Can You Mix Different Black Fabrics to Create a “Suit”?

womens-suitsCan you mix different black fabrics to form a suit? Reader E wonders…

Hi! I searched your archives but couldn’t find anything addressing my question, so here goes: I have two skirts and a pair of pants, all from different companies and of different materials (one’s a lightweight wool, another’s a cotton/viscose/spandex mix, and the last’s made of polyester/viscose/spandex). All are black, yet their shades don’t match. I need to purchase a basic black blazer to make a suit for interviews (and hopefully my first job). If I get a blazer that will match at least one of the bottoms, can I wear it with the other two, or is that a office faux pas? Will other people notice, especially if I won’t be working in a conservative field? I don’t have the money to get several pieces in the same fabric. Please help.

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Maybe I just haven’t seen this done well.  But I think Reader E is wasting money to try to mix different fabrics to “create” a suit — and yes, I do think other people will notice.  Some thoughts, off the top of my head:

a) it is incredibly difficult to find the same fabric/weave/color, even if you’re talking about something like black seasonless wool.  Some blacks have more reds, some have more greens.. some wools are shinier, some are softer, some are blended…

b) even if you CAN find the same fabric, how you care for your items affects the cloth — if you’ve drycleaned or washed one piece 15 times and the other only once, they will look different.

This is one of the reasons why I always recommend buying as many suiting separates as possible when you start creating your working wardrobe, even if you think you don’t need “a suit,” and then trying to launder all of those pieces on the same schedule.  Odds are you need a pair of black trousers and a black pencil skirt — why not just get the black suit jacket at the same time?  We’ve talked about some of the least expensive suiting options before — most of the time you can even get three or four separates for under $200.

That said, Reader E may not necessarily need a suit if she isn’t interviewing in a conservative field.  For my $.02, the better option for her budget and purposes would be to get a blazer that is obviously a separate, either because it’s in a different color or a totally different texture from her pants or skirt.  That way she can look pulled together but not as if she’s wearing “a suit,” and she’ll be able to wear it with the rest of her wardrobe (including the three different colors of black that she already owns).

Readers, what are you thoughts? Have you ever “created” a suit from pieces bought at different times (or different stores)? Do you think that all interviews require a suit, or can Reader E get away with professional blazer-as-separate look?

Comments

  1. Long Distance for Summer :

    My SO will be working in a different city this summer (about a 3 hour plane ride). I’m extremely supportive of this opportunity for him but, naturally, I’m going to miss him. Any words of wisdom for how to make the separation as painless as possible?

    • Maybe post on the afternoon thread which seems to get more responses? I’m curious as well as I’m off for fieldwork in the fall and my LDR record is patchy at best.

      • saacnmama :

        Cb, I’m curious: which end does the relationship tend to fall apart on? I find that, for me, it’s really easy and comfortable to think of myself as “in a relationship” if I don’t see my partner for a long time if the reason for the separation is that I’m doing a project that totally involves me…but the guy left behind doesn’t see it the same way.

        • Oh gosh, not an expert at all, we were way too young and we had very different goals. He wanted to get married, I wanted to see the world. I think we were clinging desperately on to something that we both knew wasn’t right and ended up really hurting each other in the process

          It’s hard though and I hope it’ll be different although this is a new-ish relationship. Although I worry that I’m always the one to leave and my career path (as you’ll understand, academia!) is a bit more demanding. I’m visiting my hometown for a few weeks and it’s been fine, a good trial. I hope we’ll get to see each other once a month, I thought that ‘we can do it, it’s just a few months’ but we have the resources and the flexibility and why should we have to?

          • saacnmama :

            If it makes you feel any better, the couple I wrote about further down this thread has one partner who’s an academic. They’ve been doing this and surviving for a long time. Married 25 years next year, his fieldwork was in 1994, he’s been leading summer field courses in other countries for the last few years, and now this separation.

            Where are you doing your fieldwork (she asks voyeuristically)?

        • Ha! I say fieldwork like I’m headed out to the Savannah! I’m actually going to Brussels so not roughing it all. I’m interviewing right-wing politicians though, so at least there is an element of hazard in that.

          • saacnmama :

            Lol. No, I figured it would probably be something like that. My “fieldwork” for one degree was interviewing East German dissidents (after the wall came down). For the other, it was all in archives.

