Successful Dress: Suit Up!


They say, “Dress for the job you want to have, not the one you have.”

I say, “Wear professional clothes and look awesome, even as a receptionist.”

The day you purchase your first suit will be an important one as you will wear it to every interview and Monday in that dream job. Here are some things to keep in mind for picking out the perfect pants and blazer.

Purchasing your First Suit

What color? Go black. Your first suit should be classy. I once had a professor who told the class to be a fashion forward and wear navy blue or even pinstripes in order to not appear like you just came from a funeral. I don’t think any interviewer would think that since you obviously came to see them. So this is subjective but I would recommend classic black.

Business WomanWhat Sizing? Someone else recommended that if my weight fluctuates, buy a suit on the larger size or at your largest time of the year such as winter if you live in Minnesota and can’t run or exercise outside. This takes some awareness of ones lifestyle. Sizes run a little generous at professional stores such as Ann Taylor or The Limited so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. My weight tends to fluctuate up to ten pounds but I am still able to stay in the same size because of the way suits are designed.

What Store? I purchased my suit at The Limited because they have a credit card that you could open and use that day which included free tailoring services. Other stores to compare are Ann Taylor or Express. Consignment stores also carry gently used sets from the afore mentioned stores for a much more affordable price.

How Much? My suit came to about $140 with the blaizer costing close to $100 and the pants making up the difference. Of course, this depends on your budget. I have seen consignment stores carry them for as low as $40. The only drawbacks is that you do not have a tailoring option so it may not fit your body as well as it could.

Skirt or Pants? Having both at some point is ideal but if you are deciding between the two, I would start with pants. Unfortunately, professional pants are very thin so even if you have an interview in the middle of summer, pants will be appreciated especially in the air conditioning.

Good Investment? Always. I am constantly using my black pants for other events besides interviews such as weddings, baby showers or even a night out for dinner or a play. You can dress down a blazer by wearing it with jeans or a dress too. It is a must-have businesswoman closet staple.


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