Style + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle: Suits for Spring Interviews

Hi Belle! 

I am a college student studying Accounting and need to get one or two suits before I begin interviewing! I was hoping you could direct me to anything that does not look too matronly and will look good on a 22-year-old! 

Thank you! SS

I am also in the market for a few new suits.  I always forget how slim the pickings are until I try to shop for a suit.  Most are boring, many are matronly, and some are downright hideous.  But there are a few places to find decent suiting.

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Limited Indigo Suit (Jacket $158, Skirt $60; also in petite and tall)

The Limited has one of the best collections of suiting out there.  The prices are affordable, the construction is better than most, and the selection of colors and styles is good.

I bought this indigo suit for myself.  I bought both the skirt above and the Cassidy bootcut pants.  Their basic suit comes in more than a half-dozen neutral colors.

For the spring, they’re offering a dark mauve and pale pink as well.  These aren’t appropriate for an interview, but depending on your office, they could be fun for the office.

Also in this price point, I recommend Calvin Klein and Jones New York.  Dillard’s also carries a few affordable brands that are worth a look.  And come summertime, they have the best selection of warm-weather suits.

In the middle price point, Banana Republic and J.Crew also make basic suits.  This lightweight wool Banana Republic jacket can be worn in any season; I also love the classic-goes-modern style.  The 1035 suit in Super120s at J.Crew is a good choice; I just wish they were as well made as they used to be. Sigh. (Just make sure you don’t buy them full price, wait for a sale at BR or J.Crew.)

In the staffer price range, I would also recommend T Tahari and Theory.  Theory can be tough for certain figures, but if it works for you, many people love it.

If you have more than a $300 to spend, I recommend both BOSS by Hugo Boss and Classiques Entier.  Lafayette 148 is also an excellent choice.  Want to really push the envelope? (Probably not the way to go if you’re 22, since you don’t want to out-dress your interviewer.)  Armani is the gold standard.

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    9 comments

  1. Anna says:

    I’m a fan of Ann Taylor when you take advantage of one of their many sales. I’m wearing a great basic black suit right now with 3/4 sleeve jacket that doesn’t hit too low and high waist pencil skirt.

    January 20, 2015/Reply
  2. nikki says:

    I’m also an Ann Taylor fan. While its suits are generally exempt from most promotions (specifically online) I find that if you go to an actual store they tend to honor the promotion on suits. In the DC area specifically, the Ann Taylor at the Pentago City Mall is really good at honoring discounts on suits.

    January 20, 2015/Reply
  3. Crystal says:

    I’m thirding the recommendation for Ann Taylor suits. I can only wear professional, classic suits–not too embellished, no weird colors or buttons, no high hemlines or slits–and finding a suit is very difficult. (Twice as difficult if you demand quality, like lined skirts.) Ann Taylor can be hit and miss, but the store carries some real gems which, if you’re lucky, are frequently on sale.

    January 20, 2015/Reply
  4. LW says:

    I have a skirt suit from The Limited and absolutely love it — it looks nice, but also: 1) travels well and barely wrinkles and 2) is SO comfortable. I wore it on a bus from Durham, NC to DC, fully intending to change into comfier clothing in the restroom, but I sat down and realized it was comfortable enough to curl up and sleep in. Also, they’re often having 40%-50% off everything sales.

    January 20, 2015/Reply
  5. Pam says:

    I see ow I will just sound like an echo, but I am in the accounting field, spent several years in public accounting with a big 4 firm, and even now, 18 years later I am a senior level director in finance in DC ( I say this so you know my background is conservative, conservative, conservative!). But I still like to avoid matronly, and look a bit modern. I have always found great suits at Ann Taylor, and even though many years later I can afford something more expensive, I still find they are my go to suits. You can’t go wrong there.

    January 20, 2015/Reply
  6. Nicci says:

    If you like Theory but not the price, ThredUp usually has a great selection of Theory items. I’ve seen lots of gently used and new pieces at great prices!

    January 20, 2015/Reply
  7. Gabby says:

    Tahari ASL petite suits were my go-to when I had to wear suits. They were the only petite suits I tried on that didn’t make me look like a box or need additional tailoring for length. Not exciting cuts, usually, but perfect for basic interview/everyday office suit purposes

    January 21, 2015/Reply
  8. Pancakes says:

    I am in my late 20s, and I like J.Crew suits. The material is nicer than the material from The Limited, but the point isn’t too bad. You can often find things on sale.

    January 21, 2015/Reply
  9. emi says:

    I just bought the blue suit from the Limited after seeing it on here and really like it! Runs true to size and the tall sizes were great- skirt and sleeves are actually long enough for my 5’11 frame! Thanks for the rec CapHillStyle!

    January 23, 2015/Reply