I have a thing for suits, especially statement ones. Whether I can take my time planning how to style my suit or I just need to grab something and go, suits are such an easy way to look put together and polished. Even as a stay-at-home-mom, I found ways to wear the suits I had left over from my office days. The pieces, worn separately or together, really expand a casual wardrobe and don’t make you look fussy or overdressed.
Since returning to the working world, I have concentrated on expanding my suit options with brighter colors, standout patterns and sleeker silhouettes. And when times call for more traditional work attire, well, a mustard yellow velvet suit is still a suit. After all, Cher was honoring the request of the producers to wear a basic black dress to the Oscar’s in the ‘80’s. #technicality
My Case for Suits Even in Today’s World
I have not just worked in more traditional environments, but during more traditional times where it was all suits and sheath dresses, and the pencil skirt/button down blouse was as casual as it got (and required pantyhose. Never forget the pantyhose). Somewhere along the way, suits began to represent everything wrong with life in corporate America where putting on a suit and tie to toil away in a cubicle under fluorescent lighting became everyone’s nightmare. But like offices and office culture, suits have loosened up and gotten a lot more fun.
Even if I work in a very casual office, there were and are still times that I needed to wear a suit: Board meetings, presentations to investors or donors, handling celebrities, professional development and networking events, even going door to door at the state capital to talk to legislators. They make you feel instantly powerful and commanding, like a sartorial power pose. Suits have always been bad ass. Which brings me to my next point…
Suits Have Always Been and Always Will Be Bad Ass
Think of the splash the following celebs have made on the red carpet: Rihanna, Olivia Wilde, Angelina Jolie, Emma Watson, Janelle Monae, Zendaya and more. They also receive extra bad ass points in the comfort category as suits will always be more comfortable and food baby forgiving than the average dress or gown.
Here are a couple of my favorite tricks to amping up even the most basic suit’s bad ass factor. Forgo a typical shirt and wear nothing but a sexy lace bra under the blazer (clearly this look is NSFW). Or simply put the jacket on backwards, pile on the pearls or other bling, put on your slinkiest heels and prepare to make an entrance.
Borrow from the Boys
Don’t own a suit and don’t need to invest in one, but want to get in on the styling fun? One of my favorite #thrifttricks is to scour the men’s suit department at thrift stores. Often you find better quality and better brands at better prices using this thrift trick. Many men’s suits have a great slouchy fit to them, which is a whole other world of styling options to explore!
I have seen a lot of posts on how to wear one suit x different ways and I thought I would take my most unique suit and see how many different outfits I could come up with. I loved this Scotch & Soda suit the first minute I saw it. As I stated earlier, I have been on the hunt for suits in distinct colors, fabrics, details and patterns – sometimes, all the above! The color combo, material and silhouette of this suit got me to purchase it at almost full price (this was a new to me brand, so I signed up for their enewsletter to receive a welcome discount of 10% off). The fit made me keep it. The quality made me a fan.
I hung the suit on my closet door and my 16-year-old and I had a brainstorming session where we quickly pulled any article of clothing that caught our eye and threw it on the bed for further consideration. We edited down our selections and created outfits from there. One of the surprising things how versatile this suit is. We tried to come up with outfits that would work for many different scenarios, including work, errands, fulfilling mom duties, going out for a night on the town and more.
Ditch the Jacket, Change the Blouse – for this look I went with a beige blouse. It’s an old favorite from White House Black Market and I loved how the more traditional bow blouse looked with the more modern pants. Other blouses that looked great was my classic white button down and a vintage denim button down. In the same vein, you could pair these pants with an understated sweater in a neutral color. I would have taken a few photos of this, but it was 106 the day we shot these photos and there isn’t a/c strong enough to have gotten me to put one on.
Go Graphic – a graphic sweatshirt or tee pairs very well with these trousers. Can’t wear this to the office? This look is great for brunch and other casual get togethers, lunch date, errands and a myriad of kid related activities. I switched the pumps for my Freda Salvador D’Orsay sneakers (these are a recent purchase and my love for these could be its own blog post).
Switch the Jacket – this was a causal look, but the possibilities are endless with options to fit almost any lifestyle. A solid-colored blazer for the office or a denim jacket for a more casual look. This jacket is a J Crew purchase from a few seasons ago and its almost gun metal color that has just enough deep plum undertones to go with the pants.
Business on Top – but party on the bottom. Because of the dice pin that came included on the lapel, I have decided that this jacket must come with me when I go to Vegas in a few months. With that in mind, I teamed the blazer with my black leather pants and not much else. And just like the pants, the jacket would look great with many other bottoms.
Dress It Up or Dress It Down – literally. I recently wore the jacket over a vintage satin slip dress that I thrifted from Savers for dinner out with my husband and I have plans to wear this same combo again but with a different satin slip dress. This jacket is a great way to add punch to many work sheaths and skirts while guarding against frigid office temps.
And Finally, Jeans – I styled two denim looks: one cut-offs and one full-length jeans. For the shorts look, I added a crop top and my new mules from Mango. For the full jean look, I switched to a basic shell, the Sezane jeans I scored at Goodwill for $9.99 and my favorite pair of thrifted Anne Klein d-Orsay pumps. While the former is great for going out, the latter would be appropriate for casual offices.
I only photographed the more interesting outfits as I am sure you can imagine the rest. Plenty of these ideas can be interchanged or combined. The entire suit looked great with my new Freda Salvador sneakers, plus they saved my feet. Adding a denim jacket over a graphic tee looks great as well.
We hope this inspired you to get creative with your suits. Please let us know what your favorite is, or if you have any additional tricks in the comments.
Photography by http://Breezyritter.com