Preparing for placements comes as a part of the IIM package, and I was thrown into it as soon I started business school. Not only did I have to tackle forms, mock interviews, and group discussion, I also had the task of finding the appropriate placement outfit. As trivial as it may sound, how you dress can actually make or break your interview.

I had attended placement before after I completed my graduate degree at Sardar Patel Institute of Technology. There I had worn a basic shirt and trousers. At IIM  Calcutta things were different . We were given a formal presentation on how to dress. The senior batch also briefed us .  Wearing a formal suit was important. I didn’t have a ready suit or even a blazer. But luckily, there was a  tailor who came to campus to measure us for blazers.

I needed to wear formals for the publicity photographs for the placement brochure . Also for the pre placement talks companies would give . And  finally for  the placement interviews . I decided to splurge a little more and buy two suits , even though suits are the most expensive part .

Here’s what I bought – 

Two business suits in black and grey –  Rs.12000 *

Two button down shirts in pale blue and white – Rs. 2000

Three formal tops in beige, peach and green – Rs.2000

One office- appropriate dress in black/navy or a pencil skirt  – Rs.1500

Two pairs closed black shoes – could have 2-3 inch heels –  Rs. 3000 

Total expenditure – Rs.20,500

D-Day aka the interviews

I needed to be comfortable because I had to move from one interview location to another (you don’t want to be caught adjusting your clothes in an interview!), so this is what I picked out.  

Buying classic clothes in neutral colours allowed me to mix and match outfits according to the occasion. I highly recommend finding a tailor to stitch your suit – it fits far better and looks way more classy. I bought the rest of my clothes from stores like Harpa, Zara, AND, Arrow and Allen Solley. Most of them are quite affordable and have a great range of formals. 

Most importantly, make sure all your formals are washed and ironed a couple of days before placements. Always keep a spare outfit handy, you never know when disaster could strike! 

Just remember, even though your sartorial skills are on point after reading this post, what matters the most is your confidence and poise (a sharp suit doesn’t hurt either). 

-Neelam Kurankar

 Student, IIM Calcutta

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