How to Help Young Men Dress Professionally

best workwear advice for menWhich blogs provide workwear advice to young male professionals? Reader S wonders, and now is a great time to talk about men’s style since I’m guessing there will be some killer Father’s Day sales coming up… (update: here’s our roundup for some big mens’ sales happening the weekend of 6/14) —

Do you know of any blogs that provide sound fashion advice to young male professionals? One of my firm’s summer clerks has become the subject of office ridicule because of the way he dresses, as well as his general awkwardness. This really bothers me, as he reminds me a lot of my younger brother. In an attempt to help him, I am planning on sending an email to him and to the two female clerks recommending helpful blogs regarding office etiquette, professional clothing, etc. I am going to recommend Corporette to the ladies (you have helped me immensely), but I do not know of a site for men. Are there any that you would recommend?

This is something that I’ve been asked so often that I’ve actually bought a few domain names and thought about launching a workwear blog for men myself. (Trust me when I say it’s at/near the bottom of my to-do list, though!) I’m curious to hear what readers say here — some of my best resources for men include:

  • Esquire magazine. I’ve always loved Esquire. It’s still a bit more “fashiony” than what an awkward guy may need, but it’s a thousand times more basic than Details or GQ.
  • Books. Advice for men on how to dress professionally is so static that books are often the best resource. I own and fondly reread Esquire’s Things a Man Should Know About Style (it’s short and funny); another classic is Dressing the Man, currently #1 in Amazon’s men’s/grooming advice section.
  • Blogs. I’m not a total expert when it comes to men’s fashion blogs, but I’ve just started reading Fine Young Gentleman, and I’ve heard good things about Put This On.
  • Safe stores. When in doubt, point him towards a Charles Tyrwhitt or Brooks Brothers — while they do stock more trendy pieces, they tend to be among the most expensive pieces, which makes it unlikely that a newbie would mistakenly pick some up.

 

Readers, what resources do you recommend for guys just learning how to dress professionally? (Also, I’m kind of curious — what are some of the worst style errors you’ve seen men make at your offices?)

Comments

  1. I have a threadjack right off the bat: I’ve been dating an awesome guy for about 6 weeks. Last night he came over, and I VERY inadvertently saw an alert on the screen of his cell phone – not sure why it was displayed when the phone was locked:

    “Buy BT [thing that I mentioned wanting ages ago] for her birthday.”

    My birthday is in 7 months! So, #1, squeeeeee, but #2, I’ve spoiled the surprise if we are still dating then! Do I tell him?

    • Don’t tell him! Maybe it’s not for your birthday, but for something else. Even if it’s not a surprise, let him do a good job getting you a gift he was thoughtful enough to notice you wanted — will make you both feel good. So fun!

    • Alerts display when the phone is locked. Don’t tell him. But – he sounds like a contender!

    • He sounds awesome to be thinking so far in advance! Definitely don’t tell him. I bet you’ll forget in a couple weeks anyway, so it’ll be a surprise all over again!

    • Jenolen2161 :

      As someone who married a guy who did thoughtful things like this all the time when we dated (and continued after we got married), DO NOT tell him you saw the alert. Put on your best “surprised” face and/or actively tell yourself that you have no idea what you saw. And to echo 2013, he sounds like a contender!

    • This is awesome! What a guy. :)

      (Don’t tell him you saw. Try to forget.)

    • Convince yourself that it’s probably for his mom/sister, or that he checked the price of [thing that you mentioned] out of curiosity.

      Then if it is for you, you’ll be genuinely surprised. If it’s not for you, you won’t be disappointed. :P

  2. Good for broke men of all ages and young men of all means: Broke and Bespoke! http://brokeandbespoke.tumblr.com/

  3. I was intrigued by your magazine suggestion. I have longed to subscribe my husband (over 50) to a men’s magazine for ideas and inspiration, but found them too out there and immature (he picks up GQ in line at grocery now and again). He is not afraid of fashion and likes to stay appropriately current for his age. Do you think Esquire works for the over 50 guy too? Any other suggestions?

  4. Speaking of men’s fashion rules, my boyfriend had a question that I didn’t know the answer to, and maybe some of you know. When a man wears a button-down shirt with no tie, does he button those tiny buttons on the collar-points, or leave them unbuttoned?

