The beauty of wearing a suit is that it is straightforward. Yet, that straightforwardness can feel redundant and boring. You can pair a suit with a button-down, a silk shell, maybe an elevated tee shirt … and that’s it. You could add a scarf, or a statement necklace, or go minimum with a clean, accessory free look. However you wear a suit, it’s still just a suit. Which is why I rarely use suits as inspiration, there aren’t many new ideas. So I was thrilled when I stumbled on the above picture last week.
First of all, I’m all about the cape blazer. It’s a modern silhouette that’s both playful and professional.What thrilled me was the use of a sweater as an underpinning. Most suits are far too fitted to accommodate the bulk of a sweater. But a cape gives you plenty of room and the sweater adds some much-needed warmth this time of year. Often, the biggest challenge we have dressing our professional clients is that, without the jacket, the outfit doesn’t look complete. By using a more substantial under piece, you can take the jacket off during the day for a finished look.
I found this blazer (available in missy and plus) and a coordinating pair of slim-lined pants (missy and plus). Already it’s more interesting than the majority of suiting options.There are still some great sales to be had, and this suit is one of them. I found it at Macy’s; the jacket and pants together are under $150. For the sweater, I went with a slightly thinner gauge. Boden makes a well priced, high quality cashmere. The classic styling and clean lines will allow you to wear it for the rest of the season and into the spring, with or without a jacket. Nordstrom has a lovely plus size option with this Halogen crewneck sweater.
The beauty of the look, as in so many of the looks we feature, is in its simplicity. One of the lessons I hope you take away from these posts is that attention to detail (i.e., fit, quality of the item, personal grooming choices) all make a huge difference in the finished product. It doesn’t matter how much you spend, rather, how you pull it all together. To complete this outfit, all you need is a polished shoe and a structured bag. For the heels I went with a more manageable heel height at a can’t beat price of $60. The bag is under $300 and could go from the office to the weekends seamlessly.