Suit of the Week

Wool Donegal JacketFor 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.

Loving the simple, classic look of this Brooks Brothers suit. Great three-quarter length sleeves; great A-line skirt. We’d pair it with an understated brooch and earrings, perhaps — the mandarin collar already does a great job of directing focus to the face.  The jacket (Wool Donegal Jacket) is $298 (available in petites as well, Petite Wool Donegal Jacket), and the skirt is $188 (Wool Donegal Skirt) (also available in petites, Petite Wool Donegal Skirt).

Wool Donegal Jacket Wool Donegal Skirt



  1. Anonymous :

    Love this! The blazer in particular is fantastic.

    • 2nd! It’s so timeless & gorgeous, and the color is so lovely (especially paired with black opaque tights, as pictured) — I am fighting the urge to reach for a credit card.

  2. This is a bit of an aside, but does anyone here actually wear black stockings/tights? I have been avoiding stockings/tights for years unless absolutely necessary (I wear a lot of pants suits, and have relegates skirts to the summer only), but have been eyeing some of the cute skirts/dresses for fall — I assumed nude hose were the way to go, but now am curious having seen this photo (for whatever it’s worth, I’m a super pale white chick) – thanks!

    • fellow pale chick here — yes, I wear black and dark brown tights in winter. Black tights and black flats with a tweed pencil skirt and a cashmere turtleneck? Love.

      • Anonymous :

        Ditto and ditto. Hate nude hose, so I really struggle during the shoulder seasons when the black tights are a little too heavy looking, but my pale, pale legs show way too many goosebumps.

        • Same here. Prefer goosebumps over nude hose anyday. I tend to just go with pants for that brief week-or-two span after the heat of summer and before truly chilly weather hits.

    • All the time. I basically live in black tights for office dressing in the cooler months – with tweed, wool, and heavier knits. I wear other colors, too, but I also work in one of the most casual offices on the planet. (feels that way, anyway ;))

      • Same. My law firm is on the casual side of business casual (basically, anything but denim) and I wear tights all winter. Love the blank tights with black shoes look. I’m really tall and it’s difficult to find good pants, so more often than not I just wear skirts with tights all winter (I’m in the South and drive to work, so my exposure to the elements is minimal). Anyway, love black tights for the office.

        • This. I’m tall too and have the world’s worst time finding pants, so I literally have three pairs that I wear intermittently all winter. The rest of the time, it’s black tights and black shoes — honestly, most often black knee-high boots. I work for the Feds in DC, and knee-high boots are perfectly acceptable in my business-casual office (although I probably wouldn’t wear them *without* black tights — makes it seem a little more professional to me not to show any skin between top of boot and bottom of skirt hem).

    • Pale here too. I wear black and dark brown tights all the time in the winter.

    • Ugh- I hate nude hose with a passion and wear black/brown tights if at all possible. If it’s a more casual look, I love wearing patterned tights, but I probably wouldn’t do it with a suit.

    • divaliscious11 :

      Not pale. Avid tight wearer when seasonally appropriate. Black, chocolate, charcoal, burgundy – heavy dress wearer so when its cold, I need the coverage.

    • Thanks! I’m kind of loving some of the cute tweed/other interesting fabric skirts out there, and will invest in some black tights :-)

    • All of the time. When it’s warm, I go bare legged. When it’s cold, I’m always wearing black or brown tights with matching shoes. If I’m in trial, I wear them with heels and with knee length boots on other days. I absolutely hate nude hose and refuse to wear them.

    • Anonymous :

      I wear all colors of tights. I wear skirts basically all winter long.

    • Anonymous :

      Colored tights-wearers – what do you wear for shoes, black? I have some of the Spanx charcoal (reversible w/black) tights that I sometimes wear with black boots, but haven’t ventured to burgandy, for example.

      • Black or brown. I have worn burgundy, and generally with chocolate brown boots. I’ve worn deep teal with the same color.

      • Anonymous :

        I wear both patterned and colored tights and I normally stick to neutral shoes – generally black and brown. If I wear patterned tights I usually stick to more conservative colors, but if the tights are solid I often pick bright colors. Basically any color or pattern I’d wear in a sweater I’ll wear in tights as well.

    • Anonymous Today :

      I’m late to the party, but I’m chiming in to say that I too wear tights pretty much every work day during the fall and winter. I do generally wear black, brown, or dark gray, but I’ve been known to wear patterned, dark purple, and navy, as well. My office is business casual, though, so I know I couldn’t get away with the colors in some other offices.

    • I love my tights & pantyhose. I just bought a ton at the Nordstrom sale, and they are sitting in my drawer waiting to be used. I am very excited.

      I bought a pair of Wolford merino wool tights last winter and although they were pricey ($78), they were worth.every.penny. For a month I wore them three times a week. They were incredibly warm but did not look like I was wearing sweaters on my leg and were also very comfortable (not stiff at all). I think I’m going to buy two pairs this winter so I don’t have to constantly be washing them. I am also thinking about getting the cashmere tights. At almost $200 they’re super-expensive but the cost-per-wear would probably be less than $2. And there is something about luxurious pantyhose that makes me feel so pampered. But that is just me.

