For 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.
We are loving this “architectural blazer” on sale at Neiman Marcus — the wide lapels, the Balmain-esque shoulders — it’s fabulous. We even love the silk wrap blouse it’s shown with. The blazer was $1495, now marked to $672 (lucky size 6), and the pants are $695.
the suit – meh…but that BLOUSE!!
as long as you’re 5 9, small chested, and well-supplied with doublestick tape . . .
And not wearing it to work…
Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler
Sorry for the off the bat threadjack, but a professor has invited me to a dinner that takes place annually honoring outstanding alumni and professors. This is not an event where tickets are handed out to students left and right, so I will be one of about a handful of students there.
I looked at pictures from past dinners and the men are in full suits that you would see everyday, while the women were in outfits (sometimes full suits) made of a more evening type fabric. I have this dress (http://bit.ly/cbgYEX) and am planning on wearing it (unless I hear otherwise from you ladies), but I am at a loss for what to put over it. I have a few cardigans from Talbots (black, navy, and yellow) and suit jackets (black and light grey) and this jacket (http://bit.ly/9so00G).
If none of these options are appropriate, I can spare around $50 to purchase something appropriate that I can use in the future. But please keep in mind that my mother “blessed” me with some gifts that generally rule out stores such as Ann Taylor and Banana Republic.
Also, any tips on what kind of networking is appropriate at an event like this would be amazing. Thank you ladies in advance.
That jacket looks like it would be great, based upon what you have described about past years’ attire. A cardigan sounds to casual. If you go with a suit jacket, I think that’s perfectly fine but would jazz it up a bit with a nice brooch or some statement jewelry.
Congrats on getting the invite!
Sorry – I just noticed the rosettes on the dress. No need to jazz up the suit jacket as a previously suggested. I’m not too concerned about a flower war though; the pieces should complement each other.
I would wear the dress (pretty!) with either the black suit jacket or the black belted jacket (caveat: I’m a little concerned that the belted jacket’s belt might have an all-out flower war with the rosettes on the dress, is the belt’s flower removable?)
Bring business cards (you can get some printed quickly at Kinkos etc if necessary)
Staples does same day printing as well – go for the matte finish instead of glossy for a higher quality look
the fancy jacket over the dress should be perfect. very cocktail suit-ish, which is what you need.
The only thing I would be leery of is to make sure the black jacket/black dress match – and in different lights (things that look good in softer at-home lights can suddenyl look contrasting and weird under flourescent meeting room lights).
I agree a cardi may be too casual based on what you are describing. I think of a cardigan as something you use to dress an outfit down, which is probably not what you are going for here.
Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler
Thank you all for your responses. I put on the dress and the jacket and the jacket is a little more faded, so that’s out. I will go and look for a small brooch to place on my lapel tomorrow and break out the business cards. But please, keep the suggestions coming. For instance, if you have any clue as to where I should start looking for the brooch that would be great.
Macy’s has great Monet brooches for $25 in stores and online.
is anyone else amused that the model is wearing flip flops?
Well, after spending over a thousand dollars on her suit, perhaps she can’t afford ‘real’ shoes! ;-)
I like nothing about this. Sorry, Kat!
Icy, perfect chic. Impeccable.
Hey, what’s up with the Splurge Monday pricing?
I picked up 2 gorgeous CK dress-suits (dont even need to tailor them) for $110 each at Annie Sez last week. Don’t know if many people have that store around, but it’s a good one to check out for discount suiting (particularly CK and Tahari, surprisingly the CK ones now fit me better than Tahari).
Ok, give it up fresh jd! Out here in the swamp, there is no Annie Sez (at least not that I can find). Can’t you at least put up some pix of similar grabs?! They sound lovely :). And, yeah, who really does spend +$1000 on a regular suit (even on my glammest, fiercest, spendy/battle ax day, I’m gonna be needing a super classic Chanel or St. John at that price point). Just sayin. How are you doing, BTW? Hope the job search is going well!
I’m out in the MD suburbs of DC…we have Annie Sez!
Suze! How are you? (LMAO @ you living in the swamp.) I do in fact have a job offer in hand (in consulting, not quite the traditional law firm path, but I’ve made my peace with that!), currently negotiating the salary, but it’s pretty much a done deal!
