Suit Up

Ah, formal business wear. Some of us hate wearing it, for others it is a second skin. Personally, I’m somewhere in between.

Most major business and older business people consider the suit jacket or blazer as an essential part of daily office wear. Especially for big meetings and job interviews, it is hard to be taken seriously unless you are sporting the two piece suit.

For those looking to up their style factor, I’ve got a few cute vintage suits up in my shop right now. I truly wish the brown one fit me, its adorable. Alas, it is an extra small. I have the feeling it was bespoke tailored for some lady with a tiny 22 inch waist.

The first suit is a vibrant coral red with a single breasted blazer. The skirt is very flattering and has several kick pleats. The buttons are made from white shell or mother of pearl. I think it is from the 1960s. Reminds me a lot of the style from Mad Men. The grey wool jacket is quite a find. Made in Romania in the 60s or 1970s. It is the classic equestrian or British hunting style of the 1930s or 40s. The chocolate brown suit from the 1950s or 60s has an accordion pleated skirt. It is an A-line so you may be able to shorten the skirt and thus increase the waist. I love the fitted jacket with the mandarin collar and loop buttons but then I love anything inspired by Asian outfits.

vintage suits

The inspiration to write this post came from the fact that I am up for a promotion at work. The HR person thought that all next week I should dress more formally (ie wear a blazer). Not my dream as the weather with finally be rather hot. How men do it everyday, I don’t know. I think a man looks rather draper in a suit but often feel sorry for them. I’m much more of the librarian or secretary style of just wearing a cute skirt and blouse and maybe a cardigan. Sometimes, I feel a bit like my mom when I wear a suit. Not to mention most of my formal office clothes no longer fit me.

So off to the thrift store I went in search of business outfits. My favorite thrift store was having a big May sale on all their older items. Thankfully, most shoppers rarely go to the suit section. So I spent an hour combing though it. Trying on jacket after jacket in the middle of the aisle like a crazy person. It is rather difficult to find a jacket that fits as I am tall and have broad shoulders. So blazers are generally too small or a tent. I did manage to find some good pieces. I had to be strong and put some back that weren’t on sale.

Then a few days later I went to the Goodwill by my house. Searched the jackets again and looked for some shirts. There is a reason women wear thin silk or satin blouses with suits. Jackets can be warm. Wearing sleeveless shells, camisoles or even just a scarf as a blouse is a good trick. (The above photo shows a scarf as a blouse.) All told I’ve spent about $60 and got 7 suits, 5 jackets and 8 blouses. You really can dress to impress for less. Some items were marked down to a dollar! Takes a bit of time and stamina to get to the quality items that are on sale. But when I can’t afford to buy new suits, it’s my only option. Funny catch 22 of not being able to get a high paying job unless you dress like you already have one.

Points to anyone who knows what TV character uses the motto “Suit Up.”

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