    • They should be buttoned at all times because, properly speaking, there should be no time that such a shirt is worn WITH a tie. (Button-down shirts are technically sportswear, not dress shirts.) Although I realize this rule is fading from popularity.

      • Which one is this? : http://www.costco.com/Kirkland-Signature%E2%84%A2-Men's-Button-Down-Non-Iron-Dress-Shirt—White-.product.100016178.html
        He bought several of those to wear to work, with suits and ties. Is that wrong?

        • My husband agrees with TBK, you use collar stays in spread collar shirts for ties. I don’t think Costco makeT those in non-wrinkle. http://www.costco.com/.product.100016230.html?cm_sp=RichRelevance-_-ensemblepageVerticalRight-_-PopularProductsInCategory&cm_vc=ensemblepageVerticalRight|PopularProductsInCategory
          That being said, I see men all the time wearing a button down shirt with a tie and a suit.

        • Technically a button-down collar is sportswear and therefore not appropriate to wear with a suit and tie (my understanding is the buttons were added so that men’s collars wouldn’t flap in their faces while they were playing sports). I only know this because my husband is a total stickler for proper men’s dress would never wear a button-down shirt to work. But then, he’s the kind of guy who owns several sets of proper collar stays, puts his dress shoes in cedar shoe trees as soon as he gets home from work, and is so particular about ties that I would never dare pick one out of him myself. As I said, it’s a rule that’s fading in popularity and I doubt anyone would think anything of your husband wearing those shirts to work.

      • I think there is 2 School’s of thought on that. I know men who DO wear the button down shirt’s with a tie. Think of all the guy’s with those STIFF white shirt’s on. Of course they have ties. Even my drunk ex, Alan, used to wear white shirts with button DOWNs, and tie’s too. Of course, he was a slob and by the time he came home, there was NO TIE on, but in the morning’s he had a tie on with his button down shirt’s. YAY for him b/c I think he got another accounteing job. I met his new girlfreind but did NOT tell her why we broke up, just that it was NOT meant to be. I figure the girl will have to be a SAINT to put up with his drinkeing and vomiteing (assumeing that is that he is drinkeing), so why burst her bubbel?

        Myrna still has a sore throat from her infection so we can NOT go out yet. She said she got it at work. I wonder if they have bad air conditeoning at her place. She is by Wall Street, and it got FLOODED out during Sandy, so mabye they need to redo the Air conditioner’s? Does any one else in the HIVE know about bad air getting peeople sick with sore throat’s? She had to go to the ENT for a SCRIPT. FOOEY!

    • Anonymous :

      They’re always buttoned, tie or not. A tie can be worn with them, but they are a little more casual than shirts without those collar buttons.

  5. It’s not a clothing blog per se, but The Art of Manliness has a really decent clothing and grooming section: http://www.artofmanliness.com/category/dress-grooming/

    (The site also manages to talk about clothing, personal care, relationships, health, careers and etc with some degree of maturity and without the condescending talking-down-to tone of most men’s magazines. If you’re willing to forgive a certain amount of gender-essentialist attitudes and a 1950s-ish middle-class focus, I’ve found it’s a really good resource for what’s expected in more conservative environments.)

  6. While we’re talking men, can we discuss racism and dating? And specifically how to overcome it? I’ve been trying to step up the online dating, and realize that I only select/respond to white men. And I’m not actually comfortable with that fact. Sooooo how to be less racist without responding to guys I really don’t think are match and wasting their time?

    (I’m sure this will wind up on STFU[thissite] but I figure if I don’t ask, I won’t be able to fix it)

    • What criteria do you use to determine which white men to message on the site? Education? Grammar? Listed hobbies? Use those same criteria to select which non-white men to meet.

    • TO Lawyer :

      Maybe you’re not being racist? Maybe you have a type? Is there a reason why you don’t respond to non-white guys beyond the fact that you don’t think it would be a good match?

      • I think you have to ask yourself why you have that ‘type’ or attraction. If it’s because of perceived differences, not okay. But, physical attraction only, is fair. For example, I would take Tay Diggs, Ryan Gosling, Javier Bardem any day of the week (hey a girl can dream while making a point), but I happen to not be super attracted to Asian men immediately. In real life (sadly where the trio of hotness isn’t knocking at my door) I would go out on a date with anyone I deemed an appropriate match for me character-wise, because attraction grows over time.

