A friend recently asked me to do a post on work wear. I got to thinking about traditional office attire and remembered the first suit I ever purchased for an interview. I was 22; it was black, ill-fitting, and boring. At the time, I didn’t know the power of a good tailor to help even the most mundane article of clothing look a million times better with the perfect fit, but I did know that I didn’t like wearing a suit. Most of my jobs haven’t required me to wear a suit except for the rarest occasion, but for those of you who do need to dress more professionally, I wanted to show you that cool and modern options exist! No more boring black suits in your future.
Start the work week off with a modern take on a traditional tuxedo with (1) 424 Fifth Lord & Taylor piped suit. An edgy (2) ring and classically shaped suede and leather (3) handbag compliments the outfit. The black tuxedo stripe instantly elongates the leg line and the jacket lapel in the shape of a v draws the eye toward the face. The single button just below the chest accentuates a tiny waist. The flat front pants with the side slit pockets create a slimming illusion. The cropped length is modern and a bit sexy, while showcasing interesting shoes, like the statement-making (4) tartan heels.
I tend to avoid black suits because the color often seems stark on my olive skin. This (1) Nanette Lepore tweed suit in brown tweed would be flattering on most skin tones. Its leather accents define a shoulder and give a modern edge to a classic print and textile. The subtle peplum is modern while defining a waist and at the same time camouflaging many women’s problem area (little tummy). This (2) cuff bracelet mimics the gold in the zipper and adds subtle bling. Although nearly any handbag color would work with this suit, I like this (3) eggplant satchel, as burgundy handbags are so versatile and perfect for a fall and winter wardrobe. Finally, a (4) snakeskin and suede pump will elongate the leg line while adding some drama to the look.
This (1) J. Crew cobalt tweed suit is unique because of its use of color, subtle print and black piping. It has a very modern shape with a shorter boxier jacket that will hit at the hipbone and a zipper front closure instead of more traditional buttons. The trousers are slim fit and straight with a flat front. They are cropped for a more modern take on a pants suit.
Despite its color and slight pattern, this suit is still fairly simple in its shape and style, so it can withstand a stronger jewelry statement. I love this (2) necklace because it is bold in its design but subtle in its color.
Sure, you can always pair your suit with a black tote or satchel, but I like the versatility of jewel tones, like this (3) handbag because it acts like a neutral color that can pair with almost anything.
The cropped length of the pants should be showcased with an interesting shoe. I like these (4) flat loafers for a nontraditional take on a work shoe. This suit would also look great with stiletto pumps, but the loafers are much more unexpected and cool.
If you are print averse, I dare you to try one. Black and white is a great place to start, with this (1) Torn Houndstooth peplum suit. A print like this screams confidence and it is modern, yet girly with a more exaggerated peplum. Since this suit has a full-length sleeve and high neckline, going a tad bit shorter on the skirt works to showcase lean legs and adds just a touch of sexiness to this outfit. To break up the print, I like this adjustable length (2) necklace to add subtle dimension to the outfit. A black and white suit lends itself to almost any color bag and shoes, but I opted for more muted colors with this black and blue (3) satchel and (4) burgundy pumps to keep the suit the star (and no, you don’t need to match your handbag and shoes!).
Many offices have a lax Friday dress code, but instead of wearing the obligatory jeans on Friday, why not step out in (1) Milly’s edgy metallic tweed suit? This suit can easily transition from day to evening as is, or you could throw on dark skinny jeans with the blazer for one look, or trade in the matching blazer for a fitted black leather jacket to pair with the tweed skirt as another option. The slightly shorter skirt may not work in a more conservative office setting, so add black opaque tights for a more covered up look. Since this suit is pretty dramatic on its own, these diamond-shaped (2) earrings don’t overwhelm the already vibrant outfit but add some subtle shine near the face. I chose a simply shaped (3) handbag and (4) black pumps with an interesting cutout design, both items with small metallic details to mimic the chain in the blazer.