Ask Belle: To Tweed or Not to Tweed
Feb 4, 2010
I recently went into one of my favorite vintage shops and found a fabulous bright pink 1950s boucle suit, that fits wonderfully. Now, I have a bit of a reputation in my office for wearing fashion forward items that no one else in our lovely, but plain office would wear. I showed the purchase to a neutral clad co-worker, who thought it was a bit bright for our Congressional office, but I have a hunch that it is perfection.
I therefore need some of your expert advice. Can I wear the suit together to the office, with a simple brown or lilac silk sheath and some ladylike round toe pumps – which I would adore? Or do I need to go it one piece at a time. The shade of pink is the color of the fabulous dress and coat combo Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany‘s.
Working on Capitol Hill, I see a lot of candy colored tweed suits. Some of these suits are lovely but others are downright cringe-worthy. Without seeing yours (the photo above is an approximation), I can’t tell you which you have.
Even when perfectly fitted, head-to-toe tweed can look matronly if you aren’t careful. Were I the owner of a bright pink tweed suit, I would probably separate the pieces for regular wear. But wearing a tweed suit is more about personal preference and attitude than some hard and fast rule.
If you love the suit then don’t be afraid to wear it. But if you’re going to wear brightly colored tweed to work, you need to be prepared to go big or go home.
Accessorize your suit with a chic updo, statement earrings and cute pumps. Play up the fact that it’s vintage and turn it into a Mad Men homage. Obviously, you can’t wear this look every week, but once in awhile it’s nice to dress up for work.
All Hill offices, including mine, exist in a constant state of boring neutrality when it comes to attire. This doesn’t mean that color is off limits, it just means that you need to bring the attitude to go with the bright pink suit. Don’t be afraid to be bold. But remember, if it feels wrong, it probably is.