I found the suits that I bought at Annie Sez, but for a higher price at Macy’s:
1) http://bit.ly/adsc4w – same exact one
2) http://bit.ly/b7xyCN – similar: black belted sheath, but w/ a herringbone charcoal blazer/crop jacket
Ooooooooooh! Love, love the first one…thinking about getting it. The second is really nice, too, but a *tad* too short for my ‘advanced’ age :-/.
Glad to hear about the job – you know what, law firm life is not always all it’s cracked up to be. Consulting may be just right for you. Good luck w/salary negotiations!
-greetings from the mosquito infested swamp [for real, baby, for real :)]
Both dresses are the same length on me, the models are probably different heights. I never trust these online photos anyway…with these amazonian women modeling the clothes + photoshop.
Swamp or no swamp, I’m still being bit by mosquitoes!
Like the suit, but agree it is a bit “hollywood.” Probably best left worn by someone who plays a business woman on TV than someone who actually has to adhere to HR dress codes.
Although it’s hard to tell, Kat mentions the top is a wrap top, which customarily would have somthing worn underneath like a cami. That could take care of some of the cleavage problems.
Yup, it channels Demi Moore in that movie with Michael Douglas about ‘reverse’ sexual harassment…can’t remember the name, but everyone of a ‘certain age’ will remember it (and/or blur it with her performance in Striptease…similar vintage/visuals).
The movie was “Disclosure”. Very good book, mediocre movie.
I think it’s lovely.
what's the deal
with michael kors? why the hype? is he really a high end designer and what makes him so? i find his clothing very ordinary, but i know he’s a big deal what with project runway and all. can anyone explain the appeal?
I can’t. I think of him as Tacky Ralph Lauren.
And his shoes are the worst — never wore anything so uncomfortable in my life.
Really, really dislike the Michael Michael Kors line (have never tried anything from his more expensive line). Really baggy, blousy shirts with no waist detail ALL the time. It seems like that is all he ever creates!
anon - chi
Yuck, I am not a fan of the giant boxy shoulders.
Agreed. The suit is pretty vanilla for the price.
This isn’t really a rant against this specific suit because I have yet to find a suit jacket that *doesn’t* have this problem, but–why are the sleeves so baggy? I hate wearing jackets (as opposed to fitted cardigans) because it makes me feel like I accidentally grabbed a well-built man’s jacket. Arms are not sausage rolls with uniform thickness from shoulder to wrist.
I think the main difference is that suit jackets are designed to be worn over button front dress shirts, most of which do not have skintight sleeves. Jackets are also not as stretchy as cardigans, so you’re likely to be unable to get your arm into the sleeve and/or move at all if the jacket sleeves are too snug.
As for this jacket, I hate the boxy/pointy shoulders.
Sadly, my arms feel very much like sausage rolls some days:)
I think this is where tailoring comes in. All good tailors have suggested to me that I have sleeves narrowed and I rarely chose to spend the money, but it makes a huge difference when I splurge.
I agree tailoring can solve this issue but it becomes very expensive to alter sleeves & not every tailor is skilled enough to do a good job at this. I don’t find this problem with higher end jackets — only with mass market suits like Tahari, Calvin Klein, AK, etc.
Ugh, I really hate how shoulder pads and the rest of the weird 80s looks are back. Even “updated” as they are here, they still bring back hideous memories!
I have to admit that I am happy about the resurgence of tunic-style tops. Love them so much. But the rest — yeah, I could totally do without. I am still waiting breathless, though, for the year when the 90s and therefore overalls are back. Man, I love overalls.
Overalls are totally back in Asia. Swing by Japan or Taiwan and wear them to your heart’s content!
Love this suit. It’s a very powerful-looking suit, the kind where if it were paired with super-pointy, tall, clicky heels, would make people fear your arrival. Hot.
Cosigned. Love it. It’s a little out of my budget, but I figure since I’m lucky size 6, it’s fate, right? :)
Miranda Priestly wannabes UNITE :). This get up definitely would be on her ‘ready to wear’ (on a rainy day with no *important* meetings and outfit could just be discarded to goodwill if weather compromised) list…but the fear clicky heels would let you know what’s coming!
