Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Maximize your ROI: A Suit - step one

suit - Piazza Sempione

Necklace – Chanel, pearl bow earrings – Kate Spade, dot blouse – Michael Kors
brown brogues – Stuart Weitzman, brooch – Krista R., pearl earrings – Juliet & Company, 
bow blouse – Diane von Furstenberg, taupe boots – Maison Martin Margiela

Coral bracelet & earrings – Kenneth Cole, coral blouse – Equipment, 
loafers – Lanvin, horse brooch – Lanvin, blouse – A.P.C., ankle boots – Rag & Bone

Turtlenecks – L.L.Bean, square scarf – Hermès, penny loafers – Church’s, gold hoop 
earrings – Blue Nile, ruffled scarf – Yuh Okano, gold rope bracelet – Blue Nile


Beige tee – Mint Velvet, pearl stud earrings – Majorica, chiffon scarf – Rosie Gowans
taupe pumps – Modcloth, green onyx earrings – Monica Vinader, green tee – Jil Sander, 
green scarf – Hermès, brown loafers - Aerosoles



Shop Luxe and Unique Gifts for Her at AHAlife.com!

27 comments:

  1. Just perfect for autumn. I asked you about having my colours done a little while a go... and I did! I turned out to be soft, warm and dark so these are all perfect for me. I can't wait for your next instalments....

    Catherine

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    1. Having your colours done?

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    2. Hi Catherine,

      I have been looking into doing this too, can you please share which service you used? Thank you kindly, D.

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    3. Hi Ro and D

      Having your colours done is when your skin undertones, hair colour and overall colouring are analysed so that you can work out which colours suit you best. There are loads of articles on the web, try searching for colour analysis. Years ago, people were put into seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter but things are more sophisticated now and there are more categories. If you are an obvious "type" you can probably work out your own colours, but I used a company called Colour Me Beautiful ( I live in the UK). You can search for someone in your locality. If you happen to be in the North West of the UK I can wholeheartedly recommend Jackey Palmer and her website is wow factor.me. I had my make up doe as well to suit my colouring. The best thing about the whole thing is that you get a little wallet full of swatches to take with you when you go shopping.

      Catherine

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  2. Oh no! Not a suit. I just consigned all mine because I retired and didn't think I would be able to use them any more. Oh well.

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  3. Oooh, these are MY colors! Love this post!

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  4. Nobody wears suits? I wear a suit to work every single day. I know there are very few work environments where this is required, but the suit isn't dead yet!

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    1. I work in a freaky office most of the men wear suits (and then leave their jacket off for the rest of the day) and most of the women wear sun dresses and other inappropriately casual clothes that say "beach" or "party", but not business.

      My personal dress code leans towards suits because I feel they are the appropriate dress for business, if you want to be taken seriously.

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    2. Dear Anon,

      Do you think that this affects how seriously the women are treated in the office? I was wondering about work-place dynamics. I'm a teacher and I dress up WAY more than anyone else in the district except the superintendent (who stopped me last year to compliment me on my outfit - the superintendent is an older man so I was surprised he noticed.)

      Leah

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    3. My mother was a teacher for years and reckoned one of the reasons that women often didn't get promoted was that they didn't dress in an approriately formal way to work!

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  5. Perfect! For decades I have been trying to create a similarly compatible wardrobe but without focusing on how to increase investment in clothing exponentially. I've learned so much from your posts, Janice, especially in combining unexpected colors (green and brown, for example). I have been sticking to grey, black, and navy as my neutrals, along with some dark brown and tan (pants, mostly). The other colors in my wardrobe are white, icy blue, purple, red, and icy pink. No green, no orange, etc. I try make at least 2 outfits with each clothing item. However, I see that by following your wardrobe basics, I could be creating lots and lots of combinations. Please keep up the good work.

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  6. I have two skirt suits that I never wear. My office is business casual with an emphasis on the casual, but I could wear the pieces as separates. I'll be watching this space! I used to love wearing suits to work every day because it was so so easy... but with the curated wardrobe I am building thanks to your blog, I'm finding that getting dressed in separates is just as easy.