            But Brussels! You’ve got me wanting to come along and network while you work. I would love to move there and work in a think tanky kind of place. (Or Geneva, or The Hague…)

          • saacnmama :

            Also funny (to me) is that Brussels seems a long way off when you live in London, but one benefit of living there for us would be that we’d be close(r) to DS’s godparents in SW England and their summer place in the South of France.

        • Yep, super excited! Feel free to pop up your email address if you’d like and I’ll send you an email if I hear of anything good.

        • Veronique :

          I was in a long distance relationship and imo it’s definitely easier to be the leave-er. You’re going off to a new situation, new challenges, etc, in a place where you’re not used to having your partner around. The one who is left behind is in the same routine/place where you’re used to having your partner around. You miss them more because their absence is abnormal and therefore more obvious. Switching up your routine to include new activities that we’re part of your couple routine will help, since having him there is not normal.

    • Kerrycontrary :

      My boyfriend and I were long distance (3.5 hours driving) for 2 years. During that period of time, he had to go across the country (7 hour plane trip) for 4 months. We scheduled skype sessions, and I visited twice. I missed him a lot, but I was pretty busy myself with grad school/working PT. Just schedule visits so you have something to look forward to and use this as an opportunity to pursue a new hobbie/interest and catch up with your friends. The upside of the whole thing was I had two amazing vacations and we found an area that we might want to move to one day (that was never on either of our radars). He had a great time and we always talk about how thankful we were for his opportunity to do that. We’ve now been together for 3.5 years and are in the same city (finally!).

    • my sister’s in med school, and she’s doing a special rotation in another city right now. she’s also married, and her husband stayed behind for his job. they skype regularly, text a lot, and they try to visit every 3 weeks/month. you’ll get through it!

    • It is OK for the summer, but be carful b/c men can STRAY when they are not near you and there are OTHER women nearby who are AVAILEABLE and there is ALCHOHOL. My Alan I am NOT sure whether he was 100% faitheful to me and we were in the SAME City, but there were other Sheketovitses in his family who HE TOLD ME who did find other WOMEN to keep companie with even when they lived in the SAME City. My dad say’s it is NOT possibel in this day and age to put a CHASTITY belt on a man (or a woman), so if you can NOT trust your man (or woman), best NOT to sepearate from them, even for a SUMMER. Good luck!

      • (this time w/asterisks to avoid mod)

        I swear, E**EN posts are made by a collective of my old Chinese relatives (some who are still in China and 75+yrs old) who operate from the perspective that:

        (1) women have to be a certain shape (or reduce their tuchuses) to “catch” a man
        (2) the ne plus ultra of womanhood is marriage + baby, duh
        (3) codependent Chinese parents know best, so they will arrange your finances for you, like her “MENSA Dad”
        (4) codependent Chinese parents know what your ideal weight should be and will nag at you repeatedly, so they assign you a fitbit and order you to restrict your calories accordingly
        (5) when you haven’t met the right guy, Chinese parents will help matchmake because they’re such good parents, even though it’s ultimately your fault for not being alluring enough or small-enough-of-tuchus
        (6) in the old-school Chinese universe, the women are martyrs, the men are cheating dogs, so they can’t ever bet let out of sight; similarly any mention of wanting to live with a man pre-marriage will lead to vapors, drama, and mangled metaphors about cows and milk.
        (7) old-school Chinese parents have no problems about comparing you unfavorably to a relative, preferably a sibling, in the hopes of egging you on to do better, so then they can turn around and egg your sibling on. (E**EN vs. R*sa) Bonus points if they get you to internalize the competitive stuff.

        On the off-chance that the posts are from my relatives: Hi everyone!!! Hope no Communist party czars have bulldozed the family village! I’m living happily with Mr. Noo in Yorkville! XOXO all!

        • etobicokelawyerette :

          love. this.

        • I could come up with at least a dozen other nationalities with very similar sets of problems :-). Although mercifully many of them have the tush size reversed if they’re far enough away from the US.
          Courage NonyNoo, they might never approve of what you’re doing, but they’ll get used to it if you keep making it clear you’re going to keep on doing your own thing no matter what.

    • Anon for this :

      SKYPE!

      My SO and I did long-distance for about a year while we were both in school. Skype was amazing. We would both be studying in our respective apartments, concentrating, but with Skype on so we could look up and see each other. Sometimes we would Skype while I (the early bird in the relationship) went to sleep. We had standing dates to Skype while watching an incredibly embarrassing TV show on Hulu – we each had headphones in so we could hear each other without hearing the show from the other person’s laptop, and because it was Hulu we could coordinate breaks (“let me know when you get to 18 minutes 3 seconds…”).