Ooh man, I am SUCH a Miranda Priestly wannabe…minus the horrible marriage and bratty kids, that is…
But Oh, the clothes!!
Me too!! I LOVE this suit and the shirt and have been stalking these for some time (here’s hoping they’ll end up marked down to something more budget-friendly for me). Throw in some fear shoes and I would live in this outfit.
Love Miranda Priestly!
I have the clickiest heels in the WORLD – they echo across large rooms and long corridors! Sadly they don’t have the appearance to match as the heels are low and clunky. (Or happily – they’re super-comfortable.)
Sorry for the threadjack, but I’m looking for some advice. I just graduated from lawschool, and start a new job at a law firm on Monday. I have a few suits and a few appropriate shirts, but for the most part, I am going to be building my wardrobe from the ground up, and will likely be doing it pretty quickly.
I am wondering how I can avoid looking like a walking Banana Republic/Ann Taylor/The Limited catalog. Do you ladies have any recommendations for other brands at or around the BR/AT price point? I have a Macy’s and Nordstrom’s nearby, but tend to get a little overwhelmed if I’m not looking for something specific.
A lot of people on here have recommended using a Nordstrom personal shopper. I personally haven’t done it, but it sounds like it might be the perfect option for you.
Thanks! That’s a really good idea!
Halogen at Nordstrom has some decent basics, and it runs a bit cheaper than BR/AT. If you live by an outlet mall or outlet of a department store, that might also be a good choice. We have a Dillard’s outlet in my hometown and I’ve gotten a lot of work appropriate stuff there- like $20 pants and $10 tops. Of course they’re usually a season or two old, so you’ll be building a wardrobe for spring now instead of for fall.
Anon for Now
MelD, is your Dillards outlet the same as mine (north side, near the univ sf)? I was there a few weeks ago and saw some really cute skirts and sweaters -surprised, but had a bunch of kids in tow and couldn’t take advantage :( . If not, where is the good Dillards outlet around here? TIA!
I am loving the Nordstrom line of suites under the Classiques label. Some of them are a little more fashion forward with subtle details than AT/BR/Ltd.
Thank you guys for the recommendations! I am loving the Halogen prices, and the Classiques suits are amazing! I’m feeling a little less overwhelmed now. Thanks for helping a newbie out!
This might work depending on how dressy your firm is (mine is on the casual side of business casual). I buy all my staple pieces- pencil skirts, pants, etc at Ann Taylor/BR etc and then buy print shirts/cardigans at Anthropologie. The prices are pretty reasonable when you buy things on sale, and I love mixing a quirky print top with a very straight-laced pencil skirt and classic pumps.
Als0 – for cheapish more trendy work clothes, seek out New York and Company, but keep in mind that you get what you pay for.
If you have a Nordstrom Rack, it’s a great way to pick up work clothes. But you have to dedicate the time to picking through the racks.
I am a walking Banana Republic/J. Crew catalog (minus the sweat socks with sandals, slouch and scowl), but I’m actually OK with that. I always feel appropriate, unless I’ve been into the Ben and Jerry’s and the Banana/J. Crew pants are feeling a little constricting.
I love Another Sarah’s comment! Step aside while I click down the hall (carpets make this scenario less likely).
I would rock the shit out of this suit . . . if I was 5’10”, 110 lbs and a stick figure! But I do love it, just think it would be hard to pull off if not built like a super model. It is fierce though.
Nordstrom and photoshopping:
Honestly, this is just gross. I’d love to pen a letter to their advertising department but I don’t want to come off as a ranter against the media and the female image.
What exactly is ‘gross’ (I agree, BTW), but there is sooo much going on here. I guess my #1 gripe is the obviously messed up seam on the back view…what was yours?
to me, looks like obvious photoshopping to make the model ultra-thin…
It’s kind of gross that her waist appears to be the same size as her neck! WTH, Nordstrom!
Hm, maybe–on the other hand, I have a friend who’s actually built like that in real life. And yes, that kind of freaks me out.
This is pretty much what my body looks like, so thanks for letting me know I’m gross.
