If you work in a conservative environment and want to be taken seriously, you have to wear a suit. That’s according to Style By Jury’s fashion guru, David Clemmer.
“A suit is like armour for executives. It’s your protection from all those corporate nasties looking for a reason NOT to promote you. But that doesn’t mean you can’t look sexy, feminine and still in charge.”
Here are some of David’s power suit tips that you can use on your climb up the corporate ladder.
There are two types of suit for women, the pant suit and the skirt suit. If you only own one it should be a skirt suit. You can’t go wrong with black, grey or navy blue.
Before you even try it on, crumple up the fabric and see how it resists wrinkles. If it doesn’t bounce back, then forget the suit.
When you’re choosing a skirt, make you get one that’s lined, because it will hang better and look crisper.
David says he prefers to see the zipper in the back of the skirt rather than on the side because it gives a sleeker look. The hem should go to the middle of the knee, and the waistband should be reinforced and lie flat against your body.
If you can’t stick two fingers comfortably under the waistband then definitely get a bigger size.
For jackets, you probably want to go with slit pockets which have a clean formal look. But if you need something a little more casual, flap or patch pockets are OK, as well.
The collar of the jacket has to lie flat against the back of your neck. The shoulders should be lightly padded and the sleeves should show 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch of your cuff.
Now what about the cut? If you have a curvy shape, then look for a jacket with curvy lines. That means a softer lapel and a rounded bottom.
A wider neckline, a fitted waist, and a shorter jacket will also flatter your curvy shape. If you have a more straight or angular shape, then look for a longer jacket with sharp lapels that hangs looser at the waist.
If you find a jacket you love but doesn’t quite fit right, don’t be afraid to spend a bit of money on alterations.
A good tailor can adjust everything except maybe the lapels and the shoulders, which can be tricky. But if shortening is all you need, there’s usually no problem.
If you have to wear suits all the time, you might want to mix it up now and then and get a pantsuit, which is fine for a more relaxed workplace.
Once you have a suit that looks great, you can shake things up and perhaps be a bit more daring by using funky jewelry, shoes, or a handbag to add some spice. But be sure not to overdo it.
Whatever you do, get the best quality suit you can afford. Look for a full lining in your jackets and skirts, and well finished seams and hems. Then go out there and take over the company.
- Watch Style By Jury tonight at 8:30 ET, PT exclusively on W Network (www.wnetwork.com).