      Also, Skype s*x. This is something I never would have done but for necessity, but we reminisce about it now!

    • Statutesq :

      I did long distance with my now hubby for about a year. At the time I missed him terribly and would get teary when he left after a weekend together. Looking back, it was great to be able to be very selfish career wise (commit to networking events at the last second, agree to any project that would keep me late, etc.) without the temptation of a significant other to go home to but with the foundation/security a relationship provides. So if I were you, rather than thinking of all the creative ways to do stuff together (although those are fun), think of the ways you can spend the summer being selfish–late night gym classes, marathon book reading… whatever your heart desires. The summer is a relatively short period of time, and you may look back on this time with fond memories.

    • Anonymous :

      how much will you visit?

      • Every few weekends. I don’t think we’ll go longer than 3 weeks between visits.

        • saacnmama :

          My son’s godfather has a fellowship on our side of the Atlantic this semester; his wife is staying home on the other side of the Atlantic with their daughters. From what I’ve seen (they all visited us when the fam was in the country), what works for them is staying in touch when he’s gone, but him working his tail off so that when they’re together he can throw himself into being daddy/husband. They’ve seen eachother about once a month.

    • My fiance is a consultant, so I know this all too well. It’s hard at first, but you do eventually get into a rhythm. Skype is definitely wonderful, and we Skype every night we can when he’s away. Also, keep yourself busy!! I find that I do much better if I lay out a “schedule” of sorts for myself…dinner with friends, cleaning/organizing, learning a new hobby. That definitely makes the time go by faster for me.

      And, of course, plan to see each other as much as possible!

    • JessiJames :

      My boyfriend did an 3 month internship with NASA halfway across the country one summer. We scheduled time to call/Skype and made sure we had as few distractions as possible during those calls. I started keeping a little list of “Things I want to talk to him about today”, whether it was something crazy at work or something on the news, or just “The weather today was amazing and the traffic was mercifully light – I actually enjoyed my commute today!”

      It was short enough that we didn’t bother with visits, but umm… if you’re brave enough to try phone s3x, it can really help keep things interesting. The occasional pic of a peek of cleavage or your butt in a cute pair of panties also serves the same purpose. :P Just make sure you’re both putting effort into keeping it alive, and you’ll be fine.

  2. I agree with Kat on trying to mix and match a suit, but I frequently wear a black blazer with black pants of a different fabric. I’m actually a big fan of wearing my cotton Halogen blazer (I think it was a pick on here once when Nordstrom was having a sale) with work black pants — the fabrics are so different I don’t think it looks like I’m trying to match, plus the cotton blazer is too casual to pretend to be a suit. This works even better if your jacket is textured somewhat so it’s clear that they’re not meant to match.

    • hoola hoopa :

      I do agree. A highly textured black jacket can work, but two different suiting pieces would not.

      To give the perspective from a field where suits are not routinely worn in the office, a conservative black suit is not necessary for interviewing. Suiting separates with a jacket that was clearly not intended to match would be fine. I’d avoid anything loud or trendy for interviewing. A grey jacket would work well.

  3. Diana Barry :

    I agree with Kat 100%. Do NOT try to mix and match a suit; it won’t work.

    I would try to find a store that fits you well and get friendly with the salespeople, or stalk the sales online, or both. You can often find big promotions at Ann Taylor and BR, for example, making their suiting more affordable. If you buy one suit, you can make it look different with different blouses, accessories, and shoes.

  4. Oh, man. If you’re going to have mismatched blazer/pants, make them obviously mismatched – if it’s all-black bottoms, I’d personally lean towards a muted purple, but whatever works with your skin tone, isn’t too flashy, and matches the rest of your tops (tank tops, buttoned shirts, etc), really.

  5. For what it’s worth, I totally did this in law school. Yes, I realized at the time that it wasn’t the best option, but when you’re scrounging to make ends meet and avoid the crushing weight of loans, it didn’t seem worth it to spend the extra $150 (particularly when the low-end suits I tried on looked worse than my cribbed together version, in my own opinion).

    I understand the arguments for making an investment in yourself in order to get the jobs you want, but I wasn’t persuaded that I couldn’t get away with it. In the end, I landed every job I interviewed for in that “suit” (including clerkships and boutique litigation jobs), but rejoiced the day I could finally afford the real thing.