        • Diana Barry :

          Ditto. I definitely have a type – you can see some, if not all, of a certain menu of physical characteristics in most of the guys I dated; most (although not all) were white. (e.g. glasses, similar head shape, lighter hair than mine, taller than I am, etc.)

    • Let me make sure I understand correctly.

      So men of all races are messaging/contacting you via this dating site, but you’re declining all of the non-white males. And you say you’re concerned you’re declining all people of color, but based on the last sentence of your 1st paragraph, it sounds like you’re more concerned that you sound racist when you respond to the non-white males?

      If you’re truly choosing only white men to meet because you don’t want to meet non-whites, then that in itself is racist, no matter what the response.

      To be less racist in responding, just respond to the men of color the same way you would if you wanted to decline a white male.

      • Anonymous :

        No- I meant in choosing who to respond to. I don’t respond at all to men I’m not interested in.

        • So you do not respond to:
          a) white men you’re not interested in
          b) non-white men you’re not interested in

          Except the fact that you’re not interested in any non-white men so therefore, you don’t respond to any non-white men whatsoever.

          Is this what’s happening?

          • Anonymous :

            Exactly! I’m feeling like I’m writing off non-white guys too quickly, and missing out on people who may be a good match, but I’m not sure how to expand my criteria without winding up spending more time on guys where its not going anywhere. And, since I like to think of myself as a good person, would like to fix this racist bit I’ve uncovered.

          • Well, one way of combating this is to activating an ad-blocker or something similar so that you can’t see the man’s photos. Judge him on profile/personality alone and respond based on that. If you don’t want to be that blind when responding, ask yourself if you’d respond to this man if he was white. If the answer yes, then write back!

          • Do you have to date non-white guys (or non-same ethnic heritage) in order to not be racist? If you want to date non-white guys, then go for it. If you don’t, or you use it as a weed factor I guess I don’t see anything inherently wrong with that. I think that a similarity in cultural/ethnic background can make some people more comfortable in a relationship, just like some people like to have really different backgrounds.

            But, if you don’t want to weed by ethnic background, then don’t. Weed by writing voice, or expressed interests, or something else. But don’t date someone just to prove you aren’t racist.

      • Anon for this! :

        Ummmm, when it comes to dating – or thinking about ling term relationships, life long bond with someone else, one naturally gravitates towards a person similar to themselves- racially, culturally etc. I do not see this as different from educational or intellectual compatibility.

        I do not find it racist. Now if someone from your family or friends chooses to marry someone of other race or culture and you are not comfortable with it (because of those differences) then you really might want to consider your response racist.

        • Anon for this too! :

          Or maybe OP herself is a person of color? We Asian women get a lot of $h!t from people (whites, Asian men and even some Asian women) for dating white men at higher numbers/percentages than Asian men date white women. You bet that many of us consciously think about race one way or another when we are dating.

          • Anon for this too! :

            My bad! OP discloses later in the thread that she’s white. I guess my point still stands, though it’s not quite relevant to this conversation.

    • Maybe you should take a step back from the online dating that triggered this realization and consider: Do you have friends of other races, first of all, female or male? Do you enjoy hanging out with them? Have you been to their houses, have they been to yours?

      If no, then I’d start there.

      If yes, then you can revisit the dating question. There’s just one little hurdle, and that is to respond to the person, and go out for coffee or a beer or whatever, and see what happens. Dating will always involve a certain amount of “spending time on guys where it’s not going anywhere.” You can expand your physical criteria and still evaluate the content of their character.

      • Anonymous :

        No, I don’t. And i have no idea how id make them/ I find making friends way harder than dating!

        Thanks ladies- I’m sure I sound like an idiot, and I really appreciate all of your kind advice. Has given me lots to think about.

        • Interesting. Just for curiosity’s sake, what city/state/geographical region do you live in?

          • Anonymous :

            NYC. Which, I know, is ridic. But my hometown in NJ was all white, college and law school mostly white, church, white, and to be honest I’m shy and only have a handful of friends.

        • May I just say then, good for you for recognizing something in yourself that you don’t like and asking for advice on how to change it.

