by Laura Leiva
The search for a fashionable women's suit depends just as much on style as it does comfort, fit, and versatility. In the past, women's suits have been basic in color and design, but more brands are focusing on the needs of professional women to help enhance the stylish qualities of a suit. When shopping for a suit, keep your existing wardrobe in mind to increase everyday outfit options.
Find flattering skirts and pants. Women's pantsuits are very slimming and add height. To increase your wardrobe options, look for suits that feature a jacket, pants, and a skirt that you can wear with many of the blouses already in your closet. Add one inch to your hip measurements to create comfort and ease of movement and to ensure a good fit with the suit pants.
Look for quality fabrics. Stick to neutral fabric, colors, and patterns when deciding on a women's business suit. Black, grey, and navy are classic professional colors that coordinate with virtually any blouse you already own. When purchasing a patterned women's business suit, examine it thoroughly to be sure that all patterns line up at the shoulder and side seams. Worsted wool, a quality fiber found most often in suits, flatters most body types and is a durable textile. Worsted wool is versatile for year-round use because it is cool enough for summer use and keeps you warm during the winter. Other suit fabrics that work well during warmer months include linen, poplin, and seersucker.
Get a perfect fit. Depending on your body type, selecting a properly fitted suit is the difference between looking put-together and looking uncomfortable. Tall women should look for dress suits with simple, straight lines, and a jacket with wide lapels. This detail will create the illusion that the body is wider, thus keeping the height proportional. Curvaceous women should look for dress suits that accentuate the waist and hips. Jackets that fall around the waist with a rounded lapel collar are a flattering look, as are skirts that have a curved seam.
Choose styles right for your body type. If you have larger hips, buy women's pantsuits with slightly flared legs to balance your top half. Petite women should buy pantsuits with jackets that fall at the hips or slightly below to elongate the body. The best skirt styles are A-line or pencil silhouettes, and vertical patterns or stripes will help to create an illusion of height. Straight-legged pantsuits are flattering on almost every body type, as are pencil skirt suits.
Published April 29, 2010
Updated December 3, 2014