      • divaliscious11 :

        Wolford tights feel great…just wish they made them longer….

        • True, that – I love both Wolford and Falke because they’re short enough for me!

      • Anonymous :

        Were they itchy (at all)? The cost has pretty much stopped me from taking the gamble.

        • Anonymous :

          If you buy them at Nordstrom and it turns out that they itch you’ll be able to return them even after a wear. I wear Hue sweater tights ($18/pair) and they don’t itch at all, and I am somewhat sensitive to itchy fabrics.

          • I wear Hue as well, and sometimes for a truly opaque look and a comfortable yet VERY controlled midsection, I double them up.

        • I have a pair of Wolford wool tights. I live in CA but bought them for a business trip to Canada. They were warm, but I found them to be quite itchy. And then there’s the washing issue. I usually wash tights after one wearing, but wool tights–can’t put ’em in the machine… hand washing tights? Too much work IMO!

          • L from Oz :

            My Falke wool tights have been through the washing machine on cold a number of times without any damage – both ribbed and plain pairs. No way am I handwashing them! (Even if they did cost 35 euro a pair…ouch, but worth it for the comfort and the fact that they wear really well.)

            Nice to see I’m not the only coloured/patterned tights-wearer out there. Often matt black or grey, but also burgundy, dark green and grey, and occasionally ribbed – but it has to be very cold for them. Like some other posters though, my office is definitely not formal.

            (And woolly tights plus boots plus a tweed skirt makes a great winter cycling outfit!)

        • divaliscious11 :

          Only felt in my hand….too short to purchase…..

      • Wow — I’m actually mentally salivating over the image of sweater-legs… that sounds both warm (very important) and comfortable (most important)… not to mention cute/professional (yep, also important)

    • I know I’m really alone on this, but I love nude hose! If you choose the right color that is truly nude on you (i.e. not “suntan” or “oompaloompa”), it looks so much more professional than bare legs. They cover up a multitude of sins…the above-mentioned goose-bumps, bug bites, bad shaving (I always seem to miss at least one spot!), bruises, weird veins, anything… Any chance these will come back in style???

      • love real hosiery :

        Midwest – I get tons of european skin-tone hosiery … and many folks don’t know I’m wearing them. I particularly like the Italian line, Filodoro. Here in Texas, people “say” it’s too hot for hosiery. I disagree. I get my hosiery (and great tights too) from, a co. out of Toronto. It’s worth the shipping and waiting time for me, as they have wider size/height ratios and more colors than those few I find locally in stores. No, I don’t get any kick backs from them, just a long time customer. Nicole will suggest things online if you are uncertain. I get many weeks wear (daily) out of a single pair at the 15 DN weight, even running them always through the washing machine…so it’d an additional bonus for me.

        • Thanks for the recommendation, LRH! I will have to try Filodoro and that website.

      • I love nude hose, I wear it almost everyday. I think my legs look so much better. I am so pale that I get purple when its cold, and its so distracting. I really don’t care if people think I am frumpy (if they can tell I am wearing hose) Id rather be slightly frumpy but feel much better and more confident. and the hose section at macys is huge, so someone is wearing them! :)

  3. In theory, a great fall suit — would look good with summery jewel tones in Sept. and darker plums, mustard etc. deeper into fall.

    The jacket, however, is giving me a bit of a Dr Evil vibe between the collar and the lack of detailing!

  4. Anonymous :

    Wow, this is a timely post for me – I’ve been struggling with how to accessorize a jacket cut very similarly. I agree that the neckline is flattering (that’s why I bought it!) but usually wear a top with some color under a jacket and probably a necklace of some kind as well – in this case neither is visible though and so I feel a little blah. I’ve seen a couple of posts lately equating brooches with grandma, and I think I tend to make that correlation myself. Maybe I’m thinking of the wrong style to wear? I tend to lean more to the funkier side when it comes to jewelry but in this case I think it’s a very fine line between looking matronly and looking like a nutty cat lady.

    • Corporate Tool :

      A scarf might be a good compromise. You can tie a short one underneath, and let just a bit show through

    • I think a long, simple necklace over this jacket would look very nice. No pendant, just an elegant silver chain. Think thin; pearls would be too much.

      The way the jacket closes, it almost serves as a blouse. With no buttons to compete with, a necklace wouldn’t look out of place.

    • Anonymous :

      I have a jacket in the same cut and I wear a brooch and simple earrings. The neckline doesn’t lend itself well to a necklace or scarf.

    • How about a brooch?

  5. LOVE this suit. I’ve come to the conclusion a while ago that mandarin type jackets are the only kind that look good on me and that’s all I’ll stick with now. I have a jacket like this in black and another in brown.

    I would never have imagined in a million years but this type of jacket pairs really well with a woman wearing a headscarf. Too bad I discovered this the hard way after buying regular suits and wondering why I looked so awful in them.

  6. Anonymous :

    I just wish the sleeves were full length.