    • I did this too. I wore a black jacket from Banana Republic with a black skirt from Victoria’s Secret’s suiting line. Obviously it wasn’t ideal but I didn’t have the money. FWIW I got the clerkship I wanted wearing that.

      • a passion for fashion :

        I was going to respond the same way as most others with a resounding NO, but then i remembered that I totally did this too. i had black slacks and a black blazer from AT, that were pretty much the same shade, but different fabrics, and not in a cool, im trying to be different sort of way. At the time, I thought I was pulling it off, so who knows.

        If you think the pieces look good together, then go for it, but if you are questioning whether they will notice, the answer is yes.

    • Why aim to get away with it rather than avoiding the problem? OP does not have a suit jacket so can avoid the black textures debate by just getting a jacket that intentionally does not match.

    • I definitely did this too while interviewing for consulting/accounting jobs. No one seemed to mind. I got job offers. I thought it looked fine. It’s so freaking difficult for me to find a pair of pants that are long enough and fit my nonexistent butt as well as a blazer to fit my shoulders and long arms.

    • I agree that trying to match without starting with the same fabric can only get you into murky waters. So you have basically 2 options. One is to get a black jacket with in-your-face texture. That’s how you do it in NY or Paris or anywhere that people wear lots of black :-). The other is to get some mild but obvious black-based weave, like stripes or houndstooth, preferably black and white (or cream if that looks better on you) so you also get more future mileage out of it. B&W is in right now, you should have no trouble finding something.
      Whatever you do, make sure the jacket you get is obviously different from your bottoms, that’s the key to making it successful. Don’t fall into the trap of “almost there” because it’ll invariably show and the results will be much worse. In short, shop with your bottoms in hand, so that you can try both pieces on and check them for enough fabric difference as well as for style.

    • Yeah I did big NYC firm interviews in same-brand, wool, but slightly different black separates and got many offers. I asked two career services people if they could tell; the spacy, unfashionable one said no, and the fashionable, aware one said yes. I say you can do it but only if the blacks and fabrics are REALLY close.

  6. Depends on the lighting of the interviewer’s office?…

    I agree with the majority here though. Either get a jacket that’s intentionally a separate or watch for a full suit to go on sale. It’s really, really difficult to match two black suiting fabrics.

  7. Amelia Pond :

    I have another interview question–I’m a 1l and wondering what everyone thinks about how you should wear your hair for interviews. I have shoulder length hair and for my summer internship interviews I wore it half up. However, I worry that it looks too little girlish. I’d prefer to wear it up in a bun [especially for interviews this August/September when it will be HOT], but I also worry that wearing a bun will make me look to severe.

    Any thoughts? Am I over thinking this?

    • I probably wore my hair in a bun for my clerkship and firm interviews and I got the jobs (because I wore it in a bun all the time before I cut it all off). Once I was at a firm and interviewing candidates, I did not have a problem with women who wore their hair in neat buns (but my view could be colored since I did the same thing).

    • Overthinking :)

      Is your hair:
      – clean
      – styled (ie not bedhead)
      – appropriate to the interview setting (ie not a bridal updo or a mohalk)
      – something that you won’t be touching during the interview? (in other words, if you twirl your hair when nervous, then a bun is your friend)

      If yes to all, then you’re good. Do what makes you feel comfortable.

    • saacnmama :

      “Am I over thinking this?”

      You’re focusing on the part that you can control, which is human.

      Good luck with your interviews!

    • Diana Barry :

      I always wore mine down, but I had short hair (chin-length). As long as you’re not fiddling with it, it is fine to wear it either way. At the shallow end, I would probably think better of a bun than wearing your hair down, but that’s just me.

    • big dipper :

      I err on the side of “wear what you’re comfortable with.” I have very long hair (two inches past my bra strap when it’s straightened?) and I wore it down to my interviews. I normally wear my hair down – I get headaches when it’s up because it’s thick/long/ heavy.

      If I had worn it up, I would’ve been fiddling with it/distracted by it/fearing it had gotten messed up all day so it wasn’t worth the distraction to me.

    • I totally obsessed over this as a law student but I really don’t think it matters as long as it’s clean and neat. I tend to wear my (shoulder-length) hair down or in a low ponytail for interviews, but I don’t think it really makes a difference. Wear it in whatever way is non-fussy and makes you feel confident.