          I can see where taking the leap to date someone of another race would seem daunting and hard to picture. I give you permission to not worry about it yet. That’s the advanced class.

          Try taking baby steps out of your comfort zone. Sit next to someone of another race when you are at a big group event and make small talk. Chat about the weather, the traffic, whatever. Join a meetup group and strike up a conversation with someone of another background, racial or cultural. Relax! Be friendly and sociable. Whether any given casual conversation results in a lifelong friendship isn’t the point. Getting to know a wider variety of people is.

          Once this is normal and easy and fun, see if you perceive your dating matches any differently.

    • I am not sure if this is racism OR whether this is a case of you (1) having a type (2) being unconsciously drawn to your culture/subculture because of ‘familiarity’

      So do reflect on it, but not sure you should beat yourself up over it.

      I am Indian and if I went to an online site, I am pretty sure I’d be more open to responding to Indian guys more for the familiarity factor. Not because I don’t like whites or blacks.

  7. Speaking of men and workwear, I notice times again that not all colour (of button downs, especially) work with every guy. Well, this is nothing new of course, but it amuses me sometimes that while we ladies generally know quite well which colours don’t work on us and try to avoid them, it seems to me, many men never pay attention to that aspect, although it’s no different with them, either.

    And then, what keeps amusing me time over time, is that some men always come up with horrible combinations of button down colour and tie colour.

    • big dipper :

      Ahhhh, I always notice this!

      The subreddit I mentioned below has a “Guide to Color” here: http://www.reddit.com/r/malefashionadvice/comments/15tjgv/livemethods_heroically_enormous_seasonal_color/

      It’s super detailed but definitely useful for the color incompetent men in my life.

      • I think in general not all color shirts work in every office. My SO was lucky when he first started in his office to have a crotchety supervisor who basically told him that only white or blue shirts are acceptable and blue only on casual days. Obviously, very formal environment, but I don’t think you’ll ever go wrong with a white shirt in a formal setting. Some colors and patterns are definitely classic, and when you get into territory like dark red, honestly, it just looks awfully dated and not all guys get that.

        I also think men are starting to get a little ridiculous with the exagerated double windsor tie knots. You’re going to the office, you’re not a rapper or footballer, your tie knot should not be wider than your chin.

        Ugh, obviously, I have a lot of opinions on this….

    • Great website/ blog for men: http://effortlessgent.com
      My husband uses this site and i’ve been looking for my “effortless gent” site ever since (I think I just found it :)

      Anyways, great simple advice, helps a young man get his wardrobe into shape. My husband is a sexy man. I thank this blog.

      L

  8. big dipper :

    This is a “proceed with caution” recommendation, but reddit’s “Male Fashion Advice” subreddit can have good advice. A few of my male friends have very successfully turned their clothing choices around after checking out the subreddit. It’s not the easiest to navigate if you’re not familiar with Reddit, but it’s has some great features.

    There are a few good guides in the links on the side (How Clothes Should Fit, A Basic Wardrobe, How to Make an Outfit). For example, the fit guide is here: http://www.reddit.com/r/malefashionadvice/comments/ehrtv/shujins_comprehensive_fit_guide/

    The caveat is that it is Reddit, so some of the commenters can be aggresive/mean/insular sometimes. But worth a try!

  9. A related question – any good stores for “plus size” men? My husband finds everything is too casual (eg Old Navy) or too formal (eg men’s wearhouse) and would love a good selection of dark wash jeans and nicer ts, etc.

  10. Sorry, but this question reads a bit mean girl to me (I’m sure that’s not the intent). If your office has a dress code, people should be expected to dress to that standard. If they don’t you should create one (at least for interns). You can couch etiquette by a ‘welcome to the firm’ lunch and this is the way we do things/most law firms, etc. Your co-workers sound like jerks (who ridicules someone who’s just starting out in the business world?!).

    • This. Also, what is so hard about taking interns out for lunch and checking in on how things are doing and saying, “By the way, dress like those people”? (Mean people are mean)

    • I can see how that can come off that way, but I also can see the merit/kindness in what the OP is trying to do. Granted, no one should be ridiculing anyone for how they dress and in an ideal world, if you care enough to discuss it, you should just be able to say, “hey, here’s the dress code, abide by it.” BUT – in real life, so many little things get in the way off that! And it is hard to say something like that to someone explicitly.