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  7. I haven't owned a suit for years. Now that you mention it, I remember just how often it got worn. Blazer with jeans and white T-shirt, pants with everything, then together as suit in the evening with knock out accessories. It made travel so easy...thanks for the reminder, I'll be on the lookout for a fabulous suit this fall.
    Even though my life style is very casual now, I see many ways one would be easy to live with.

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  8. I purchased a good, quality suit this year even though my job is very casual. Why? Because it is good investment dressing. I can wear it to church, as a suit, or I can just use the blazer, or the pants, with numerous items in my wardrobe. I like knowing that I have a suit to fall back when I want to look impeccably dressed. Becky

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  9. I live in a small town in southern California where, self-stated, fashion is often inappropriately casual, but I think the right kind of suit can apply anywhere. Here, because it's so warm, you can opt for a short-sleeved jacket, maybe everything in a lighter-weight linen; however, most of the time, I'm so warm that all I want to wear is a sleeveless, thin cotton sheath or, preferably, unlined linen; part of it is my age and weight, as I'm a little too insulated. I do buy Polartec for snow days up in the mountains, although snow is sometimes rare, and I dream of Scottish kilts and warm, woolen sweaters...or suits...but, practically speaking, a formal suit is probably not a part of my future. Variations of it, though, are completely possible.

    I did see a woman in a black suit...skirt with jacket and white tank or blouse, black heels...maybe six months ago; one of those attractive, young, pharmaceutical salespersons who calls on the doctors in their offices/clinics. It was actually a refreshing sight. I'm open to whatever Janice comes up with about suits; always a good guide, then "cut to fit." Adapt it to what suits me and my lifestyle. Wonderful, put-together ideas on this blog.

    J.Jill is promoting their Wearever line with new colors and patterns. I'm still trying to research if they're a thoughtful manufacturer, as I buy from them a lot. I like the Wearever mix 'n match but none of it looks good on me; the weight or feel of the fabric just doesn't work for me. They have some ideas for combinations, of course using their items, but Janice's are always still the best.

    I'm blanking, stupidly, because I come here all the time, but please do refresh my fading brain cells on what ROI stands for, as I slink into the shadows in embarrassment.

    Thanks.

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    1. ROI = Return on Investment

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  10. Hi Vicki,
    ROI is return on investment.

    I love, love brown, but sadly can't wear it because it doesn't suit my skin tone. The thing that's so great about the variations Janice puts together is that you can often switch out the color of the base pieces and voila, it works! Except for the taupe pieces, the rest in this variation would go equally well with navy, black, or gray. Thanks for all the inspiration, Janice!

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    1. Thanks. I did know that, didn't I? Blame it on menopause.

      I agree; love, LOVE brown, and it looks horrible on me, even in slacks. When I was younger, I had blonde woven into my light brunette hair...and I was much too tan (would NEVER purposely suntan now, in these days; believe me, I'm paying for it today with regular visits to the dermatologist and praying I don't get melanoma)...so, with the brown/blond mane, sunkissed skin and gold jewelry, I could rock the brown. That was then; this is now. Brown? Not. But I'll keep working on it, with Janice's help!

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  11. Thank you very, very, very much for posting business clothes. The LL Bean capsules are things I would only wear occasionally on the weekends so I have been trying to picture each element as something business friendly. This is just excellent. Extremely good examples of business casual (and in some industries this would count as business professional).

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  12. Janice, I just caught your post on Tish's blog, A Femme D'Un Certain Age, with another edition from you of "A Romantic Weekend in Paris." I couldn't tell from my computer if that lovely buttercup-patterned DVF dress is paired with brown AND black, but it's so pretty. Here's a sort of coincidence: I have a closet hobby I probably shouldn't admit to, but I am crazy for the Barbie dolls that Mattel Toys puts out on their website called Barbie Collector. These are the expensive, high-fashion dolls which little girls would NOT be playing with...they're for us grown-up girls. The most I've paid for one (new, from Mattel) is $175; they're also very big in the secondary market. Furstenberg, Zac Posen, Vera Wang...TONS of designers have created fashion dolls for this line and the mini-workmanship is delightful. There are different levels in price and number of dolls manufactured, according to the doll or series of dolls and, currently, on one of the more widely-manufactured fashion dolls (and more affordable), Tim Gunn has a new collection, where he's designed four outfits...and they are very STRIKINGLY similar to these colors you've highlighted for the Romantic Weekend. (So, are these the hot, new Fall colors???) He features a black skirt, black slacks, black trench, black top, black belt, black & white scarf and black boots and heels and ankle-straps, with a yellow/black/gray-taupe & eggshell patterned skirt and top-with-tie or white blouse. I was thinking how much I wish the clothes were for "real" and not just for Barbie!! (Maybe if I'd quit buying the Barbies, I could actually afford that gorgeous Diane Von Furstenberg dress for Paris!! How I love her clothes! One of the earliest beauty/lifestyle books I ever bought in my 20s was hers...AND, one of the first outfits I ever bought with my first paycheck from my first full-time job in the business world, was an evergreen/beige patterned KNOCK-OFF DVF wrap dress...this was the mid-'70s...which I wore til it fell apart; I ALWAYS looked great in it, which is something I won't often say of myself, then or now.)

