
Even though linen is a great option for warmer climates (especially when cruising with the top down, Miami Vice style), it is not appropriate for interviews.
This is a synthetic material that is to be avoided. Polyester suits do not breathe well and are uncomfortable against the skin. Even though the price of a polyester suit is less than wool or cotton, it is still not worth it because retailers tend to inflate the price.
Note: I recommend made-to-measure suits from retailers such as EPH Apparel and Indochino because the value justifies the price. However, if you are short on time, a trip to Tom’s Place in Toronto may be well worth it for an off-the-rack purchase.
Junaid Malik is Culture Editor of Juris Diction.