Do people still believe that suits = boring? I remember watching the fashion classic What Not To Wear and becoming frustrated with people who equated presentable and professional with monotonous and uninspiring – almost as if there are only two extremes when it comes to fashion: rainbow hair and ripped, mismatched clothing or a boring wardrobe of drab, dark colored suits with not an accessory in sight. The truth is that there is a world of sartorial choices between crazy and matronly and if you have a job that requires a more polished, corporate look, suits are an option that are anything but lackluster. And even if you have a casual office, everyone needs to invest in at least one great suit they can pull out if/when opportunity knocks.
Besides, fit (which can always be fixed by tailoring and having the perfect fitting suit is worth the extra effort and $), these are the elements I consider when purchasing a suit:
Quality Craftmanship – Especially for the price. Quality vs price is the best and quickest way to evaluate a suit. Let’s face it, a cheap suit that looks it is nothing to waste closet space or even time trying on.
Attention to Detail – Is the lining interesting and made of high-quality material? Do the buttons make it look cheap or luxe? Does it have interesting stitching that give it a unique vibe?
Speaking of Vibe – What does the suit say? Does it fit in with the feel of your office but allow for some personalization? I bought this suit from Scotch & Soda for a legal technology convention and felt stylish but appropriate for a more traditional industry (the fact that the suit has a dice pin and the convention happened to be in Vegas is a different story). Is it timeless but not dull? Is the suit made of an unexpected colors, textures or fabrics?
And finally, it is comprised of pieces that can stand alone in an outfit as well as together?
As suits can be investment, even on the modest end of the price range, I feel it is extra important to evaluate each piece on its own. You know that rule that if you can’t picture a potential purchase in three different outfits using items you already own you shouldn’t buy it (or something to that effect)? If you can picture each individual piece in multiple outfits AND can picture how to accessorize the whole thing with items you already own, well, cost per wear and all that #retailmath
The suit blazer first appeared in this post about how to wear summer dresses in the winter. I took my favorite vintage Adele Simpson dress that I purchased at Garment and topped it with the blazer. I love how the yellow of the blazer pulled out the yellow flowers in the predominately red dress. It made for a very happy outfit during some rather dreary months.
I wore the suit pants with my favorite spring-time purchase from Zara. BTW, their sheer blouses are EVERYTHING these past few seasons – see this post – and I am eyeing this one, this one and this one. When I first posted this OOTD on social media, I titled it, Puff Sleeves, Pearls and Peacocks, and I am including the latter in this post because he is the natural beauty in this post, not me….. The Swiss dot like pattern in the blouse reminded me of pearls, so I added these earrings from Britt & Belle and I never miss an opportunity to use my Shrimps dupe bag I found on Etsy. I decided to wear my new Franco Sarto flats as the perforations mimicked the pattern of the blouse (they come in five colors and are under $100).
When wearing the entire suit last week, I was inspired to pair it with my Dior Rasta Tote Bag (purchased via eBay of course) and do not use often enough. I kept it simple with a basic white tank and white Stuart Weitzman pumps. I scored the vintage Givenchy pendant on eBay as well.
Are you a white pump fan? Jennifer and I are split, but I am eyeing these anyway 😊
I may have to add this Tulle Dot Dress from Zara to my closet.
We are very excited about the launch of Corporate Catwalk and I wish this was around when I first started in the corporate world. Although when I first started the suits would have been boring and the box would have included pantyhose. Lots and lots of pantyhose.
As an aside, I have always loved Olivia Jeanette’s corporate style.
Photography by http://Breezyritter.com