    • I totally get your concern! I had waist–nay, butt-length hair a few years ago when FIP came around, and had the same worry about wearing a bun. Ended up with a highish twist bun, almost like a chignon–rather than a ballerina/sock bun, which I think reads as the most severe. Also let a couple wisps out toward the front AND THEN also pinned them back securely, so they softened the bun sans dreaded Interview Hair-Touch. I assume it was fine since I got callbacks from both laid-back and very stodgy biglaw places.

      Now, this obsessive McGonagall/Mary Crawley amalgam was almost certainly unnecessary. The important thing was just to find a solution that made me feel impeccable. So whatever you decide, let your own absolute personal comfort with your level of professionalism/nonstodge be the benchmark. (And if it takes you half an hour in the bathroom to get there, I won’t judge.) From the other side of the fence, barring obvious disaster, it really matters very little what the interviewer perceives about your hair so long as you yourself project confidence and non-stodginess. I wouldn’t care about someone’s alarmingly precise hair so long as they acted like a nice, happy human being. :)
      Good luck!

  8. For what it’s worth, Ann Taylor (and possibly other lines/brands) carries suits year after year in the same fabric (triacetate). It’s not great because it’s not a wool, but it’s worth buying because you can buy new pieces (i.e., a new skirt or dress) later and wear them or swap them for other pieces. It’s allowed me to gain or lose weight and replace the bottoms while still getting mileage out of the jackets.

    • Theory also has some consistency in their black fabrics, but it’s worth keeping the tag that says what fabric it is to make sure they match (if you don’t trust your eyes). I got a second black dress, one size up (post-baby), about 2 years after I bought the suit. I hadn’t cleaned the blazer enough times to worry about mis-matching based on laundry issues.

    • lawsuited :

      Talbots does a similar thing with their Seasonless Wool suiting – I pick up a few pieces every year and the colours and texture always match.

  9. I have a great small-checkered black and white blazer that I can mix with my black sheath, black pants or black pencil skirt. It’s part of an Ann Taylor suit I own that I bought and then realized didn’t like as a suit so I wear as separates. And it seems like everyone is having a sale right now so you wouldn’t have to break the bank to get a nice jacket.

  10. I know suits are considered the be-all, end-all in terms of conservative business wear, but I refuse to stock up on suits, just on principle. If you’re short, curvy, busty, aging – or, like me, all four – it’s incredibly difficult to find a suit where both pieces fit well enough that only minimal tailoring is required. So far, I’ve had luck with literally only one company – Tahari – and I still have to budget for hemming, since they don’t seem to have a petites line. The skirts are never the right length and have to be taken in; the pants, once hemmed, have to be worn with a certain heel height. Sometimes the blazer and bottoms don’t even look that good together (I’ve seen hideously long blazers with flared pants or A-line skirts paired as a suit that looks good on absolutely no one). If you lose or gain weight unevenly, you might end up with a blazer that fits and no pants/skirt to match it. What’s more, to be practical with one’s budget, it doesn’t make sense when buying a suit to stray too far from black, dark grey, etc.

    Start with good quality black pants and skirts, and then buy multiple blazers that have black in them – black trim, black buttons, black check – along with other colors that are more flattering when worn next to the face. If both pieces fit nicely, the fabrics are close enough, and the styles are well-matched (long blazer over pencil skirt; cropped blazer with pants), it will look just as a good as a suit and give you more options to boot.

  11. AnonforThis :

    What does one do when they (a paralegal, with an assigned secretary) is routinely asked to do (secretarial) tasks by another secretary…

    I am literally flabbergast that I have been asked twice today to do things this person simply doesn’t feel like doing under the guise that they are busy doing someone else’s work (and in fact spending most time on their phone at their desk, not to mention I’ve explained 5-6 times how to do the one task they’ve been requested to do by an attorney AND drafted explicit directions at their request)………… PLUS, I flat out told them I’m busy (as though not turning away from my screen/taking my hands off my keyboard while conversing with them wasn’t a possible indicator).

    This issue is ongoing, and with the individual in question it’s been easier in the past to just acquiesce from a time-saving standpoint, but I think I’ve gone down the rabbit hole…

    Thoughts on what to do to correct it without starting the rumor-mill in overdrive (said individual is also majorly gossipy and ALWAYS in the right {in their mind})?!?!

    • Just tell her that you’re busy and can’t help. She’ll get the message eventually.

