Suit Yourself: The Professional Woman’s Clothing Conundrum
When it comes to women’s suits, there aren’t many options. But what’s out in the marketplace surely says a lot about how professional women are perceived.
You can either look like a broke-ass Hillary Clinton, a flight attendant, church first lady (usually shiny, or with a print), or in the case of Victoria’s Secret suit collection, an executive level seductress.
The one most amazing suit I ever owned, I purchased in college. I considered it an investment and spent a pretty penny on a lovely pin striped number from United Colors of Benetton. It was amazing because it was flattering for women who have small waists, but a nice round bootay. I wore that suit out for years.
But now, that I’m older and have gained eh, about 30 pounds since then, that suit is long gone unless I get on the Jennifer Hudson plan.
I mourn the loss because that suit saw me through a few interviews and professional conventions. It wasn’t just a suit, it was a lucky suit. I was confident, I made the right connections, and obviously, I made the right impression and landed some great opportunities.
Lately, I’ve been fudging it by wearing blazers over dresses, or doing the separates thing. While that’s cool, and as much as I hate the idea of a suit, I still feel the need to have a new one in my closet that fits properly, but isn’t wack.
In my opinion, none of the suits out there represent me or reflect my true style.
Most of them are boxy and unflattering, regardless of the price point. I’ve seen $500+ suits that make me want to slap the designers personally. Psychologically, maybe that’s the point. Maybe suits are supposed to be drab and unflattering so women can go into professional situations without being looked at as intellectually inferior, sexual objects and the men and women we are brokering deals with can actually concentrate on our ideas and not our ta tas.
On the flip side, Victoria’s secret is on to something in terms of recognizing a woman’s curves, but they really emphasize selling yourself… literally. Their suits are just too damn tight and overtly sexy.
I honestly don’t know anyone who has purchased a Victoria’s Secret suit, and if they did, I’m guessing they were wearing it for their man when they were playing “naughty executive assistant”, “naughty intern”, “naughty accountant”, yeah you get the drift.
Ugly ass suits are not only a necessary evil for the professional woman, they are the driving force that fuels our obsession with shoes and handbags.