      Not to mention that some things are so subtle that it’s hard to explain to someone just why it shouldn’t be done. For instance, we have a new guy who ever since it’s gotten warm has been wearing short sleeve shirts with his suits. Super obvious ones too, and it definetely does stand out when a man shows no sleeves with his suit jacket. There’s no rule against it, but it looks dumb and while I have no intention of saying anything (or ridiculing him for it), I can see how he would benefit from a blog that might cover this sort of thing. Same with interns who wear suits and backpacks – it just looks like they’re wearing their first suit to visit dad at the office, but, again, I’m not going to sit all our interns down and say “you’re a grown up, get an adult bag.”

      And dress codes doesn’t always cover office-specific rules that might be too subtle to put in writing but that will still make someone put less than their best foot forward:
      e.g., the color of a man’s shirt — I have seen many men wearing dark red, black, gray or brown shirts with their suits and while it’s not against any dress code, it makes them look a bit too much like Dwight Schrute 9 times out of 10 and will make them stand out in a not too positive way in many offices. Same with certain suits – we’ve had interns who have worn summer suits in winter and wool flannel suits in summer. No one should make fun of them, of course, but I can see how they would benefit from some guidance. Or even socks — it would seem to be common sense but we’ve had law students show up with athletic socks in lieu of dress socks.

      Anyway, in short, some people don’t have a role model for how to dress and I think these little things can hinder them in their career, unfair though it may be. Not everyone has the personality to take aside a stranger and say, hey kid, you’re not quite getting the culture around here. But a blog like this one can do a lot to point that person in the right direction.

      • I agree with your points, but I think a casual mention of blogs that were helpful over lunch versus an email (from your work address) come across vastly different. Especially in light of the fact people (not the OP) are mocking him for his clothing choices.

    • Silvercurls :

      Meanness should not be tolerated by bystanders. Can the OP either speak up for the intern or find someone else to tell whoever is mocking the intern’s work style mistakes that there’s no shame in having to LEARN something, whether it’s how to draft a document or how to choose an office-appropriate outfit! People come from all kinds of backgrounds; not all folks grow up watching their parents go to work in business suits; and this distinction doesn’t necessarily fall along the lines of more or less income, status, or education. Okay, most day laborers dress informally, but plenty of highly educated folks also spend their entire careers in business casual or even less formal work wardrobes!
      The same person who defends the intern to the peanut gallery also needs to remind these people that the intern got hired for his other strengths: a quick mind, a great work ethic, terrific coursework or previous experience, whatever.
      And finally, YES, run don’t walk to tell the intern (privately, so he won’t be embarassed) that he needs to make X, Y, Z changes to his style and he can buy affordable versions of the necessary items at A, B, or C retail or online store. He should also be advised to plan to someday be able to shop at D, E, or F store–even if only during the sales–to get more value for his money. (So: this summer, buy your dress socks at Costco; in the after-Xmas sales, buy them at Nordstrom’s.) This plus a couple of books or blogs for future reference will give him confidence and useful information. Oh yes, and whoever gives this advice also needs to compliment the intern to his face on some of his other strengths.

      I’m coming at this not as an expert on corporate wardrobes but as a special needs mom who knows a thing or two about the corrosive, long-lasting effects of being mocked…or bullied. It’s not nice and it’s not necessary whether at school or at work or anywhere else.

      –and that someone is giving the intern specific tips for his present workplace and some resources (books or blogs) for his future work life

  11. I know this has been posted here before, but mens fashion forevermore will make me think of this awesome super dapper gentleman: http://alioutfit.tumblr.com/

  12. With apologies for the threadjack, I’m a new transactional lawyer about to get pulled in on a very large acquisition. I have absolutely no experience with M&A – can anyone point me to any resources that I can, say, get a run down of terms that are likely to be used or issues that could come up, so I don’t look like a total dope? It involves a healthcare facility (which is my area of practice), so there are a lot of special regulations that apply just here, but I’d really like a good basic understanding before we get started.

    TIA!

