My Power Pose

A Work Lifestyle Fashion Blog

What to Wear: the Pant Suit

Jacket: Banana Republic; Top: J Crew; Pants: J Crew.

Jacket: Banana Republic; Top: J Crew; Pants: J Crew.

To be honest, I’m not an advocate of the pant suit. It’s generally unflattering and, in the casual atmosphere of Silicon Valley where I live and work, it can look downright out of place. Suits also represent a large investment of your wardrobe resources. A good one can make you feel great, but they look dated faster than other clothing items, so it’s a purchase I generally try to avoid.

Black and White 2
But there are times when you need to look more formal and a suit does the trick. For a trip to San Francisco to meet with the  COO of a Japanese tech company, I opted for a simple black and white combo, pairing slouchy cropped trousers with a slightly shrunken blazer. When I do need to wear a suit, I try to keep the following in mind:

1. Proportion of the sleeves: either opt for 3/4 length sleeves, as pictured here, or roll/push the sleeves up. It gives the outfit a less stuffy look.

2. Consider the pants: many stylists dislike the cropped trouser, but I’m a fan. They are easy to switch between heels for the meeting and flats when you need to walk between buildings. A wide-leg or full-length pant can also look great, but I’ll make sure to try them on with heels before heading out the door as most pants need tailoring for length. Dragging on the floor just isn’t the way to go.

3. Shake it up a bit: I love a simple look, but carrying my usual black bag would have just been too dull. Especially when wearing a more standard ensemble like a suit, think about adding one thing that is a little less expected. Here, I’ve added the “vegan leather” bag that I got on the street in Venice, CA. : )