The concept of "women's business suit" was introduced by the unforgettable Coco Chanel, who, with a single stroke of a designer's pen, relieved women of corsets, layered skirts and countless ruffles, in which it was difficult not only to work, but to live. Chanel took a classic English suit with narrow lapels, a rigid shoulder line and a straight skirt below the knees as the basis for the universal armor of the business lady.
Dressing in this way, you do not risk looking out of place in a business environment even today. However, we must admit that such a uniform is too conservative, because it will soon turn a hundred years old. And if the clothes you wear all week do not make you feel comfortable and attractive, this will inevitably affect both your expression and your work. Therefore, remember: business clothes do not mean ugly, boring or uncomfortable.
The current business fashion is more democratic. What was previously considered unacceptable in business attire is now becoming acceptable, as practicality wins. For example, an indispensable silk blouse is no longer worn under a jacket. If the neckline of the jacket is shallow, it can be worn directly over the linen. In addition, the jacket fits much better on knitted T-shirts, tops and turtlenecks.
Although the skirt is still considered a more common part of a "decent" ladies' suit, it is now less and less common to encounter complete rejection of trousers in the eyes of bosses and colleagues. Although wide and soft trousers are now in fashion, for a business setting it is better to prefer medium width, perhaps slightly cropped in matte, wrinkle-free fabric. You will always be helped by strict black trousers of even width along the entire length. They suit absolutely everything, are practical in the rainy season and never attract critical views.
The women's suit of the 90s - a fitted jacket with a narrow short skirt - is a thing of the past. The beginning of the millennium marks a free silhouette. Naturally, at work you can't do without a jacket, but it can be replaced by a vest or a knitted cardigan as appropriate. But a suit in its pure form is no longer required. You can wear a knitted dress or a sweater with trousers under the jacket.
The average length of a "business" skirt is up to the middle of the knees. However, in practice, it goes to few people. Therefore, choose a length either to the ankle or just above the knee. Just remember that extremes are unacceptable: extreme mini and evening train.
All over the world, despite any heat, it is considered unacceptable to appear in the office without pantyhose. The Russians found out about this not so long ago and took it without any enthusiasm. Although in their arsenal now there are loose tights for the summer heat with a thickness of only 7-10 den, many still and without prejudice to their careers do without them in the summer.
As for shoes, today you can step back a little from traditional dark pumps on a low - 5 cm or less - heel. Tall and slender women in the office look great in high heels. Moreover, if these are not pumps with heels, but good semi-closed shoes. But women of small stature in high heels look vulgar. But both should avoid models with cork soles or large platforms. Backless shoes are also an unacceptable extreme.
The most suitable is a neutral tone of a business suit. However, do not forget that color is a powerful psychological factor. The inconspicuous remains unnoticed. If you need to stand out from the crowd, for example, in a job interview, opt for brighter (but not flashy!) Tones. Another nuance: the colors of the cold spectrum are slightly repulsive, and the warm colors are attractive.
If you can, do without perfume at work. Even the faintest scent, which you yourself simply do not notice, can bring colleagues to a criminal offense in a few hours. It is often advised to simply do with "light, unobtrusive aromas." However, the degree of this "lightness" is perceived individually, and in a perfume lover, the sense of smell, as in a smoker, is dulled. It is noticed that people often complain about the unbearable "sillage" of incense, and never about their absence. However, this does not mean that you can smell natural body odors: a reliable, odorless deodorant is more important than the most sophisticated perfumes.
Do the same with cosmetics: light makeup in natural tones - mascara, lipstick, light blush - is a must. It is equally indecent to show up for work both sparkling with mother-of-pearl and completely without makeup. If you feel confident and a little belligerent, bright red lipstick is not forbidden.
However, even nowadays there are numerous "taboos" of business fashion, which should not be violated:
- Too sexy clothes are unacceptable: tight skirts and trousers, neckline, "risky" cuts, open abdomens and shoulders. Emphasize your femininity in a different way.
- No cheap trinkets, less big fake jewelry. By the way, you shouldn't sparkle with huge diamonds either. Excellent taste will be emphasized by discreet jewelry, and a solid financial position (which is often important for a successful career) - expensive but strict watches. Be careful with other accessories as well: scarves, scarves, belts, etc. They can both beautify and hopelessly ruin the look.
- Even on the hottest summer days, colorful or flashy fabrics will look at least strange. Wear only plain clothes for important events. It is better to choose complex colors: for example, not pure gray, but gray-blue, gray-pink, lilac, gray-pearl. In a daily setting, a discreet floral pattern, a small geometric pattern or jacquard fabric is appropriate. The texture of the fabric is exactly what can decorate a strict cut and discreet color. These are boucle, sparse, loose fabrics, melange, tweed.
- The best choice for a skinny wallet is smaller but more expensive. If the budget is limited, have only one or two suits in your business wardrobe, but of excellent quality and impeccable cut, which can be combined with each other.
Of course, the boundaries of what is permissible are not the same everywhere. Therefore, first of all, study the manner of dressing specifically in your institution. Perhaps the local "code" will be much less strict or, on the contrary, have its own inexplicable nuances: in any case, obey the accepted standards. And remember: the best business suit for a woman is the one she forgets about for the whole working day.