Suiting Tutorial: Breaking Up a Suit

Jun 15, 2010

Last week, I was rushing to get ready for work (what else is new?) and in my haste, I selected the most boring outfit ever: navy J.Crew suit, white button up shirt, nude pumps.  Yeah, I was a disappointment to myself.  In fact, I spent the entire day catching glimpses of myself in the mirror and then hanging my head in shame.  Bad fashion blogger, bad.

Every woman on Capitol Hill has a handful of boring, neutral business suits that, while good basics, don’t offer much in the way of personality.  So for the next three days, we’re going to feature a few posts on how to turn you basic navy suit (navy should always be your first purchase) into something special.  Today, we’re starting with how to break up a suit.  

Note: For our purposes, we’re going to be using the simple Super 120s suit from J.Crew.

I’m a big believer that when you buy your first suit, you should a) spend a little more money, and b) buy all three pieces.  Having a skirt, pants and blazer will make it easier to get your money’s worth out of your suit.  If you have all three pieces, you can break them up to create even more outfits.  Here are some suggestions.

Sassy Chic

Michael Kors Mushroom Leather Jacket (Bluefly, $270)

Bamford Silk Front Blouse (TheOutnet, $299)

Combining the soft, feminine blouse with the structured leather jacket adds some rocker chic to your basic suiting trousers.  Pair with simple earrings and a basic flat for a look that is professional but unfussy.  

Sparkly in Sequins

Heritage Sequin Tank (Banana Republic, $98)

Forever Skinny Jeans (Gap, $70)

Don’t be afraid to wear sequins to work!  Even if you’re not allowed to wear jeans to work (like yours truly), you could still wear the sequin top with your suit to add a little sparkle.  And if you want to wear the outfit out on a Friday night, try adding a pair of long chandelier earrings like this Indian inspired pair from Zales.

Pretty and Powerful

Calpurnia Blouse (ModCloth, $49)

Scoop Neck Vest (NY&Co., $25)

Adding a vest to a pretty blouse and tailored skirt is a simple way to look pulled together without adding a jacket in the hot summer months.  Just remember when buying your vest that you fit the biggest part of you.  So if you’re bigger in the bust, make sure it fits you there and have the waist altered.  

Dress It Up

Black Halo Courtney Sheath (Couture Candy, $298)

Lookout Belt (Anthropologie, $148)

If you have a basic sheath dress and you want to give it a little bit of life, add a suit jacket and an interesting belt.  Just make sure that the belt is wide enough to cover the buttons and the flaps of the pockets, or else it looks a little silly.  And if you wear a belt with your jacket, make sure that the buckle on your belt at least coordinates with the metal on your jewelry and shoes.

Rebel Yell

Silk Blend Cardigan (Banana Republic, $70)

Printed Tee (Arden B, $25)

Long Asymmetrical Necklace (Arden B, $24)

So can you wear a printed tee shirt to work?  Well, I don’t know.  It depends on a few things.  First, how casual is your office?  I could easily get away with this on a Monday with no votes, but maybe your bosses don’t have much of a sense of humor.  Secondly, you need to pair this look with a skirt, pumps and a pretty hair do.  Because when you add pretty pieces to a casual tee shirt it elevates the whole look a bit.  Hence, the ribbon necklace.

Tips and Tricks

share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join The List

Stay up to date on the latest from Capitol Hill Style!

sUBSCRIBE

WFH Outfit: Denim and Black

Does anyone really know how to dress for a rainy February? It’s not winter. It’s not spring. Sweaters seem heavy. Just a shirt feels like you’ll be cold. It’s a puzzle.

3

READ MORE 

Recent Posts

The Range: Best Picks from Ann Taylor

One of the questions that is often asked about D.C. fashion is: Why is there so much Ann Taylor? The answer is simple enough — the hemlines are long enough, the styles are easy to wear, almost everything is machine washable, and it’s easy to find pieces for professional offices or casual ones. Plus, there’s […]

2

READ MORE 

Opinion Page: Product Follow-ups, Vol. XVIII

From time-to-time, I like to re-review that products that I’ve featured on this blog. It’s important to me that I don’t write glowing reviews about a product in a first post and then hide it if my opinion changed later. Also, it’s easy to love a product in month-one, if you still love it in […]

6

READ MORE 

VIEW ALL POSTS

Style, Top Posts, Work, Work From Home | February 21, 2024

WFH Outfit: Denim and Black

Does anyone really know how to dress for a rainy February? It’s not winter. It’s not spring. Sweaters seem heavy. Just a shirt feels like you’ll be cold. It’s a puzzle.

3

READ MORE 

Fantastic Finds, Posts, Style | February 21, 2024

The Range: Best Picks from Ann Taylor

One of the questions that is often asked about D.C. fashion is: Why is there so much Ann Taylor? The answer is simple enough — the hemlines are long enough, the styles are easy to wear, almost everything is machine washable, and it’s easy to find pieces for professional offices or casual ones. Plus, there’s […]

2

READ MORE 

Features, Posts | February 16, 2024

Opinion Page: Product Follow-ups, Vol. XVIII

From time-to-time, I like to re-review that products that I’ve featured on this blog. It’s important to me that I don’t write glowing reviews about a product in a first post and then hide it if my opinion changed later. Also, it’s easy to love a product in month-one, if you still love it in […]

6

READ MORE 

Features, Posts, The Range | February 16, 2024

The Range: Trouser Jeans

Yesterday, we chatted about not-see-through tees. Today, I want to talk about jeans. I am so grateful wide leg denim is back in a big way. And if you’re going to the office, you need a trouser style jean to see you through the week (or just casual Friday). Here are some favorites in different […]

0

READ MORE 

RECENT POSTS

©2023 CAPITOL HILL STYLE | SITE BY LEIGH THE STUDIO