Hemingway Tailors have been offering the very best of women’s tailoring for over 10 years, with a team of professionals who know everything there is to possibly know about women’s formalwear.
We believe that for ladies to look great in a suit, they need to feel great which all comes down to comfortability, getting the right fit and trying different options. Whether it’s for work or maybe you have an important occasion coming up, it’s important that you get everything spot on.
There are many things for women to consider when wearing a suit, so to pull off the look whilst looking and feeling fabulous, Hemingway have put together 10 tips for women who wear suits…
Make sure the shoulders fit - This is something we’ve mentioned in a previous blog and we’re going to repeat it in this one because it really is that important - make sure the shoulders of the suit jacket fit. The shoulders are the hardest part to tailor on any suit and they should fit snugly around your own. If they’re bunched up and creased, then you’ll know that the fit isn’t right.
Experiment with colour - While it’s good to wear neutrals once in a while such as black or grey, don’t be scared to inject colour into your suit look. Opt for a deep burgundy, dark green or navy for a little colour whilst not going too bright and over-the-top. If you’re feeling daring and want to try something a bit brighter, just go for something a little lighter instead for something different yet subtle.
Think about the shirt - Everyone knows you can’t go wrong with a plain white shirt, but what if you’re feeling adventurous? Plain white can get a bit boring after a while, so mix things up by trying a printed shirt or a shirt that has detail. If you’re after a printed shirt, consider faint checks, pin-stripe or a floral number. If you’d rather keep the shirt plain in colour, go for a shirt with ruffles or pleats which can really make your formal attire look more feminine.
Go for a different silhouette - If you’re used to wearing slim-fitting trousers, you could try wearing the opposite and go for culottes or bootcut trousers that have a little flare in them. The same goes for the jacket; if you’re used to wearing something that’s slightly boxy, go for something a little more fitted. However, always remember that your suit must be tailored to your body shape even when wearing clothing which is supposed to look a bit more roomier.
Wear different shoes - By wearing different shoes, we don’t mean swap your black pointy heels for another pair of black pointy heels. If you want to experiment with different shoes, again go for the opposite of what you’re used to. If you’re used to wearing high heels with your suit for every occasion, go for a smaller or slightly thicker heel and vice versa. If you don't often wear flats with your suit, maybe try a pair of smart loafers for work? You’ll still be maintaining that smart and sophisticated vibe, and flats will also give your feet a break from the heels every now and again.
Keep accessories simple - If you’re wearing a suit for whatever purpose, don’t go overboard with accessories even if you’re wanting to get glammed up for a dressy occasion. Women’s suits are powerful enough within themselves, so wearing lots of accessories will simply look too much. Stick with minimal but still bold, for example a chunky pair of earrings if you’re going dressy, a layered necklace or a big watch. Once you’ve chosen an accessory, leave it at that and nothing else. Trust us, you’ll definitely still make a statement.
Try different bottoms - If you normally wear trousers with your suit, it’s okay to switch things up and wear a skirt. If you don’t think you’ll suit a formal skirt, you will most likely be able to find a style that will suit your shape as there are many different skirt styles out there today. From pencil to A-line skirts, there are so many styles to choose from, but make sure your skirt doesn’t go above your knees and that any slits aren’t too high. If you’re the opposite and don’t usually wear trousers, again there are so many different formal trouser styles you can try from cigarette, wide-leg and bootcut.
Wear a thin belt - As a belt is considered an accessory as you don’t have to wear one, you should also keep this simple by choosing a thin belt with your suit. Stay away from bright neon coloured belts and stick with the neutrals. If you want your belt to stand out, wear a contrasting colour to the rest of your suit, for example if you’re wearing a burgundy suit, team it with a beige coloured belt and vice versa.
The jacket must fit well - This is another tip for the fit of the suit jacket. As we mentioned previously, you should pay particular attention to the shoulders of the jacket as these are the hardest to tailor. The waist of the jacket must also fit well and mustn’t be too tight or too big. Also, if there is a gap between the jacket’s lapels and the collar, this also indicates that the jacket does not fit well, so make sure there are no gaps.
Don’t mix more than two patterns - We suggested above that wearing a printed shirt can provide a good alternative to a plain shirt, and while prints and patterns can work really well, stick to a maximum of two. Whether it’s a subtle pin-stripe shirt with an equally subtle pin-stripe jacket, don’t wear more than two patterns or prints with your suit as this will really cause an eye-sore.
Choose the suit material wisely - The material of the suit is just as important as everything else and is often overlooked. A good quality suit should still be breathable and keep the body at an even temperature. Cotton and linen suits are great for summer as they’re light and airy and for winter, 100% wool is ideal. For those in-between months, cotton or cashmere are both great, however cashmere is typically more expensive than the rest.