Professional womens suits are your passport to success.
Whether you are re-entering the business world after decades away or looking forward to retirement after decades in the trenches, good fitting womens business suits say, "I'm a professional" like nothing else.
John Malloy coached women to get out of the pink-collar ghetto of low-paying secretarial work by dressing-for-success.
If you want to rise through the ranks at many businesses, a woman must look like she means business -- by wearing professional womens suits to work every day.
Today, Life in Italy proclaims, "A suit is professional. It's classy. It's elegant. A suit screams power, competence and ambition."
Once considered a fashion eyesore, Hilary Clinton made the womens pant suit a dignified ensemble during her time in the Senate, as Secretary of State, and as a presidential candidate.
Some clothiers now sell professional womens suits as separates.
If you need a different size jacket from your skirt or pants, womens business suits sold as coordinated separates are the way to go.
Purchasing your women's pant suit or skirt suit also can make finding two pieces in the same size challenging. I always seem to find the collections picked over without a matched-size set.
When buying separates, keep a close eye on the fabric. Different dye lots may have subtle differences in color. This makes the outfit look slightly off and mismatched.
A suit can be a substantial wardrobe investment and one that has to to look good for maximum effectiveness. Here are some shopping tips.
Take account of the climate where you live when selecting a suit or even an expensive suit jacket.
Invest in womens business suits that can be summery with a light blouse or worn with a sweater in cooler temperatures.
The jacket and slacks or skirt should have a lining. It's ideal if you snag a suit with both skirt and trouser bottoms, because jackets tend to outlast bottoms.
Lining helps the fabric keep its shape.
Some heavier polyester microfibers used in bottoms may not need this. So you may find your womens pant suit with lined jacket and unlined textile trousers.
The unlined jacket will not look finished if bare seams show when you fold it over your arm or the back of a chair. Avoid this cheap look.
Better quality womens business suits will be lined. It essential for fabrics such as cotton, linen, silk, and wool or wool blends.
Finishing details are important when purchasing office wear.
The higher the price you pay, the less tolerance you should have for threads hanging from buttonholes or hems, loose buttons, crooked belt buckles, and other signs of inferior manufacturing.
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Look in a three-way mirror so you can see yourself from all angles.
If you shop with a friend, this is a good time to bring one along.
Point-of-purchase tailoring is ideal for professional womens suits, especially if you are not sure what kinds of tailoring are too costly to contemplate -- or are just plain impossible.A good tailor is not a miracle worker.
A tailor cannot make a jacket that is too big smaller without remaking the entire garment, and she certainly cannot make tight slacks larger.
Leaving the store with the illusion that the garments can easily be fitted may have disastrous results.
Dark colors are preferred for a womens business suits. They hide surface dirt better, and they project seriousness and commitment, especially in high-end businesses.
Suitable colors are charcoal gray, navy blue, black, brown or tan.
Red is a power color and appropriate for some, but not all businesses.
Lighter colors that are effective in warm and hot climates include seersuckers, khaki and tan for your women's pants suit or skirt suit.
Pastels may not project a professional image, especially for petite woman. For example, a well-known public speaker once complained she felt like a vanilla ice cream cone if she wore a white suit to work.
Looking good enough to eat is not an appropriate image to project if you want to be taken seriously in the business world.
Stripes and plaids MUST be matched on the seams, or you will end up looking like a circus clown.
When buying stripes, make sure the stripes match at the shoulder seams and are aligned on lapels. This includes widely-spaced pinstripes. If you do not understand what this means, don't buy.
Plaids are almost never matched on the seams in less expensive garments. Here's why:
Matching prints properly takes more fabric and results in textile waste. The pattern pieces must be layed out by a skilled human being with an eye for detail, not a machine.
I have been disgusted many times when I see a designer label on professional womens suits and cannot find a single one that has pinstripes matched at the shoulders or on the lapels.
Horizontal stripes draw the eye across your body -- and this means straight across what is probably the widest part of you.
Plaids by definition include horizontal stripes.
If the plaid has bold, colorful horizontal lines, these will draw eyes to your hips.
Few women choose this as the focal point of our look. If the plaid is mismatched, the fashion disaster is complete.
Don't throw out a suit jacket that outlives the bottom. Go shopping in your closet to find a complementary mate.
Learn how to dress professionally on a budget by developing a core foundation suit.
For tips on how to create new uses and new outfits, here's some information about basic wardrobe planning.
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