Wearing our Suits for a Professional Look
Quote of the day: “Simplicity is the shortest path to a solution.” Ward Cunningham
First, if you’re wondering where Nancy is in these photos, you are very observant! She was actually on a two week trip to Ireland and Scotland, so I brought in some substitutes! You’ll recognize Stacy from our Forever Fierce post, and she was my maid of honor in our wedding.
Even if you’re retired and thinking you should throw out all of your suits, I’d like to stop you in your tracks. Sure, you may not wear them as much as you used to while you were working. But the power of a suit never goes away. Sure, the styles change, and you may be sick of it, but I really feel like it can be a powerful weapon. And of course, we will end up breaking up the suite pieces in our next post to show the versatility.
Since we were wearing our suits, I figured going downtown would be the perfect place to take photos. And these three gentlemen were passing by and saying hello during the photo session. So I told them to join us. Notice, they are wearing suits too. So really we fit right into the environment.
As for the photos below, I didn’t change the color on the trees or anything. The trunks are really that color. We are at the Denver Convention Center by the Blue Bear, so maybe they are painted? Because I’m not sure there really are blue trees in nature. (I slept through those biology classes in college).
Jodie’s (50+) Outfit: Now in all honesty, I recently bought this suit on an impulse.
Even though I wore a blazer almost daily at work, I didn’t have many matching suits. I have seen some fun colored ones worn by blogger’s lately, and on a trip to the mall, I fell in love with this one in the window at White House Black Market.
Needless to say, I vacillated on buying it, but impulse won out. However, I did wear it at my blogging convention last weekend, and it certainly stood out among the darker clothes.
I’ve worn this blouse many times on the blog before because I love the colors of it. It’s been modified many times because as my mother says, I’m hard on my clothes. The sleeves pulled away from the body of the shirt a couple of years ago, so my mom sewed in a sheer material as sleeves. Well even that started ripping, so I just recently took off the sleeves entirely. Therefore, it still works great under jackets like in this picture.
I also accessorized with a sentimental pearl necklace and pearl earrings. Since the shirt is a little darker, I wanted to add in some lightness to the outfit this way. I’ve talked before about not saving our pearl jewelry for the special occasions. My philosophy is if you have them, wear them. And if you don’t have them, then there are some that seem more casual like these or these.
These boots again, I know.
I don’t know why I’m so over the moon for them, but for some reason I feel like they go with everything. Maybe I’m trying to channel my inner go go girl?
Considering the day was overcast and chilly, I thought the boots still looked appropriate and they are so comfortable for walking. Besides, I consider that they add a little modern edge to the professional suit.
Let me give you a little more information about why I chose this suit. I haven’t had a double breasted suit in ages. I figure my girls stand out enough without drawing attention to them. Yet, I’ve become a rebel with those rules lately, and I really loved the way the bottom hemline wasn’t straight across. I also wanted the pants instead of the skirt, but my husband talked me out of them. He felt like it was just too much mint green….
Stacy’s (60+) Outfit: I’m so glad Stacy chose her black suit, because I’m sure that’s what most of us have or had in our closets.
Why would you get rid of this suit as long as it fits because it can be worn with everything under the sun?
Stacy paired her black suit with the classic black and white shirt. She bought all three of these pieces (the suit and top) together on sale for a great price not so long ago. And even though she recently retired too, it’s great for the occasional consulting gig, or anytime she wants to look professional.
The shirt is also very versatile. In fact, it would look wonderful with both my suit and my mom’s suit. Black & white is so traditional together and can be worn for casual too. Besides there are so many great varieties of it. For instance, there are birdcages, vertical stripes or even a floral top.
Since it’s spring, I love how Stacy chose a peep toe shoe with her suit. To me, it’s still a work appropriate look, but adds some fun.
And the purse matches everything so well too. I think having a black & white purse could be more interesting than just a black one. It’ll still go with everything, yet it’s not so dark.
The fact that Stacy’s jacket is a shorter version makes it looks fabulous on her. It’s a great proportional trick to making her legs appear longer, don’t you think?
Personally, I like having both longer and shorter jackets in my wardrobe. There are times when you are breaking up the suit that each length can work better with different items.
Pants: Ann Taylor (similar here)~~Blazer: Ann Taylor (similar here)~~Top: Ann Taylor (similar here)~~Shoes: (similar here)~~Broochecklace: (similar here)~~Earrings: (similar here)~~Purse: (similar here)
Charlotte’s (80+) Outfit: My mom has had this suit for quite a few years.
It was one of her splurge items she purchased when she was working at Nordstroms. She laughs that even though she didn’t know it, it was the last item she made a purchase there before she ended up quitting.
The scarf is a souvenir from Scotland and I love how my mom just draped it under the collar of her jacket. It really goes to show how wearing a scarf can add so much color to an outfit, and you don’t have to get all crazy with different ways to tie it. I think this is a creative way to make your suit more feminine. This pink one could do the same trick along with this pleated scarf.
And the light blue accents are a wonderful way to lighten the suit.
This purse really stands out nicely against the dark suit. I know my mom has been really surprised at how versatile this blue purse has been in her outfits. In a way, it’s almost like a light denim in that it could really go with everything.
My mom opted for navy shoes with the look. The suit is more of a dark teal in real life, and since navy is a neutral, it goes perfectly. I feel like navy shoes haven’t been in the limelight lately. Yet even in the summer, they could be a good choice instead of black. This pair of wedges are very classic, and might be too casual for a suit, but could work for other occasions. This pair of navy sandals could actually work with a suit or even jeans depending on your work environment.
I love how all three of us chose suits with different length jackets. My mom’s longer length reminds me of the longer cardigans that are so popular right now. I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to twist her arm and wear it like a cardigan with jeans, but isn’t that a great idea?
Pants: Greta Garbo (similar here)~~Blazer: Greta Garbo (similar here)~~Top: Alexandria (similar here)~~Shoes: Baily (similar here)~~Scarf: from Scotland (similar here)~~Earrings: (similar here)~~Purse: Style & Co. (similar here)
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If you are considering buying a new suit, how about one in a different color or print than what you would’ve worn to work?