They have been saying the suit is making a comeback. I’m not exactly sure who ‘they’ are and I’m definitely not sure I totally agree. Sure, eventually, the suit will cycle back, but I don’t believe we’ve reached that point yet no matter how many super adorable suits a company like Argent creates. The majority of women who felt suits were necessary are only just now fully abandoning them, making it seem unlikely that they are ready to jump back into one. Not only has the casualization of the workplace made suits seem as dated as the rolodex, now that many women have found themselves with equally professional alternatives to the suit I’m not sure she’s ready to return just yet.
If you are a corporate woman there is a chance you have at least one suit hanging in your closet. We’ve been having a big discussion in my closed Facebook Group (feel free to join us here ) about interview suits and it seems that no matter how casual the workplace has become, a suit still seems like the smart choice for an interview. It does make one wonder, however, what the heck happens to this lone suit once the job is attained? Does it just collect dust in the closet?
Tips on how to break up a suit is not something new on my blog. I am sure I have written about it before, but I wanted to revisit it again as trends have changed since I wrote about this the last time as has the dress code of many work environments. Even one of my clients who works in finance, who always had a closet of suits, recently told me that she can’t remember the last time she wore a suit to work. If suits seem dated in an industry as buttoned up finance, one can only imagine how unnecessary they must be in other workplaces.
Five Fresh Ways to Break Up a Suit
Using this machine washable suit from Banana Republic (link to jacket and pants), I am going to show you how to break up a suit to create equally professional looks for all types of workplaces.
When you break up this navy suit you have a perfect navy blazer that can be used in a variety of ways. A navy blazer and jeans is one of my favorite looks. For a business casual summer look, I styled the navy blazer of this suit with a pair of more relaxed wide leg cropped pants in khaki from Halogen. Under the blazer I added this professional t-shirt from BOSS Hugo Boss. Despite the more casual workplace, it is still important to look groomed and ready for work. To do this with this work look, I added these nude slingback pumps from Diane von Furstenberg, a navy bag from Tory Burch and chunky acrylic necklace from Stella + Ruby.
One thing I love to do with suit jackets is pair them over dresses. Typically, I like them over more tailored and professional sheath dresses. However, another alternative is to wear them over dresses that aren’t as tailored. The softer and more feminine dress gets a workplace finish with a blazer. This is a great solution for summer work days where you might want to be a bit more laid back while still being appropriate for work.
I styled the blazer with this polka dot dress from L.K. Bennett, a pair of navy slinback flats from Bonden, a camel bag from Coach and navy earrings from Kate Spade.
Finding well fitting pants can be a real challenge. Why let those suit pants hang there in the closet when you could break them out and wear them separately? For a much more casual summer workplace look, I styled the pants of this suit with a denim jacket from Madewell. You can get more ideas on styling a denim jacket to work here. With such a casual jacket, it is important not to look too casual (unless your workplace dress code is equally casual) and styled the outfit with professional finishes, including this blouse from LUSH, a pair of grey block heel pumps from Cole Haan, pendant from Stella & Dot and convertible grey bag from ALLSAINTS.
With this look you may be wondering why I would break up a suit only to stick another tailored blazer with it. Doesn’t that miss the whole point? Not really. Hear me out. A separate jacket and tailored pants has become the “new suit.” There is something equally professional yet far more creative about pairing a separate jacket with other tailored components, like a pair of pants, dress or skirt. Basically, you’re creating the same professional look without looking like everyone else who is dressed the exact same way. In more corporate environments, where suited outfits are preferred, this is a wonderful work-around. It is also through separate professional jackets that a more corporate woman can extend the use of her existing suits which can be perfect for business travel and getting more using less.
I styled this white Hobbs blazer over the suit pants and finished the outfit with a pair of MICHAEL Michael Kors pumps, a polka dot blouse from Madewell, ivory bag from Tory Burch and Monica Vinader drop earrings.
This last look is perfect for casual summer workdays. Just when you thought a suit was useless in these types of workplaces, I broke the suit apart and used these pants to create an outfit that isn’t too buttoned up. I styled the pants with a printed top and long cardigan from Nic + Zoe and finished the look with orange block heel sandals from Via Spiga and striped tote from Clare V..
So there you have it, five completely different looks using one navy suit that has been broken apart. Have you created separate looks using your suit? I’d love to hear what you did.
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