The Find: An Affordable Business Suit

Jun 26, 2019

Recently, I saw another retailer selling a pair of shorts with a blazer and calling it a suit.  I understand that fashion trends fluctuate, but a pair of shorts with a blazer is not professional attire.  Those of us who need to wear suits to work, cannot also wear shorts.  So I thought I would post an affordable suit that is actually work appropriate.

This Tahari ASL suit is on sale as separates at Macy’s.  The pencil skirt costs $47, and the jacket is $80.  The jacket comes in sizes 2-16.  The skirt comes in sizes 2-18.

The jacket has a visible zipper.  Some of you will think this is ugly.  Others will find it Alicia Florick-reminiscent.

Obviously the shoes on the model are not work appropriate.  So try a pair of simple navy pumps instead.

Plus-size? This suit from Le Suit via Amazon is similar.

{this post contains affiliate links that may generate commission for the author}

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  1. Maddy says:

    Great pick – and it’s on sale for $35 and $60 right now.

  2. Dani says:

    Ooh, I love this suit! And thank you – I personally don’t think shorts are appropriate in any workplace, but definitely not in one that requires you to wear a suit in the first place.
    I am curious what others think about the appropriateness of the shoes. My first job ~15 years ago had a conservative dress code, and it was drilled into me there that toes and heels needed to be covered at all times. Since then, I’ve been in pretty standard business casual offices, and would say open-toe sandals (heeled or flat) are now ubiquitous both in my office and what I see others wearing while commuting and grabbing lunch (I’m in DC). Other than in business professional environments, it seems like open toe shoes have become part of the standard dress code.

    • Michelle says:

      I personally don’t find open toes shoes appropriate with a suit.

      If it’s business casual, where you don’t need a blazer, I think that’s fine. It also depends on the materials that the open toed shoe are too. Something with a cork wedge heel is too casual to me, but an all patent leather/velvet? look shoe like the model would be fine.

      I also cringe when I see people wear open toed shoes and they don’t take care of their feet (doesn’t have to be a manicure, but cut your toenails!).

    • DC says:

      I think mules/slingbacks are fine as long as they’re otherwise professional, even in a business formal workplace (but I wouldn’t wear them to court). I don’t think sandals are appropriate for business-formal environments (heeled or not), but depending on the office, a peep toe *might* be okay.

      For business casual environments, so much depends on the specific office. Sandals are probably fine, but as Michelle said, it depends on fabric/look (but never plastic flip flops).

      Commuting shoes are a whole different thing.

      • Emma says:

        I wear peep toe heels with suits in the summer if they otherwise feel work appropriate (nice material and color) and my toenails look nice, I don’t like sandals or wedges in a business conservative environment, but they are fine in many business casual offices.

    • Leigh says:

      I’m also in DC, and I see enough open-toe shoes with business professional attire this time of year that I guess I’ve become inured to them. I stick with closed-toe shoes, myself, but that’s mainly because I still wear pantyhose.

      I definitely think closed-toe is more appropriate for important meetings/briefings, job interviews, etc.

  3. A says:

    Very nice. I will say it again and keep singing it from the rooftops, but Ann Taylor now has machine washable suiting (and goes up to size 18). And I’ve washed it. Repeatedly. And it still looks great. On sale I can typically get a dress and jacket for under $200, and given the savings on dry cleaning costs it is so worth it.

    • Belle says:

      Really? That is interesting.

    • Denise says:

      Banana is also going this direction – I have a suit from them that I purchased this spring and it is fully machine washable and comes out of the machine looking new every time. +1 for not having to go to the cleaners!

  4. KV says:

    Isn’t it interesting that the models wearing suits wear a lot of open toe heels?

    • Belle says:

      It is, and they’re not just open toe, they’re usually sandals. A peep toe, sure in some offices, but a sandal? IF you need a suit, you probably can’t wear a sandal.

  5. Lauren says:

    I personally like the zipper (and was a HUGE fan of the fashion on the Good Wife). Now my work inspiration comes from The Good Fight, the spin off. Those clothes are gorgeous (albeit with super high end price tags that us mortals cannot afford) but remind me of the type of clothes you might like Belle. Elegant, professional, with interesting details – but always appropriate for the office or courtroom.

  6. LYSSA says:

    Amen! I work in a fashion-y business casual tech industry office (impossible to dress for, yes) and STILL don’t think shorts (or open-toed shoes for that matter) are appropriate.

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