A decade ago, I owned around 15-20 pairs of suits (my job had a serious dress code.) Today, I own two…they’re really not my thing! (The other week, I accidentally ripped a hole in the lining of one, so now I just own 1 ½.)
I’ve seen suit styles evolve over the last few years—they’ve gotten really chic, and you can dress them up or down. While my current profession does require the occasional suit, I prefer to take a more business casual approach, so I am not filling my closet with things that I don’t particularly care to wear. When I came across these two pieces at Banana Republic, I was excited. It’s a suit, without really being a suit. I can amp up the pieces to be completely professional, or take a more casual look by separating the top from the bottom.
Here are three different ways I styled this plaid suit. Unfortunately, I just checked Banana’s website and they no longer carry these two pieces online. The stores may still have them, and I’m sure they will come out with something similar soon.
The Plaid Suit
Two matching pieces, patterned, and when worn together the outfit looks quite professional. If I wanted it to look even more professional (which I’ve actually never done, which is why I didn’t take a picture of it), I could just thrown on a blazer (I’d most likely do black).
By the way, I realize that in these pictures the colors in the top don’t exactly match the colors in the bottoms. I’m not quite sure what happened…I think it was the lighting in my apartment, but they really are matching!
Plaid top – Banana Republic, Plaid pants – Banana Republic, Nude pumps – Anne Klein, Bracelet – Contemporary Art Museum, Houston
The Casual Look
This is probably my favorite of the three looks, and the one I feel the most comfortable in. I’m lucky that I can wear jeans to work, so this is something I’ll throw on for a more casual day. I could have even worn the top with a pair of simple black slacks and pumps.
Black blazer – Ross, Black jeans – GAP, Black/white loafers – Nine West (from DSW)
The Business Professional Look
This is something I’ll put together if I have a day of important meetings, a work event, etc. I could have shown you quite a few different tops, but I chose to show the style that I would gravitate to, hence the more t-shirt like top. I also think a dressy blouse, or textured top would look great.
White blazer – JC Penny, Gray t-shirt – Old Navy, Black/gold pumps – Donald J Pliner, Green cross body purse – DSW
With pieces like this, you can recreate quite a few different outfits, especially if you’re not huge into suits like I am. This is definitely my favorite version of the non-suit, and I’m glad I invested in a couple of pieces that I know can adapt to my closet.
Also, if you’re like me, and have a hard time finding good dress pants—try the Sloan pant from Banana Republic. The fit and material are great, and they have a nice slimming pencil leg effect. Being only 5’3”, I actually didn’t have to get them hemmed. (Here I am wearing a petite, size 2.)