A suit is the smartest choice for a professional woman and is the
most important item in her wardrobe. Women today have more flexibility
in suit choices. Pants suits are more widely
acceptable for women in business today. If you choose to wear pants, opt for a
matched or coordinated suit, rather than slacks and a jacket. A blazer is
considered more casual and can be an option for a classic business casual look.
Suits in dark neutral colors such as navy, black, brown, purple,
gray or olive green, are more authoritative. Be sure to select a shade that complements your coloring.
If you are a very light, fair-skinned person, you will look overpowered by a
black or dark suit. Instead, look for shades of camel, teal, blue or blue-gray. If
black is your choice or is required by your company, soften it at your
neckline with a light top and/or a light color accessory. You may want
to replace the traditional navy suit with a shade of teal which is considered
the "navy of the new millennium". Teal is one of the universal colors which
means, it complements everyone's natural coloring.
Avoid suits in bright colors such as orange, yellow, hot pink, unless
you are in a creative field where this look is not only appropriate but
expected. A red
suit is considered a new neutral; red is also a color that tells others you
are prepared to stand out and be noticed. Wear it when you are dealing with a
large group or convention and you want the participants to listen to what you
have to say. A patterned suit is
another choice; look for tweeds, checks, herringbone and subtle plaids.
The New Suit
The new suit also has a softer silhouette and simple design. Unlike a few
years ago, today you don't have to intimidate anyone with huge shoulders.
Shoulders are softer because of the fashion trend. You have many
choices: the lapelled jacket either notched or shawl-collared; the V-necked
tailored; the box jacket; and the cardigan with soft shoulders. The so-called
two-piece or Channel-style suit, to be worn without a top, is another
option; even though it is an elegant choice, it is not as versatile to mix and
match with other pieces in your wardrobe. You may only be able to match the
skirt with other jackets.
The non-lapelled and V-necked suit are styles that
will accommodate many different necklines. A jacket without lapels would set
off blouses or knit tops with high collars, jewel collars and even a simple V-neckline,
allowing you to wear a scarf, or a necklace for variety. Wear high-quality pantsuits with silk or
cotton blouses, fine-gauge cotton or silk shells.
The best fabrics for suits are the all-seasonal fabrics such as gabardine,
lightweight wool, wool crepe, silk, linen, cotton and rayon blends, and micro
fabrics today have some stretch fiber added which makes the garment more
flexible and less wrinkled. Linen is a cool
fabric during the warm months, but it wrinkles so much that you will lose your
polished look after sitting for more than an hour. Instead, buy linen and silk
blends or linen and wool blends which give you comfort without the wrinkles.
When selecting a jacket, pay attention to the details of construction. It
is important that you check the quality of a suit because, in general,
accepted industry standards are lower for women's clothing than for men's
clothing. Look for even trims and hemlines. Your suits and jackets are the most important
item in your wardrobe, so select the best quality you can afford.
The Proper Fit
When deciding upon a jacket, be sure that it fits you properly. Examine the
shoulders: Do they look natural and not severe? Excessive padding at the
shoulders is passť. If you want to balance wide hips, try some moderate
shoulder pads. Many women wear their jackets too small. Your jacket should not
wrinkle across the back or under the collar and you must be able to button it
easily. Even if you do not button your jacket, it must have enough space for a
blouse, top, vest or sweater; buttons should never tug or pull, be loose or hang.
Because you will need to button your jacket at least one of the buttons before
any presentation, be sure that the lapels, buttons and vents look smooth and
comfortable when buttoned-up.
Check sleeve buttons occasionally for replacement. Be careful not to
stretch the pockets from carrying heavy contents. Be sure that the sleeve of
the jacket touches your wrist bone; many times a half-inch makes a big
difference. If you need the sleeves altered, it is a very worthwhile
investment for a polished look. The length of the jacket will depend on two
criteria: your body proportions and the fashion trends. If you wear pants, they should be
creased and tailored, not tight or flowing.
If the pants has pockets, they must remain closed. You need to choose current
styles for your suits, skirted o pants, that flatter your figure and