A business suit is only the start of your professional look, but it's certainly not the end of it. Once you choose a suit that fits your taste, it should be well-tailored and impeccably styled. With a structured suit and coordinating accessories, you'll confidently walk into the office ready to take on the day.
A professional look should be polished, which calls for properly fitted clothes. In some cases, you might find an off-the-rack suit that looks like it was made for your body. In others, a trip to the tailor might be in order. Follow these fit guidelines when selecting a suit:
- Pants and skirts: Make sure that you can fit two fingertips in between the waistband and your skin -- any more, and you might find yourself pulling up your trousers all day. Any less, and your pants or skirt will be too tight. If you notice pulling or puckering along the hips and thighs, go up a size.
- Jacket: The shoulder seams need to sit right at the outer edges of your shoulders. If they drop past this point, size down. Move your arms in the jacket to ensure it isn't too tight. You should be able to button the jacket easily without sucking in.
- Shirt: The main issue with a button-down shirt is too-tight fit, which will cause gaps along the front closure. Make sure your top is big enough to adequately contain your bust so that buttons lie flat and don't create puckers.
Choose a suit style that complements your figure and is appropriate for your professional environment. More conservative offices call for traditional, structured pant and skirt suits. More relaxed dress codes give you more creativity when styling.
A few finishing touches ensure that your suit style is office appropriate. Wear a pair of neutral, closed-toed pumps, sleek loafers, or polished flats to finish your look. Save the stilettos for weekends and stick with a 1- to 3-inch heel.
A slip or shapewear can be layered under your skirt, and a camisole can be worn under your button-down shirt, but these pieces are optional. Opaque tights keep the legs warm and are suitable in conservative office environments. Combined with the right suit, these accessories ensure that your wardrobe -- not just your attitude -- is perfectly professional.