Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Suit Shopping

This year I decided to do a suit refresh. Women's suits tend to have a shorter fashion life span than men's, mostly because they have trendier details (remember shoulder pads from the 80's, long jackets from the 90's, and now the trend of short jackets?). Not only did most of my existing suits not fit well, many of them looked so early-2000s.

Here are my tips:
  • Buy one size up and take it to a tailor to have it fitted to YOUR body.
  • Find the discounts. I've bought 4 suits this year. 3 on a website called Rue La La. They have boutiques with high end clothing that you get at a drastic discount. My last purchase was an Anne Klein $400 suit for $120. I spent $75 at the tailor getting it taken in and it looks like a $600 suit. I like Beyond the Rack online as well. And Nordstrom Rack can have a good deal if you are willing to dig.
  • Stick with solids and pinstripes in neutral colors. Black, grey, navy, brown, tan, etc. Then add your color with the shirt underneath or shoes.
  • No matter what your size, a pencil skirt looks great. I promise. You may just need to get it tailored to the right fit and length.
  • Lately I've noticed, there are a lot of suit jackets that button high enough you don't need a shirt underneath. I got one and wore a colorful scarf in an ascot-type fashion. Adding a broach or scarf or big necklace is a must.
  • Change the buttons. I'm about to go on an antique and vintage store shopping spree to find fabulous buttons to swap out on my clothing. Cool, huh?
  • Throw away the cheap belts that come with them. Either cut off the belt loops (or have the tailor do it) or get a proper belt.
  • Wear proper dress shoes. I hate seeing a woman in a suit with Frankenstein boots or rubber soled shoes. If you must wear flats, don't get the kind that look like men's shoes with a 1-inch heel. Make sure they are feminine or have some sort of detail.
My last tip has to do with attitude. Don't be scared to wear a suit. Be appropriate, of course, don't wear one to a networking function where most people will be casual or business casual. But an important meeting on a Tuesday? Feel free to put one on! It will be like your super hero costume...

...QueenB Says

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