Ask Belle: Matching Suit Sets
Jul 16, 2014
Last week, you posted a dotted suit from JCPenney. I really liked it, but one of my early career mentors told me never to buy a suit from Kasper or Le Suit. Aren’t matching suits, the kind not sold as separates like at Banana Republic or The Limited, really dated? I’d love another opinion.
Thank you for reading my e-mail, hope I get a response! Alyssa
Suits like the kind you describe can be purchased at any mall in America. From Macy’s to Marshall’s, these types of suits are hanging on the racks. And the best part? It’s a great way to find an under-$200 suit, and sometimes and under-$100 suit. But your question about them being dated is a good one, because no one wants to show up to work dressed like an old lady headed to church.
Perhaps the best way to explain which suit sets are stylish, and which ones should go straight into the sale bin, is with some dos and don’ts.
Don’t buy a suit with sequins, decorative buttons, or a bow belt. Don’t buy a suit in a fabric that is even the least bit shiny or could pass for evening fabric. Don’t buy suits with jackets that are a different color than the pants/skirt. Don’t buy suits that have short-sleeve jackets. Don’t forget that you’re not Elle Woods.
There’s also one item that is more of a personal preference than a don’t: Suits with dresses instead of separates. I usually don’t like them, but this Jones New York suit is nice.
And, I can’t believe I am about to say this, but I.love.love.love this Kasper studded jacket and dress. They have a Rebecca Taylor look to them. I would not wear them together, but separately, a dream. Both pieces under-$100? Put them in my closet, right now.
Do look for suits with modern cuts, like this black one from Tahari ASL. If you decide to go with a classic style, do choose something simple and elegant like this white Le Suit ensemble or this pinstriped suit. Do choose a fabric that has a good feel to it and looks more expensive than it is.
The most important do of all: Do tailor your suit. If you’re going to buy less-expensive suits, you need to spend the money having them tailored. If they don’t fit you, they will absolutely look like you borrowed your mommy’s clothes. But if they fit you like a glove, you’ll timeless and chic.