All around the world, the volume of women in corporate business settings is on the rise.
It goes without saying that skills, competence, and education are the reasons why anybody lands a professional position, but what about making a great first impression?
Men have been wearing suits to the office for decades, and ultimately have an unfair advantage when it comes to shopping for the right look. On the other hand, finding business suits for women can be a difficult task, especially when it comes to finding the right look and fit.
The right suit can make a big difference for any professional woman or man wanting to make a great first impression with clients and co-workers alike.
Part of what makes business suits for women different than those for men is that they embody professionalism while also embracing femininity.
When women first entered the workforce many years ago, the business suits available were largely designed after the classic male suit-and-tie look. Thankfully, that is changing, and more diverse options now exist, taking into account individuality and stylistic preferences.
In this article, we will explore business suits for women, and offer some advice with respect to choosing the right one for your position.
Your Profession Makes a Big Difference
If you are shopping for suits for women, it is worth noting that there is a fine line between being stylish and unprofessional – and most of that boils down to your industry.
For example, more professional settings, such as in the legal or financial sectors, require more traditional attire.
On the other hand, creative industries may be more lenient to variations in attire. Suits for women are available in a variety of colors and fabrics, and those options would be well-suited to entertainment, fashion, or artistic spaces.
If you work directly with the public, such as in medicine or education, professional attire is necessary, although it should not come off as unapproachable. Your attire will definitely need to reflect your training and expertise, but the objective is to come across as friendly and inviting to the people you serve.
Dressing for Corporate Culture
Aside from your profession, the culture of your workspace matters, too.
Exceptions to the rule will always exist, and it is worth exploring what is expected by your particular employer. Regardless of whether you work in the creative space or for an accounting firm, some corporate cultures lean more towards a relaxed dress code.
While the right is yours to dress outside of what is considered normal, it could alienate you from your peers or come across as defiant.
For instance, if you frequently dress a step below your co-workers, management might perceive your attitude as lackadaisical.
On the other hand, if you choose to sport very formal suits for women while dealing with the public, you may be perceived as distant or unapproachable.
Ultimately, the choice is yours – just be sure to consider not only your profession, but the culture in which you will be working, too.
How Do I Start Shopping for Suits for Women?
As with building any wardrobe, professional attire needs to be improved and fine-tuned over time.
Before going shopping, you have a number of tasks to complete – and they all begin in your closet.
Start by taking inventory of what you already own. In some instances, you may own an item that would work nicely with suits for women that you completely forgot about… perhaps a blouse you forgot about.
Next, try on any professional clothes you may already own. It is important that what you have fits appropriately.
The objective of this exercise to make a list of what you already have, as well as what you will need to purchase.
You will also need to consider what colors you look best in. Traditionally, suits for women have been made in black, gray, brown, and navy – although other colors are sometimes worn. It is easiest from the onset of building a professional wardrobe that you identify your preferred or favored color.
In so doing, it is easier to match handbags, jewelery, glasses, and other accessories to match your preferred color. Remember that any accessories you wear still need to reflect professionalism, so try to choose simple and high quality items.
Of course, business suits for women, just as suits for men, require personal grooming to really keep you looking your best. Consider how much skin is showing, if your nails are looking attractive, and if your hairstyle reflects professionalism.
A Final Thought on Suits for Women
First impressions matter, and there is nowhere that is more true than the corporate world. Dressing appropriately is a great first step, and that will sometimes require the expertise of an excellent tailor.