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  13. Thank you so much Janice. I bought a nice navy suit and have been wearing it with a white t-shirt underneath. I am petite and "cute" and have really noticed people at work treating me differently (better) when I am suited up. I am looking forward to the rest of the posts. Thanks again for doing what you do.
    RNR

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    1. Although I had a senior moment over ROI, I actually did work in a variety of business environments for over 25 years and, I have to say, although a working woman should be judged for the quality and substance and output of work/product, she can definitely be judged, unfairly or not, by how she looks. I guess it's a credibility factor. I have witnessed again and again, no matter what decade, how a consistently well-dressed (and well-coiffed) woman seems to be taken more seriously even if she's not the most attractive, maybe not the nicest (ouch) or even the smartest. I'm not saying it's right; just that it "is." Wasn't there a line in the movie "Working Girl" with Sigourney Weaver and Harrison Ford where the Joan Cusack character whacks off the long '80s-poof hair of actress Melanie Griffith, whose character is assuming the identity of her absent, executive-level "boss," saying "Serious job? Serious Hair!" What's nice about today's suits are that they don't have to be severe, power suits; being serious doesn't mean a woman has to sacrifice femininity. In terms of "impressions," I have a relative who is a university professor, very young-looking although she's in her 40s now, also petite and cute; she felt she was being taken more seriously once she quit wearing contact lenses and went to eyeglasses (coincidental benefit of a medical thing, where she could no longer wear the contacts) and, yes, she wears more than one navy blue suit, which is her best color. I will say one more thing, for myself, and that's that I always felt a lot more confident when I wore high heels; my stride was just different, or else I stood up straighter...or something.

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  14. Hi Janice

    Thank you for posting about suits, as I am currently planning my fall/ winter work wardrobe based on the concept of owning two suits and two pairs of shoes. You do such a nice job in demonstrating the possibilities when one has a suit, it truely is a canvas. It a can be worn casually or soberly.

    I work in an office where the women dress casually including myself, but I do notice people treat me differently when I wear the whole suit, though with a t-shirt to respect the casual environment. The men wear mostly long sleeves, long dark trousers and closed shoes, though they add some kind of topper in the winter, mostly a woolen pullover of nice quality. In the summer the office is too warm (no air conditioning) to wear a jacket, so I use the suit bottoms as mix & match. The office is very drafty and cold november - april (probably wasn't a problem when the building was built, because back then people wore wool suits and vests in the winter) so I'm looking forward to trying out the whole suit then, with a thin but warm sweater, as shown above.



    I'm looking forward to your next installations. :-)

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  15. Could we have a post about shirts? I seem to be a bit adverse to them for some reason!

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  16. Thank you very much for this post. I often wear a suit especially with a scarf tucked in replacing a blouse.

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  17. Oh, Janice! What a wonderful post! Thinking about possibilities with the suit! I also really love miking a coordinating jacket in and have a propensity for following your column of color...with a jacket in the same color tone or something different. Just beautiful!

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  18. Hi Janice,
    Sure we can break apart those suits but I never seem to be able to. It's as if they have a magnetic attraction to one another and they must stay as a
    well, suit. It absolutely makes sense and I love my black suit but it certainly isn't getting much action these days. The last time I wore it was to a funeral and none of the other women were dressed in suits. I felt very buttoned up and confined.

    On a different note I wanted to tell you how much I love the feature you sometimes have of a "chic sighting". Please keep your eyes open for us!
    Jeannie

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