Q. I read your advice religiously, but I’ve never had an opportunity to ask a question myself. Now I have a rather important one. I’m a 21-year-old medical student about to begin my clinical rotations in New York hospitals, so I’m finally expected to dress the part of a respectable physician. As a student, I’m effectively broke, making finding nice looking suits rather difficult. I’m 6 feet tall, usually a size 8 in jeans, with a DD bust, so I’m also rather proportionately odd. Do you have any suggestions as to where I can find suits worth investing in? What type of work wear ought I be seeking out in order to look my best? -Clinically Confused
A. On an “effectively broke” budget, it may be smart to buy two suits and then invest in separates like skirts, pants and jackets that can be swapped with other pieces. Add in some well fitting button down shirts that keep your look crisp and professional plus some good sweaters. You’re a 21-year-old doctor that will probably be wearing a doctor’s coat over your clothes, so a suit jacket may not be necessary everyday. I looked for suits and some additional pieces that will help give you a look of a respectable professional and kept it all under $250.
Start with a two-option suit consisting of a tailored jacket, great fitting pants and a slim skirt. In addition to your two suit choices, you can wear any of the 3 pieces as separates paired with other items in your wardrobe. This will be your biggest investment.
Super 120s collection from jcrew.com, available in several colors and sold as separates ranging from $118 to $240.
Add in some stylish knits to layer over crisp shirts to pair with your pants and skirts. The shirts can be worn alone as well.
1. Slim stretch shirt, $59.50 at jcrew.com
2. BCBG Max Azria Empire Waist Smocked Top, $145 at bloomingdales.com
3. Short-sleeve chainlink blouse, $68 at bananarepublic.com
4. Cotton short-sleeve darted blouse, $58 at bananarepublic.com
5. 3/4 Sleeve Puff Cardigan, $88 at armaniexchange.com
6. Wool Lycra Crepe Collared Pullover, $158 at maxtudio.com