    • I am interested in responses to this too. I feel like a lot of the dealwork I have seen is hands on learning. My role on those teams is to handle the regulatory issues (I am in healthcare as well) and then let the corporate folks work on the heavy corporate lifting. It’s ok to ask questions about a practice area that is new to you. Even if you don’t know the document technicalities, it’s good to think about the big picture. Who does what now at the facilities, post-transaction how will that be the same/different, will there be new/fewer services, how does the money flow, how do you allocate existing liabilities, how do you handle future liabilities, does everyone agree on what is being bought/sold, etc.

    • Try the AHLA listserve archives for M&A issues. There are a ton of very specific issues you’ll want to spot and address in the healthcare world. I’d check both AHLA and ABA archives to see if there is a CLE you can access via tape or web on the subject.

    • Become friendly with the junior/mid-level M&A associate on the deal team. Ideally, see if you can grab lunch or coffee and have them give you a short explanation of how deals like this function. They will be happy to feel like they actually know what they’re talking about for once, and you can ask them the stupid questions. As a mid-level M&A associate, I’d be happy to know my regulatory specialists were trying to understand, and I enjoy getting to know people in different sections in the firm.

      • Also, your firm may have some internal training materials that they use for their first year deal lawyers. See if you can get your hands on the ones that walk you through the parts of a purchase and sale agreement (or whatever type of deal you’re working on).

  13. conflicted :

    Lawyers out there… I’m considering turning down a federal district court clerkship in one of the most prestigious districts in the country. I don’t plan to practice there long-term and it’s for a year later than I would like to live in that city (earlier year had been filled). Am I nuts? Is clerking worth rearranging your life for, especially if you are a little older?

    • Anonymous :

      Depends. Do you have another job lined up? Family responsibilities?

      • Most firms will give you a break for a year if you’re going to be leaving to clerk somewhere. As in, you can go to work, leave to go clerk, and your job will be held for when you return. If you have another job lined up, see if this is possible for you.
        Regardless of whether a job is held for you or not, if you don’t have family responsibilities that would tie you to your locale for that year, I would definitely go. This is a really big opportunity that will have coattails for a lot longer in your career than you might think.

        • +1 to VERY long-term career positives/coattails. My district court clerkship was not in a prestigious district and it still has professional/career benefits over a decade later in a non-litigation practice area.

      • ^^ This. Also, is it not bad form to turn down a clerkship? The coattails that come from a fed clerkship are not limited to the region in which the judge is located. I have a spouse and a school aged child and another on the way. I would consider relocating my family for a clerkship.

    • I think so, but it obviously depends on your ultimate ambitions and other options. If it’s NY or DC, I think it will pretty much always carry a lot of weight and prestige so even if you move to Iowa, it will always be considered a positive. Then again, if your goal is to hang out a shingle in a small town somewhere, you may gain more benefit from a more local state court experience where you ultimately want to end up. But I wouldn’t turn it down.

  14. My favorite for this topic is The Art of Manliness. Love, love, love! They have a smart voice and encourage guys to be authentic in all aspects of their life.

  15. Depends. Will doing it make your life miserable for personal reasons? If so, pass, as nothing’s worth being miserable about. Do you already have a job lined up other than the clerkship? If you already have an offer to start as an associate at BigLaw and you’re happy with that offer, then turning down the clerkship isn’t a huge deal. If you don’t have a job, or don’t have one you love, do the clerkship — it will measurably improve your job prospects. Even if it’s not in the city that you plan to live in long term, is the clerkship in a more prestigious district (SDNY, EDNY, ND Ill, etc), or is it in bumblef***? All federal clerkships are prestigious, but some more so than others. A SDNY clerkship looks good on your resume for years even if you end up living in LA, a W. Va. clerkship is not going to impress most people on the West Coast.

    • conflicted :

      Very prestigious district. I’m actually already in BigLaw – I thought it would be a graceful exit? But the problem is I am hoping to have kids just before/possibly during the period of the clerkship – I’m not sure there’s enough flexibility there and I’m not sure I really need it.

      • goldribbons :

        Track down some of this judge’s former clerks and talk to them about their experience. You might find out it’s a 9-5 clerkship, or you might find out it’s a 9am-midnight clerkship, and that will inform your decision greatly.

