It might not elicit the same kind of euphoric response that comes with a killer pair of shoes, but there’s no need to consider your suit boring. Less Hilary Rodham Clinton, more Madonna, suits can – and should – have sex appeal. From Madge’s Blonde Ambition double-breasted number to her white newlywed statement-maker – rhinestone-emblazoned with “Mrs. Ritchie,” no less – there’s no reason why your best buy can’t take you from boardroom to bridal shower to cocktail hour with just a quick switch-up of accessories.
|Here’s how to pick the most flattering style for your body type.|
|Thicker middle||Curvy menswear styles with a slightly longer jacket are most flattering.|
|Curvy||A shorter and shapely one- or two-button jacket that ends at the hips is a solid choice.|
|Busty||Is your top button always gaping? Opt for the extra room in the lapel that a fitted, single-button jacket affords.|
|Bigger bottom||Stay away from back vents. Choose a longer jacket style with two darts and a centre back detail.|
Now, before we get into the nitty-gritty details that go into sourcing the dream suit, know this: no matter what your build, tailoring is the key to looking your best. Prep for your power-suit power shop by wearing the proper undergarments (sports bras and panty lines are change room no-nos) and take along the shoes you’ll most likely be pairing with it. As the cornerstone of any stylish woman’s wardrobe, it’s important not to skimp on the foundation, so expect to spend $400 to $1,600 for a three-piece suit (meaning a jacket, skirt and pants).
• Buttons should be securely attached and buttonholes should be hand-finished and hand-bound, with no loose threads. If the buttonholes are machine-made, make sure they have closed stitches and secure threads.
• All jackets, skirts and pants should be lined. This will protect your clothes from wear and help hold the shape of the suit. While linings are most commonly made from polyester, some luxe designer pieces are lined with silk or a less expensive rayon. A proper lining should be sewn at the shoulder seams to prevent pulling and have at least a 3/4-inch-deep centre back pleat for ease of movement. The lining should never fall below the hemline.
• Make sure the seams on your sleeves and at the side of your skirt and trousers lie straight and don’t twist around to the front.
• Jacket sleeves should be split at the cuff and, as a general rule, hang even with the base of your pinky finger. The cuff should reveal 1/4 to 1/3 inch of your shirt’s sleeve.
• Hems should be nearly invisible on the outside of the fabric and shouldn’t curl or pucker. Higher-end garments typically have deeper hems.
• Collars should have well-defined, symmetrical edges and interfacing for support. The under collar shouldn’t be visible from the outer side.
• Look for back zippers on skirts, which will ensure your skirt falls straight. A back zipper also makes it easier for the seamstress to get a better fit by taking fabric in from both sides, as opposed to just one.
Wool and high-quality polyester blends are your best fabric options as many are blended with Lycra for greater ease of movement. Although natural fabrics are a better choice for breathability and for the way they contour the body, polyesters tend to retain their colours better. The higher the fabric’s thread count, the higher the quality and durability. A good way to test a fabric’s weave is to hold it up against a bright light and check that the weave is tight, uniform and without any loose threads.