A Word on Suiting

For women, specifically.

I went shopping for suits today and ended up suit-less.

Why is suit shopping so hard for women?

As Chris pointed out, he can walk into any nice store and walk out with a suit that will last him 10 years.  When it comes to women, its a whole different story.

First, there’s the fact that styles change fast.   What’s trendy today might be dated tomorrow and while black,  matronly 2 piece numbers may always be available, I don’t know if they would pass for what we might call “timeless elegance” in the realm of women’s suiting.

Then there’s the accounting for boobs and butt and making them look attractive (but not too attractive) in what is supposed to be the most serious and professional of attire.  How much curve is too much curve?  How boxy is too boxy?

If I’m like the majority of people my age in the work force, I don’t need a closet full of suits.  Usually a pair of dress pants and a nice sweater will do me just fine.

But if I need a suit, I need a suit that will knock ’em dead.

I think its easy to find attractive suit-like ensemble for women, what’s hard is finding that holy grail suit that can take me from job interview, to evening work event to important client meeting all without a wardrobe change.  It needs to be formal but fresh, conservative but attractive.  As close to timeless as I can possibly get in women’s fashion.

If I have one suit, I need to be able to throw the blazer on with jeans for a chic casual Friday and pair the pants with a cute top for a nice date night out.  It needs to look equally good over button down shirts as it does over silky cami tops.

A good suit is often the difference between breezy confidence and fidgety anxiety.  If only for networking events and job interviews alone, I think its worth the time and money needed for every woman to have one suit that she feels powerful and poised in.

And unfortunately, this one suit is hard to find.

Today, Chris and I braved the suburbs in pursuit of that mythical beast: the perfect black suit.

I tried on a few beautiful suits at BCBG outlets that I loved.  One was a stretchy (but not tight) metallic black, a few had fun, different sleeve details and at 75% off, they all really ran away with my heart.  Unfortunately, none were quite professional or conservative enough for this one-suit kind of girl and I had to say adieu to my fantasy of being the hip fashionista at the conference in the edgy black two-piece suit.

At Banana Republic, the cuts were a bit off, I could tell might date me, like a bad romantic comedy reference, in a few years.

I won’t even get into size, and body type, etc, its just frustrating, for me and for everyone, whatever our individual hang ups might be.

I’m not much of a shopper, even with the most patient and amazing husband in the world willing to drive me to the end of the earth (Leesburg, in case you were wondering) to find a suit.  So, after a few hours of no luck, Chris and I were ready to call it a day.

And then I found these:

Super fun, totally unprofessional sneakers in a size 5 for 70% off.  I was sold.  I may be suitless but I’m cool shoe-less no more 🙂


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