Monday, January 6, 2014

Suit Up

Are you prepared to suit up this year? Be prepared to shop until you drop if you shop at brick and mortar stores for your suits. My musings are prompted by my visit, a couple of weeks ago, to no less than five budget-friendly chain and department stores before I discovered a well stocked women’s suits section at one of them. A month ago, I would never have imagined that I would be asking the question, Are retailers ignoring the existing market for affordable women's suits? I encountered plenty of bumps in the road during my mission to find suits that were both stylish and affordable. At the conclusion of my fashion hunt, I found myself asking, is the suit still relevant? Is it just me or is there still a need for traditional suit attire in certain situations and industries? I love luxury designer suits such as those featured here in my post but realistically I can not afford them.
Ralph Lauren Suit; From the Spring 2014 RTW Collection
(Sir) Paul Smith; From the Spring 2014 RTW Collection

I started my suit shopping journey like a paratrooper about to storm a fortress. I wanted to add a couple of basic, yet fashionable, suits to my wardrobe. Did I really need these suits? Probably not; but I could feel disassociation disorder coming on for the current suits in my wardrobe. I wanted suits that would announce to the world: I am stylish, confident, and a take no prisoners’ kind of fashionista. I was knocked out of my happy zone soon after my hunt began: 

  • Store number one: The Store Managers explained to me that the company had decided to focus less on suits and more on separates and, as a result, they did not have a women’s suits’ section.
  • Store number two: The Store Manager stated that only certain store locations had women’s suits in stock. I moved quickly on to another location of the same retailer’s.
  •  Store number three: I initially thought I hit the jackpot when I spotted a women’s suits section but my optimism was short-lived. The section mostly consisted of suits that lacked panache, style and a certain savoir faire.
  •  Store number four: I struck out again but I am a glutton for punishment when it comes to fashion so I kept on trekking. 
  • Store number five: I came, I saw and I conquered. I found two suits that met my requirements at K & G, self-labeled as a Fashion Superstore. The irony is that I am not a regular patron of K & G because the suits are usually so typical, if you know what I mean, and I tend to favor the atypical.
Note: The other stores I visited, in no particular order include, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Macy's and Stein Mart.

I became the owner of a mixed-media black pants suit which has faux-leather panels at the sleeves and faux-leather lapels. Can we say it together? Oh yeah, Oh yeah! I now also possess a black and white skirt suit which I selected because the dynamic duo of black and white is elegant, timeless and on-trend. I achieved another slam-dunk. I have my new power suits now hear me roar. 

Black Suit with White Trim by Evan-Picone

It's All About Matching a Suit with the Right Top and Accessories. Am I Right?
A Pop of Color Can Be Explosive with a Black and White Suit

Black Mixed-Media Suit by Zac & Rachel
Chains, pearls and bling can make a black suit sing.

A Graphic Top and Suit Pants Are a Pair with Flair
I began to consider, during my shopping adventure, that perhaps women’s suits for those within a certain income bracket were a dying breed; however, since then I have come to believe that my initial assessment could not have been more wrong. Suits will remain an important, if currently less trendy, wardrobe choice for women simply because of the essence of individual style.

It is effortless to toss a suit jacket over a casual dress or to pair it with a pair of jeans. The same ease can be found by pairing suit pants with a graphic top or tee and leather jacket. The endurance of women’s suits is all about creativity. As long as we remain inspired by fashion we will continue to come up with endless possibilities for re-styling our suits into separates. Based on the outfit of the day photos I see when I read or visit blogs, by so many of you, the styling talent is immense and immeasurable. As a result, women’s suits will continue to thrive.

Related Stories:

Elle, Stylish Designer Suits for Women

Women's Wear Daily, Spring 2014 Trend: The Suit Gets Cute

Free People Varsity Palm Tee
I am a Keaton Row Stylist with Lookbooks available for view at I hope you browse my latest finds, Casual Fun Tops. Here's a sneak peek:
Sonia by Sonia Rykiel Tank

Until next time, be stylish!

Thanks for visiting my blog. Please follow my journey.


  1. Love Your suit with laether always wanted to heve one on my own!

  2. nice post!

  3. Finally, you found the red pumps! ;) Mine are on sale in a shop in Pavia. There is a website too, but they don't have an online store.
    Anyway, your posts are great! The suit you wear at last is my favourite!
    Oriana xxx

  4. I love this style so so much! So elegant and chic!

  5. Great post. It's been awhile since I've worn suits or even work outfit. =) Love the post!


  6. GREAT leather panel insert suit and I agree the black and white suit is definitely your new power suit, it looks put together! I don't know what's going on in the suit world, but I love your observations. I think it's strange that there are so few inexpensive options especially since in 2013 there were a lot of designers in the luxury world that were focusing on the tuxedo look, so I usually expect to see knock-offs in the everyday shopping world.

    2014 looks like a year of nice shirt dresses, so who know maybe the "corporate" look revisited will make a come back. I stopped buying suits a few years ago to be perfectly honest. When you work in fashion people look at you strangely if your in a suit...unless you are in a 7,000 euro suit from KITON!

    Angie from
    reasons to dress take a glimpse into my euro mommy life

  7. Hi Sharon! Beautiful, elegance and stylish out fit, I love that. Especially tights and red heels. I need red high heels;))