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You know Frank—he's been writing about menswear, sales, television, new shops, the recession, Lisa Loeb, the Golden Girls and getting blasted for Racked for almost two years. Well, we think it's time you got to know him and his quirky-irreverent views on life and fashion even better with his column: Love, Frank. Taking the form of an open letter and always signed with love, Frank will rant about whatever style-related conundrum he encounters in a given week. So buckle your two-toned leather Moschino belts, folks, it's going to be ? Something.
Hilariousness via Elec-Intro
Dear Seekers of Fashion Industry Jobs,
It's the time of the year again: The sun is occasionally shining, certain flowers are limply blooming. It's April. And that means a brand new class of fashion industry hopefuls are about to graduate from their respective programs before fanning out into internships, entry level positions and better-than-nothing jobs in retail. Present company included.
If you're one of those super-prepared go-getters who makes everyone else in your classes look bad, you've probably already scheduled a few interviews; you've probably got a handful of job fairs on your itinerary; maybe you've even reached out to your contacts—fingers crossed—hoping one of them might even open your attached résumé for reasons other than gossip-fodder and snickering.
If you're not one of those people, then certainly you've at least thought about scheduling interviews, seeking out job fairs and emailing everyone you've ever known.
Yours truly? Well, we fall squarely in between. In fact we've had a few appointments, and we have a few more in the pipeline. Which brings us to the issue at hand: How in creation does one dress for an interview? Specifically, how does a dude dress for a rag trade interview?
We don't hope to be bankers or lawyers—we don't wear suits, we certainly don't even own or intend to buy that kind of suit. Plus, showing up to meet with a Creative Director or Head of Merchandising or Stylist or Head of Human Resources or Showroom Director in some shapeless licensed uniform from the Men's Warehouse will elicit many negative post-interview chortles. Consider what they'll be wearing: Our bets are on crisp denim and casual cotton or leggings and some sort of amorphous frock top.
Another issue: Girls—you have it easy. You can walk into any retailer, high to low, and find some version of what's happening in fashion right this very second at basically any price point and in virtually every size. You can buy something at Forever 21 or even (shudder) Joyce Leslie and you can style that piece of synthetic, slave-made whatever into something fabulous. Doesn't fit just so? Belt it! Too long? Change your shoes. Accessorize the shit out of it. Take that $17 dress and use it as a backdrop for your $900 bag. And—assuming you have half a clue—you have the potential to look fantastic.
Meanwhile, cheap clothing for men—at least pieces a notch or two above jeans and tee shirts—comes in two varieties: Utterly fashion-less (we're looking at you Kohl's) or so outrageously trendy and miniature and youth that only the tiniest, twinkiest, youngest little man-creature would or could ever even think about wearing any of it; let alone elevating it into the sort of outfit you might wear to an interview.
And don't get us started on shoes. How is it that women can waltz into some horrible nightmare of a place—DSW for example—spend $40 and leave with a pair of shoes that, if worn right, could pass for something that wasn't made out of donkey in Cambodia? Have you seen the men's shoes in a DSW? Seriously, the dregs of the dregs.
Basically, if you're not shelling out for Prada or John Varvatos or the like you're left with Steve Madden and Aldo and Kenneth Cole's even-cheaper, even-crappier line. All more often than not the saddest looking footwear you could hope to find. Chunky-soled and shiny in all the wrong ways; toes pointy enough to puncture or so bluntly round or square they look orthopedic. And those stunners? They're going to set you back $140.
Considering all that: We have two closets, a chest, a trunk and multiple crates overflowing with clothes enough to make laundry day a once-a-year event. But we have absolutely nothing to wear to an interview. Further, we have no desire to spend a fortune on something conservative; and can't begin to consider some cheap-o synthetic nightmare that will only make us hugely uncomfortable and cause us to totally bomb said interview no matter how good or bad the item in question ends up looking.
The dressy stuff we have? Well, it's either really dressy (tuxedos, plural), really crazy (Kim Jones, Moschino, orange, purple, orange and purple), and/or really impulse-purchased at sample sales and the Barneys Warehouse Sale. So, none of it matches anything else. Most days we're okay with this—it's eclectic, we rationalize. It's fun! But, man, for interviews? We're not sure "fun" is the key to a good interview.
So, here we are. If you were looking for a solution, well, we don't have one. We just wanted to vent. Does anyone have a solution? Chime in in the comments, please. Otherwise, khaki-colored over-dyed jeans, a cotton shirt, a slightly garish but obviously expensive cardigan, one of many ties and a pair of desert boots. Plus glasses, glasses make you look smart.
· Love, Frank [RNA]