How To Pick Your First Suit

June 3, 2016

suit shopping tips for women

*original outfit post here*

I try to showcase a lot of wear-to-work outfits that are work appropriate, but go beyond just a basic suit. However, suits are a must have in your closet if you are a young woman working in the professional / corporate world. Even if you work in a laid back industry, there are times where a classic suit is just a necessity. 

Today I wanted to share some tips on how to select your first suit. Suit shopping can be a daunting task – especially for women – so these tips should help make the process easier! I’ll also link up my favorite places to buy suits.

1. Know your Industry 

Do you work in a ‘big business’ accounting firm, a boutique law firm, a tech start-up? Knowing your industry is essential to determining the type of suit you need. For more ‘corporate’ industries you will want to to stick with a classic shape. The more relaxed, the more you can experiment with cuts/shapes. Personally, I live in ‘skinny pant’ suits. 

2. Decide on Color 

For a first suit, stick with the basics – navy or dark charcoal gray or most common. Traditionally the rule was to shy away from black as it is too harsh. Personally, I think that rule is outdated now and I see many young lawyers with black suits as their first/primary suit and it looks great. 

     3. Decide on Skirt vs. Pant            

If you are in a more strict environment, or are planning on going to numerous interviews in your first suit, skirt suits are still recommended as the most appropriate style for women. That said, it’s 2016. If you feel more comfortable in a pant suit, go for it. I personally don’t like skirt suits and did every law firm interview I had following law school in a pant suit. 

4. Try on Different “Fits”

Suits can be as diverse as jeans. Take a ton of suits into the change room to see how different fits sit on your body type. Longer vs. Shorter blazers will look different on different bodies, as will one, two or three button blazers. Try them all on to see what look suits you best before narrowing your search to suits in that particular fit.

 5. Where to Shop

Luckily, it is becoming easier to find stylish women’s suits. My personal favorite brands/stores, by price point, are below.

Affordable ( >$200):

Banana Republic


Halogen (available at Nordstrom)

Mid-Range ($200-600):

Ann Taylor

High End ($500+)

Classiques (available at Nordstrom)

– Theory

Boss (available at Saks)  

Club Monaco


14 comments so far.

14 responses to “How To Pick Your First Suit”

  1. Paulina Mo says:

    This is such a great post!! Very informative!! My first suit was from Ann Taylor and it was a total investment but I've had it now for over 6 years!!


  2. Great tips here. I got my first suit ever at Lord and Taylor. Ann Taylor, The Limited and White House Black Market are also great for suits. =) You are so chic in all black!

    I would love for you to linkup with me. A new linkup is up every Thursday. Come share your gorgeous style with my readers.

    Thanks and have a great weekend! Ada. =)

  3. Great tips. My first suit was a Calvin Klein I got on sale at Yonkers, and I was hooked!

  4. Great tips! I definitely like a pant suit better as well and I love express suits

    • Lee T says:

      Yay im not the only one! I just feel more comfortable in a pant suit. I like that there's so many options to mix and match with Express!

  5. J. Elle says:

    Really great tips all around, Lee. I happen to like black suits and think they are really versatile. I also usually purchase the skirt and pant to have more options, but I tend to lean towards the pant suit.

    Thanks for linking up with Fabulous Friday! Hope to see you back next week.

    Jennie – A Pocketful of Polka Dots

    • Lee T says:

      Thanks gorgeous! Yes i LOVE when you can get both a skirt and pants – its just a great way to have more options when you're getting dressed.

  6. Mica T says:

    Thanks for sharing your tips! I have a skirt suit (too hot for pants here most of the year) I wear to interviews but I don't need it regularly in the office. I think I'd probably need a new one if I was to start interviewing again!

    Away From The Blue Blog

  7. Great tips, I totally agree with your #1 rule that it is so so important to know your industry for how to dress appropriately. If you're in a more corporate environment rather than playing with the style of the suit you can let your personality show with the top or appropriate accessories.
    xo Jannine | Happy Stylish Fit

    • Lee T says:

      Thank you so much! Exactly! Accessories are key if you're in a corporate environment – a basic black pencil suit fits the environment but you can still throw on a great statement ring or necklace!

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