Ladies: How to Dress for MedSchool Interviews
September’s almost over, which means its pre-med interview season. Time to dust off the good old How to Dress Like a Fake Grownup post.
You want to look like a grown up. That’s a good thing. It’s also confusing. How to do that without looking “slutty” is difficult when we’re raised on TV shows that teach us all lawyers and doctors show off their fantastic cleavage and tiny butts with tight, revealing clothes. But, um, don’t do that.
ABSOLUTELY 100% NO cleavage, no bra straps, no visible bra due to button-up shirt gapping, no flash of skin or panties between your skirt/pants and the hem of your shirt.
Google will lie to you. Blogs about “what to wear to an interview” also seem to push too much sexy, not enough conservative. While shopping, try to remember you don’t want to look sexy. Sexy bad.
What SHOULD you wear? As covered pretty in-depth by WayfaringMD, your options are to go with a dress, blouse+skirt or blouse+pants.
- Go for sleeves over straps. Cap sleeves, short sleeves, long sleeves, doesn’t matter. Avoid strap dresses unless you’re going to wear a suit jacket or blazer with it. A bare shoulder is not conservative.
- Do the Catholic School test - if your hemline doesn’t stay near your knees when you sit you are moving into non-conservative territory.
- Stick with solids or very subtle prints. Avoid patterns, and definitely do not go for the sultry red. Red is too aggressive. Navy, grey, pinstripe are all good choices. Neutral colors in tan and beige can work, but be sure they look professional.
- Avoid anything that reminds you of a summer picnic, going out clubbing or cocktail parties. And no sequins. I saw this ONCE and my jaw dropped and was difficult to put back in place.
- Interviewers are bored. Please do not dress in black - this is an interview, not a funeral. You will not stand out, you will look mournful and that is not memorable. (see also AspDocs post on this)
- Interviewers are still conservative. Your suiting should be navy, gray, tan or similar. Avoid bold colors in your suit - save it for the blouse.
Where to Shop?
Start online. Browse Ann Taylor, Banana Republic and similar stores for ideas. Find less expensive ones at Macy’s, JC Penney’s or similar stores. If you’re larger than a size 10, definitely check out Lane Bryant, but keep in mind they tend to go more casual than conservative lately. I like to look at places like Nordstroms, but will never be able to afford such clothes, so don’t go looking and decide you HAVE TO HAVE a suit that costs $2000. You don’t! I got two suits for less than $150 each, then spent nearly as much to get them professionally tailored. Tailoring makes a ‘meh’ suit into a great one.
Seriously, if you find a suit that almost fits, spending the money to have it tailored (not just hemmed, but fitted to your waist and body shape) will make you look 100x more professional and mature than the other students. This tip is also for dudes, because the men who had tailored suits stood out from the boxy-not-quite-fit of the boys in suits straight from the store.
THANK YOU FOR ENCOURAGING FOLKS TO AVOID WEARING ALL BLACK!!!!!!!!!! Seriously, it’s the easiest thing you can do to stand out just a teeny little bitsy bit.
Several of us medblrs talk about the sartorial details of medical school interviews. This is an excellent, succinct post on that subject!
You must do the thing which you think you cannot do. -Eleanor Roosevelt”
There was once a time when a ticket, like the one above, would gain you access to a live theater dissection, like the one below.
Pictured, students at Jefferson Medical college crowd into the bleachers of a lamplit amphitheater to witness the slow disassembly of a cadaver. The room in which they sat became known to students as ‘The Pit’ during its day.
Notice how the surgeons and anatomists of the 19th century wore three piece suits in the theater rather than our more familiar gowns and gloves.
Interview: T-minus 8 hours
Some motivation from the doctor.
I definitely needed this right now!
needed this right now