  7. I love the texture of the fabric. The jacket is too modern for me but the skirt is GORGEOUS!

  8. I recently bought a great wool tweed skirt suit with 3/4 sleeves and an otherwise more traditionally-cut 2-button jacket from the Brooks Bros. factory store fall collection. I’M IN LOVE WITH IT. I cannot wait for fall, and then an occasion to wear a suit. I like the one pictured here, but I much prefer the BB factory store option.

  9. CHaanNewbie :

    O.K. gals, with all the postings about Cole Haan, I found these “Lucetta/mary janes” at the Rack. Got them in “dark brown,” which almost looks peweter-ish to me. Love the style. Now, I rarely rarely wear brown and never can put greens with my olive skin. So, I ask for styling/color suggestions. I hope these live up to your comments and raves, even though not staid/almond toe pumps.

    thanks in advance …

    • No suggestions, but those are really pretty shoes! LOL at the “not staid/almond toe pumps” comment!

      • CHanNewbie :

        I know, K. I couldn’t resist. I am the boss, professional, and owner in a non-law, medical field practice. So I get to wear what I want – with is always business, few suits, but usually skirts/tops/formal jackets and a few dresses and a few suits, when the “audience” warrants :) So I have more leeway rather than an all suit wardrobe. Been wondering about CH shoes with all the posts, but I do like to have my flair in my shoes, hence the comments. I hope it was taken with a big grin, as I meant it. After all, I won’t permit open toes or sling backs, so the “staid” is all relative.

        • I think these shoes are pretty versatile. You can wear them with about anything that isn’t black/gray. I think they’d look fine with yesterday’s TPS purple dress or with a variety of fall colors.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Those are CUTE! I would totally wear those. The Cole Haan almond toe shoes are too narrow for me anyway.

  10. Love this!

  11. yet another sarah (really) :

    Hijack, quick question! Just took the bar and am starting at a firm in another city in three weeks, super excited. Got an email today from a partner offering me two tickets to a preseason NFL game with two clients from the city I’m moving to. I think I should go and would really like my fiance to go (he’s moving with me). The partner mentioned this as a chance to meet a couple folks from the new city that aren’t lawyers. The game is this Saturday and my partner has a sports team fundraiser he’s committed to. I’d prefer that he go with me and then meet up with the team later because both of us do a lot of stuff with his team and I think it’s important that he come. That said, he’s been supportive about moving and I don’t want to push my luck. I will be the primary breadwinner so there’s a small part of me that feels like he should come to support my career. Anywho, if he can’t go, do I bring a friend? Thoughts?

    • Anonymous :

      No friend. Partner or nothing.

      • Agree — if you can’t bring your fiance, you should either go alone or ask the partner if another attorney at the firm would like to join you. I’m having a hard time coming up with the right way to phrase the rationale for this — a friend has no committed link to the firm, whereas your hubs-to-be does. Maybe if you picture the same invitation to a nice restaurant, this would make more sense?

        (as a side note, I think he should go!)

    • Agree — partner or ask if there’s another attorney at the firm who wants to go — or go solo. Sounds like a great opportunity though, so hopefully your partner will want to go!

    • Do you know if your clients are bringing partners or are they coming alone? I wouldn’t push your partner to come if you know your clients are coming alone too. It will be a good way to get to know them in a casual situation without having to worry about whether your partner feels comfortable/included.

  12. I like that this suit jacket does not have lapels, but here is what I do not get – let’s say it is a cool fal; day but not cold enought to wear a coat over suit. You are walking a couple of blocks from office to lunch. You are wearing this suit. Don’t your arms/wrists get cold? Or are you wearing a long sleeved black cashmere sweater under the jacket – which sort of spoils the line?

    About black or dark hose/tights, I wear that a lot, and it can be a great look with certain outfits, but repeating this day in day out could get very boring, I think. If you are in a climate where you wear coats, it is tricky, because the legs hav to look right with the suit or dress or whatever and also with the coat.

    • L from Oz :

      Personally, I would wear gloves – I have a thinner leather pair I use in autumn before it starts to get really chilly. But I live in a city fashion forgot (not quite double denim, but close!), so I don’t know what the chic answer is.

      • anon - chi :

        I think this might look odd if you were wearing the suit jacket but no coat on account of the 3/4 sleeves. But where I live, there aren’t *that* many days of the year when it would be cool enough to wear the suit jacket outside to lunch but not cool enough to wear a light coat on top of it, so this doesn’t bother me. I think the bigger issue is not being able to wear a top with full-length sleeves underneath it.

        • love real hosiery :

          I agree, chi. I just can’t navigate the long-under-bracelet/3-4sleeve look…hence, I just avoid buying 3/4 length sleeves. I esp. avoid it as I write by hand a great deal during each work day and the 3/4 sleeves tend to bear more of the brunt of that and wear more than full length IMO.

          • fashion don't :

            I wear full length tissue type shirts under 3/4 sleeved jackets. is that not done? am I a fashion don’t? uh-oh. ugh.

  13. I like it, I like the tights, but I think the color is NOT flattering on the model, and having similar coloring I don’t think it would be flattering on me.

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