Also, just drawing some imaginary vertical lines, I think her neck is DEFINITELY wider than her waist…
Moving on to enjoy my breakfast.
A follow-up from my 9:08am posting:
I’m not defending the fact that the fashion industry always seems to pick the same body type for all of its advertisements and modeling. It’s not representative of women – it is representative of those women who have that one particular body type. I’d much rather see a wide variety of shapes and sizes (I actually really liked clicking on Ms. Basil E Frankweiler’s links to clothing options earlier in this post because the options featured gorgeous women with much fuller figures than myself or the typical clothing model – rock on!).
I’m just saying that I think we should avoid calling a model’s body “gross” – even if you think it is photoshopped, there is probably a reader who looks like that, as we come in all shapes and sizes. Asking for more variety is a good thing – unnecessary bashing is not.
Thank you Anon! I pretty much have a typical model’s body: 5’8″, almost 100lbs, size 0/00, NO curves, etc. I usually notice photoshopping of models when it makes her ultra curvy because most thin women are not that blessed. I like the stick figure model image because it makes me feel normal! I love Kate Moss haha.
Anon for Now
Okay, rant coming. So, I just got a ‘revised’ version of my firm’s ‘attorney policies’ and they say that even looking at ANY blog, commenting on one, etc. is grounds for immediate firing (not the words used). We are firewalled from most ‘social’ sites and a lot of streaming media, and there is no alternate source of wi-fi (except i-phone, which I don’t use). So how am I supposed to check in w/Corporette during the day? This aggravates me, since I am *expected* to ‘check the berry’ and log in remotely whenever I am not in the office during regular business hours (and lots of time in the evenings and on weekends, too), and I spend LOTS of time in the office beyond ‘regular business hours’ working. Seriously, why can’t I – without fear of being fired – at least check the site (and possibly post an innocuous, anonymous comment) every now and then.
Rage. Rant over. Anybody else have the same issues?
I run an IT department and that’s the most restrictive policy I’ve ever heard of. I agree with you totally – productivity is the responsibility of the employee and the manager, and I am not your mother – I think if you want to do your online banking or shopping or whatever during an idle ten minutes and it saves you from running out of the building for an hour, that’s good business and good employee relations. And while I think it’s important to have a clear policy on what it is/is not OK to do as a representative of your firm, forbidding all casual web interaction during working hours I feel is very work-life balance unfriendly, and way more draconian than is necesary to protect company interests.
I have the same problem. Well, not in a given policy, but I work in an open concept office, and since there are no doors, let alone even cubicle walls, I try not to browse obviously non-work sites such as Corporette. I find the commenting on these threads usually stop after work hours, so I’ve just been lurking around mostly. Facebook and all forms of webmail are blocked. If I need a break, I try to browse news sites. At least it looks acceptable (even if I’m reading entertainment news on a mainstream news site!)
Kat – I am not a fan of Michael Kors but I do think this is a cute take on a black tailored suit. When I put on anything with a lot of shoulder I feel funny, plus what happens when you have to put a coat over it? I have just done a very good home tailoring job removing the little peaks from the shoulders of a new suit jacket, but it wasn’t easy.
Random threadjack. Does anyone know if Nordstrom Rack has a good selection of bras in large sizes, as Nordstrom usually does? I hate shopping but have to get a new bra, and would rather pay less for it, but don’t want to haul out to Nordstrom Rack to find nothing.
I have no idea but maybe you can try calling your local Nordstrom Rack and asking?
Eponine, it’s hit or miss. I have found a few Fantasie and Panache brand bras in my ridiculous (small number, large letter) size over the years.
Thanks! I guess it’s worth trying.
Market circulated a statement: Mothers pushing property prices up, because the wife’s mother worried about her daughter in the hands of no room, so they requested that son buy a house. But most of them are out of the first phase of the groom, men and women together for the building, “a woman of a Chinese marriage live：http://fashion.ifeng.com/emotion/topic/detail_2013_06/23/26705970_0.shtml public” is not necessarily a man full pay. Because pressure forced the woman to buy a house in the past 10 years, the harvest is gold appreciation several times, probably a lot of people have to say “thank Mothers urge grace.”