Suit of the Week

kasper womens suitFor busy working women, the suit is often the easiest outfit to throw on in the morning. In general, this feature is not about interview suits, which should be as classic and basic as you get — instead, this feature is about the slightly different suit that is fashionable, yet professional.

This week, we’re liking this checkered black suit from Kasper.  We like the simplicity of it, save for the interesting button detail on the pockets.  We’d probably visit a tailor to see if he or she could make the back of the jacket a bit more fitted — but otherwise, great, simple suit.  It was $240 but is now on sale for $99 at Smart Bargains, available in sizes 6-18.   Kasper Black Birdseye Skirt Suit

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Comments

  1. Delta Sierra :

    The link worked ok for me, but I’m also not so crazy about the suit. Polyester usually looks cheap, and doesn’t hold up well. Makes me sweaty, too.

  2. anon - chi :

    There may be $99 suits out there that look presentable, but IMHO, this is not one of them. It really looks like you spent $99 on it. Better to have one or two good suits than five that look like this …

  3. Anne Vohl :

    Kasper tailors beautifully and their fabrics are top-notch. Having said that….this suit is too generic in appearance for our purposes. It sort of says middle school principal, not attorney, to my way of thinking.

    • What’s wrong with middle school principals?

      • Also, what’s wrong with “generic” — I personally cannot stand needless embellishment on suits (especially of the Kasper/Tahari/Anne Klein varierty). Noting screams “dated” to me more than extraneous buttons & ties. Clean & simple works for some people!

        That said, I would also disagree with the statement that Kasper tailors beautifully. Maybe it works for some body types. But I always look like I gained 10 lbs in their blazers; body flattering it ain’t (at least not on me). For the same reason, I would not order this or even try it on. Though it does look nice in the pic, and I agree with Lawgirl below — the color appears lovely.

    • Why is everyone so down on school administrators? I think they’re just like any group- some are frumpy and some aren’t.

      • This school administrator thanks you! In my district office, we’re actually a pretty stylish group.

        • I agree, the teachers and vice principal at my daughter’s school look pretty cute. Heck, they’re taking care of kids all day. Would YOU wear Armani? LOL.

  4. I like the color on this one (at least on my screen). Looks like Smartbargains doesn’t do all that fake clipping and pinning to make the cut look better for the photo. That’s nice, actually, to see how it drapes IRL. I’d like to see this one in person before buying…

  5. C, we’re a tough crowd, no? We wail about outfits that are too spendy and then whine about “$99 cheap” suits”… Glad I don’t have your job :-D

  6. It looks like a $99 suit and will probably last two or three cleanings at the most. Those on a budget should choose a jacket, skirt and pants all in the same neutral colored wool suiting and mix and match. Try Lafayette 148 on sale (petites, misses and plus sizes) – very well tailored and beautiful fabrics.

    • Oh come on, regardless of whether you care for the suit or not, it’s ridiculous to suggest that it couldn’t withstand a few trips to the drycleaner.

    • Sorry, but I just can’t justify a $400 blazer, $300 pants, and a $200 skirt to keep from looking like a middle-school principle… I am sure they are beautiful suits, but that’s a full student loan payment, if not more I would much rather own a $99 “cheap” suit, look decent in the office, be paying off debt and have enough money leftover for after-5pm cocktails with the girls!

    • I’ve had a similar suit from Kasper for several years now. It has held up quite nicely for me and cleans beautifully. Fits nicely and looks good on me as well.

      Of course, I don’t wear it everyday and that might make a difference. I wear a suit maybe a dozen times a year.

      And not all of us earn a salary that allows us to buy $400 jackets and $200 skirts, even on sale. My agency is so broke right now I’m lucky to be paid at all, so yeah, I’ll be buying $99 suits.

  7. Weighing in here to say I am a regular Smartbargains shopper and have picked up some fantastic bargains here – mostly Jones New York, Kasper, and Tahari. My personal favorite is Tahari as I feel they include more details on their suits that make them look stylish and more expensive. I have one that is brown tweed trimmed in leather that looks fantastic on, and that I got for $119.

    I have never had one of my Smartbargains suits wear out after two or three cleanings, and my day includes carrying kids to and from day care. The most I have ever had to do is reattach a button once.

    Plus, Smartbargains includes a paid return label for a very reasonable fee – around $10. So I generally buy 4 or 5 suits and then use the return label for returning anything I don’t like. They track the return and send you an email to notify you when the credit has been posted to your card.

  8. housecounsel :

    I will echo the praise for Smartbargains. I’ve been happy with the Tahari suits I’ve ordered.

    I am not a fan of Kasper at all. I think the suits look cheap and overembellished, and although this one is pretty basic, I’ve seen too many others with cheap-looking “accents.” The featured suit is in desperate need of tailoring.

  9. I’m no Kaspar hater. My mom has bought me some Kaspar suits, God bless her. And I do wear them! :-)

  10. legalicious07 :

    The only place I ever see Kasper suits are at outlets and stores like TJ Maxx. They never fit well. I’ll pass.

  11. Woman of Color :

    I have several Kaspar suits that fit me like a glove. I always receive compliments when I wear them. As with everything, it all depends on the person. This grey suit may work wonders for many, just like I know that I should not dare look at a pair of “skinny” jeans.

  12. Anne Vohl :

    I’m not down on school administrators – they are great, and in some districts they need a suit of armor! But: isn’t Corporette about clothing and lifestyles for female attorneys, consultants, and the like? We have particular needs. We may be on small or large budgets, but there is an expectation on the part of clients and others as to how we will look. We need to look clean, somewhat stylish, comfortable, and as though we know the score. Sometimes your opportunity to get your point across is limited to a one-shot three minute spiel. The person to whom you are presenting mayl never see you again . You need to hit the bull’s eye fast. Why not let one’s entire persona including clothing work for us, the way men do?

    I don’t know why a middle school principal can’t wear pants and a polo shirt to school every day if she wishes, but we simply cannot.

    • School administrators have many of the same wardrobe needs as attorneys and consultants. Though I’ve moved on in my career from school principal to district-level administrator (assistant superintendent), I never know from one moment to the next whether I will be required to meet with a parent, a government official, or the local news.

      I’ve been a Corporette reader for quite some time now, and from what I gather from other commenters, my work attire requirements are similar to those at law firms outside of the major East Coast cities. In fact, I work regularly with my district’s attorneys, and I’m usually dressed as well or better than most of the female partners.

      I think what bothered people about the “looks like a middle school principal” comment was that it implied all middle school principals are frumpy. When I was a young principal (albeit at the high school level) one of the most common comments I’d get, typically from men, was, “Well, you sure don’t look like any principal I ever had.” I’d assure them that one needn’t be a fifty-year-old white man to do a good job as a principal. I guess now I need to assure some Corporette readers that one needn’t dress in shapeless, unfashionable clothes to be a middle school principal.

  13. Hats off to LSM — thanks so much for your comments! I used to teach before I became an attorney, and my wardrobe hasn’t changed all that much. Nicer handbags, but that has been a personal choice :)

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