What was the first interview suit you bought for your first real job interview? For many of us, it was a standard issue black pants suit – practical, versatile and boring. It takes effort to bring an outfit from boring to chic, that’s why many of our black suits don’t often make it out of our closets.
I think it’s time we dust off that old faithful office standby, breathe some new life, and squeeze some more value and style out it.
Here are five tips and five outfit examples to help us revamp our black interview suits:
1. Befriend a tailor.
A suit should highlights your best features and having it tailored to fit you like a glove will make it look more expensive and flatter your figure. Pay special attention that the shoulders fit properly, your waist is nipped in, and the pant legs and blazer sleeves are the correct length.
2. Break it up.
The pieces of your suit can be worn together, or broken up and paired with complementary items. The blazer will look great with different slacks or a different skirt; consider options like tweed, plaid, pinstripe or houndstooth. The black pants can be worn with a sweater, blouse or different blazer. If you have the option to buy a suit that has both pants and a matching skirt, you just tripled your outfit options.
3. Make use of color, texture, pattern and shine.
A black suit is never boring when you introduce other visually appealing items to your outfit. Not every outfit needs to have color, texture, pattern, and shine, but adding two or more of these elements to each outfit will create the visual interest a black suit is lacking on its own.
4. Know your colors.
When you are putting an outfit together, start with neutrals. Black, brown, navy, ivory, white and beige are all considered neutrals. They can be mixed and matched with abandon. Yes, even navy and black can be paired together. When you select colors to add to your look, choose complementary colors. Jewel tones (such as burgundy and emerald) pair well together, like in look 4. Bright, primary colors also play well together, like in looks 1 and 5.
5. Avoid the excessive color-matching.
Your shoes and handbag do not, and should not match, unless they are neutral colors. Matching your shoes to your handbag (and even worse, your makeup) is antiquated, outdated and seems like you are trying too hard. Freshen up your look by choosing complementary items in colors that go together.