Anyway, I started researching women's suiting options a few weeks ago and came to several conclusions about what I like and dislike. First of all, I know that I want a pant suit and not a skirt suit. A skirt suit is more conservative, and a skirt would be easier to fit, but it also labels me as "other" in an already male-dominated field. Also I just feel more confident and less self-conscious in pants. Secondly I prefer a two-button jacket. I looked at some pictures of jackets with one, two, and three buttons, and overall two buttons seem like the perfect balance. Three buttons look a little stodgy, and one button is too casual. Thirdly (and this is a personal preference), I like black best as a suit color. I think navy is hard to pair with shoes, and charcoal gray looks a little too casual. Lastly I'm looking for pants that aren't super baggy. For some reason, suit pants are always ill-fitting! Maybe that's fine for men, but it's very unflattering on women.
From my preliminary search, I narrowed my options down to a few mall retailers that fit me decently well. The early front-runners are:
1. Banana Republic
2. Ann Taylor
Of course this list would be incomplete without my beloved J.Crew, even if their quality is iffy at times. This is the only suit mentioned here that is 100% wool. Of course you pay for the quality; this jacket and these pants cost a total of $396. J.Crew sometimes has 30% off everything sales, but I suspect those might be getting more rare in the future as J.Crew tries to wean us off the perpetual discounts.
So these are my top contenders. I wish I could afford this Theory blazer and pant combo, but I'm afraid my student budget just isn't up to the task.
Do you have a suit that you like? If so, where is it from? What do you look for in a suit?