    • Sorry, I am busy doing X and will be busy for awhile. Maybe my secretary can help you.

    • Anonymous :

      I’d be inclined to flat out say no. If you need someone to back you up on this, check with your attorney(s) first. If you’ve agreed to this type of stuff before, the only way to get out of it for good is to say no, firmly but politely, multiple times.

    • I’m assuming you’re the paralegal with the secretary? Options: (1) Say “I’m sorry, but I don’t have time for that. If you don’t have time, either, I suggest you see if [name of another secretary] is available.” (2) See if your own secretary has time to do it (presumably you’re all working for the same employer and so the goal is to get the work done and everyone is expected to pitch in as needed). (3) Talk with the secretary at a time when you’re not busy and say that s/he seems overwhelmed but that you helping out is not the solution. (4) Talk with the secretary’s supervisor(s).

  12. A girl I worked with in the 90’s told me how bad mismatched blacks looked and I’ve been completely paranoid about it ever since. I agree – get a blazer with a texture or pattern or different color and you can wear it with all of your black bottoms. That being said, I really love the Ann Taylor triacetate separates that kt suggested above and second the motion that you could eventually purchase two matching pieces if you find that you do need an actual suit down the road.

  13. Sorry if this posts twice–every time I post I get sent to moderation.

    I have been doing this since I moved to maternity clothes. Today I wore a pair of black Destination Maternity “suit” pants and a cheap black blazer from H&M.

    I will say that in my line of work we rarely wear suits, even to client meetings. I also wear the blazer with the sleeves rolled up to make the suit less formal looking. But I have been amazed at how these 2 pieces look like they go together as a real suit.

  14. I wouldn’t normally do a mismatched “suit,” but I’m about 3 months pregnant and recently started shopping for maternity clothes. I don’t think I’ll have much choice but to try this option. I’m in court about once or twice a week, so I need at least a couple of suits. Whether shopping online or in stores, all I see are big, boxy, long black (rarely any other color options) suit jackets and they look horrible on me because I’m on the petite side. If I wear a jacket that hits at the thigh instead of at the top of my hip, I look like I a little kid playing dress-up. Also, many of the jackets are made so that you can button them even when you are much farther along in your pregnancy, but that just makes them look huge now.

    I decided this week that the best thing, at least for now, is to buy the nicest black wool-blend maternity pants and skirt I could find (on Ingrid & Isabel) and hope when they arrive that they match up well enough with my existing black suit jacket from J.Crew. I don’t care about being able to button the jacket, it’ll still look nicer than anything I’ve tried on so far. I also have a pair of blue twill fit-and-flare pants from A Pea in the Pod that match very well, color-wise, with my existing navy Theory jacket. The fabrics are different, but at least with the color being a good match, no judge will be able to tell from the bench that it’s not a real suit. (At least that’s what I tell myself!)

  15. What about black jeans with a black blazer (not a necessarily a suit jacket, just a regular black blazer). I wore this the other day (work in a creative office) and my judgmental mother went crazy! ugh

    • Refer your mother to askamanager, who frequently has excellent postings about why your mother is the last person whose work advice you should be following :-). Different generation, and should now do things differently because of different ages. Different fields. Different positions. Different experiences. I’m sorry, I’m all for respecting your mother, but in this case yours is wrong.

      • Thanks for the idea, I’m going to check out those postings! I knew my mother was wrong, just felt like venting! No need to apologize!

        • Liz in the City :

          I work in a creative environment and my mom freaks out when she sees what I wear to work. Of course, she’s a nurse, so she just wears scrubs every day. And if I showed up in a suit every day, people would think I was interviewing every day.

          Wear your fashion with pride!

  16. I have an issue where only Banana Republic pants and Theory blazers fit me. I’ve convinced myself they match and the weight, weave, tone etc. are pretty much indistinguishable (although I do buy Theory skirts, it’s just the black pants that have to be from BR). Am I living in denial? Anyone else happen to have black suiting from BR and Theory and a view on whether they’re co-wearable?

  17. Interesting idea, i’ve always been scared of matching blacks together

  18. I interviewed a young woman who had done this: she was wearing a very obviously non-matching black skirt and blazer. I have to admit I judged her more harshly for that than I would have if she’d worn the skirt and blouse without a jacket or even the blazer with a good pair of jeans (Silicon Valley, y’know). It certainly wasn’t the reason we chose not to pursue an offer with her, but it didn’t help.

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