Last week, after a grueling day toiling hunched in front of my work laptop in the confines of my cubicle, straining my eyes and mesmerized by the tessellation of cells in an Excel spreadsheet, just before pouring myself a cocktail, I received a desperate and eager plea from my younger brother to review his resume in preparation for a large, on-campus career fair. Placing my shaker back to wait idly in the freezer, I went to work; his resume had great content, as he studies Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mathematics, with frustratingly amazingly pristine grades. However, to give his qualities, academic accolades, and internship experience a bit more professional flair and an elegance and ease to the eye, I performed some formatting changes. In the end, he was able to add a few more detailed statements concerning some of his internship experience, and overall was grateful for the advice and the infusion of corporate aesthetics.
After attending the fair, he jocularly teased that these events are merely ritualistic displays of clammy hand interactions and awkward introductions. While I certainly respect this sentiment, career fairs have their merits, if nothing else serving as practice on formally introducing yourself and distributing your resume, learning what pertinent questions to ask a potential employer or place of interest, learning how to gauge where you would be an asset and what establishment would ultimately be an asset to yourself. However, given that the economy has tumbled down off the mountain of growth and prosperity into the deep basin of despair, and continues to flail and not quite be climbing up towards the light, I liken career fairs to speed-dating. Speed-dating with rather sadistic or curious individuals who, either from desire to manifest their cruelty or from a wish to further understand human nature in times of struggle, have already decided to spend their lives in solemn celibacy or have already discovered that intense emotional bond and have partnered off, yet meet and charm you regardless. With no intention of calling.
Thankfully, my younger brother, with his outstanding grade point average, rigorous course load, and manly, business handshake (that our father had instilled within the heart of us all, at a very early age), procured an interview for a summer position. I am proud of all of his accomplishments, wished him well, and reminded him to wear a nice tie.
Although gingham is not a pattern that I would advise to wear on a first interview for a majority of industries, particularly those with a more technical and thus masculinely heteronormative orientation, the combination of a navy or royal blue gingham with a solid, deep red tie has always been a favorite of mine. Particularly in the spring or the summer, gingham matches the playfulness of the season, while still maintaining a crisp, starched professional look. And as far as I am concerned, all men should own a nice solid red, or perhaps gold, tie. A shirt such as this royal blue gingham with this tie, I would love to see with a solid light charcoal suit. Again, as the weather warms, light gray matches the sun, and is less austere and severe than the traditional, stereotypical black.
(images taken from Ralph Lauren)