      • Ah, ok, different set of considerations entirely then. You probably don’t need it. If you’re at BigLaw already I would consider doing a clerkship for only two reasons: (1) you genuinely think it would be an interesting experience (which in fact most people who do one find it to be); or (2) the graceful exit strategy you mention. But, query whether you really NEED a graceful exit strategy. If you plan to leave your firm in a year or two because you want to go in-house, want to work in government, want to work at a much smaller firm, or anything like this, you don’t need the clerkship for the exit strategy. People understand why associates leave BigLaw for these kinds of changes. On the other hand, if you want to be at BigLaw but just don’t like your particular firm, then leaving to do a clerkship and then going to a different BigLaw firm afterwards is a good way to change firms without having people question why you want to leave BigLaw A for BigLaw B. This would be particularly true in legal markets that don’t see a lot of movement from one firm to a competitor firm.

        • Anonymous :

          I was once told not to make career decisions around big things (marriage, kids) until they actually happen. Why? Because often they take longer to happen than whatever career decision is going on. If the clerkship is a year, many people, esp. over 30, take much longer than a year just to get pregnant, and then there’s 9 months of pregnancy itself. I hate to say what’s become cliche, but don’t leave until you leave.

      • A couple of thoughts: As someone else said, clerking can be incredibly family-friendly or it may not be. Each judge gets to run his or her own ship. Check with prior or current clerks on this one. In my experience, clerking was the one time in my career where I had time in the evenings and no expectation to be connected in the evenings or weekends.

        An additional consideration, especially leaving biglaw where there may be great maternity leave, is that the federal government does not provide paid maternity leave. You may be covered by FMLA (time of employment?) but that’s about it. As a term clerk, you are also not automatically placed on the “Leave Act.” If you are not on the Leave Act, you do not accrue paid sick or vacation leave, which is how many in the federal system have at least part of their maternity leave paid. If you are not on the Leave Act, any time off is at the discretion of the judge, so you may get some paid time, you may not. You can request to be placed on the Leave Act, but that is in the discretion of the judge.

        All that being said, with an understanding judge, starting a family immediately prior or during a clerkship could be great. I have seen it happen. It just depends on the judge.

  16. Anonymous :

    It’s more history and European influence than other blogs, but there’s always this one – http://www.gentlemansgazette.com/

  17. I think the worst style errors that men make with work clothes (and heck, clothes in general) are related to fit – their clothes are technically appropriate, but they look like they’re walking around in a cloud of clothing. Shirts and jackets that are too wide, sleeves that are too long, pants that pool around their ankles and are saggy in the butt and crotch. It looks awful, like they picked up whatever size they’d like to be (6’2″ linebacker) and walked out of the store.

    • I agree; I see that a lot. My SO wears his clothes way too baggy. I did manage to get him to voluntarily buy some new jeans by plucking at the fabric over his rear and exclaiming how there was room for a whole ‘nother butt in there. He’s getting used to them, although he at first complained that he “feels like a hipster.”

      Next to get him to realize his shirts should really be size M and not L…

    • My brother actually had the opposite problem – was wearing a size S when he needed a size M. He needed the larger size for torso and sleeve length, but is thin through the torso and didn’t like all the extra fabric flapping around. We finally found him some slim cut shirts that he can wear in the correct size – and you can’t see his belly button when he lifts his arms.

      • Most men buy clothes for whatever part of their body is most uncomfortable in a bad fit. So my husband buys shirts to fit his broad shoulders, and then his shirt billows about his torso like a pirate. He claims slim fit shirts would make him look like a European, akin to the hipster jeans husband above!

  18. Miz Swizz :

    My husband and I were just discussing his lack of weather-appropriate work shirts. He’s working in a business casual office after many years of working jobs that provided company polos so he’s low on well-fitting, business casual shirts. I find it interesting that he’s so opinionated about work clothes when I’ve seen how he dresses on the weekends. It’s really too bad there aren’t better short-sleeved options for men when women have a variety of sleeve lengths to choose from.

    • Banana Republic has a lot of nice short sleeved button down shirts for men that would look very appropriate in a business casual office with a pair of khakis. They’re a little pricey at reg. price but I’m sure you can catch a 30-40% off promo if you wait a few days.

  19. My boyfriend reads and enjoys dappered.com, which focuses on price-friendly fashion for men. I actually enjoy reading it from time to time as well!

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