Visibly expensive, impressive suit(52 Posts)
I need a visibly expensive, impressive suit for working with clients in corporate environment. Advice anyone?
What kind of budget? Do you prefer trousers, or skirt/dress?
Not sure about the budget yet as not sure where to look - must be well above Next, M&S and the like in terms of the quality and fit. £500 and up, I would guess?
Would consider both trousers and skirts. I like trousers but skirts look better on me and are easier to buy because I am 6ft tall so need long length which is not always available.
A fair step up from Next territory, but sub £500 you have the likes of Hobbs (I find their fit and quality pretty good), Austin Reed, LK Bennett have a few (website doesn't always show the bottoms so look at jackets then search for the name)
Hugo Boss are more expensive but seem to have some fairly nice ones online. Also worth checking out net-a-porter and it's bargainous sister the outnet - the outnet is hit and miss but for eg has this dnky dress and jacket
Also, (and I promise my marbles are full intact!) keep an eye on TK Maxx online as they have had a load of Calvin Klein workwear the last few weeks. I bought a dress from the same range in the States years ago and it is indestructable and beautifully cut.
Hugo boss is my favorite, I have a trouser suit which shouts I was dead expensive lol
Maxmara, by a country mile.
Navy or grey, never black.
They often do a couple of skirt shapes, a dress, and trousers in the same fabric. Try on everything and take advice from the Maxmara sales girls, who can be brutal.
It will be closer to £700 in the UK, (much cheaper in Italy), but if you have a good drycleaner it will look great a decade from now.
Vivienne Westwood for something different?
Disclaimer; this is just a suggestion I don't own a V Westwood suit or work in a corporate environment
Also if you are prepared to spend the money why not get one made by a tailor?
I'd get one made - there are a few ladies tailors in London who will create a beautifully fitted suit that will ooze quality if you are in that market. Get two skirts and a shift dress to go with the jacket and you'll get loads of wear out of it.
I would second Hugo Boss (I work in a client facing corporate environment and wear HB suits most of the time) - imo the quality is far better than high end high street brands like Hobbs etc, and I also find far fewer people wearing them (probably because they cost a bit more). If you're London based, Selfridges have a good selection of suits on the same floor as Hugo Boss so it's worth a look around. I also like Theory and Joseph sometimes have decent suits too. It may be worth exploring having one tailor made though, particularly given your height.
Thank you so much - lots of great ideas - and many that I would never think of! Looking them up / digesting them at the moment.
1605 (and everyone else) - why not black?
I wouldn't choose black normally but I am going through the bereavement of a close relative and in these circumstances thinking of black as an option...
I sort of agree on solid black - I have one black suit and it's by far my least favourite as it just doesn't look as expensive as the others. Imo dark grey are the most expensive looking (I'm not a fan of navy as it leads to tights/shoe colour issues - brown isn't done in the City), or I also have a lovely Hugo Boss suit in a sort of black/white weave which is my smartest. I also find it difficult to find tops which look right with black - white and you look like a waitress, coloured and it's too much of a contrast.
Sorry for your loss Glenshee. Agree with everyone's suggestions, i would also add Armani Collezioni.
If you're going to spend that much on a suit then make sure it fits you perfectly. I am petite so this can be a struggle - it's probably the same at the other end of the scale.
I wear black or grey suits because I think they best reflect the aura of authority etc I am trying to give out (I am short and look about 12 years old so I need every bit of help). Where I have really shifted to over the last couple of years is accessories. Oddly enough, few people notice a great suit, but everyone notices great accessories and I get lots of compliments from both sexes on my bags, shoes, jewelry and scarves. Just wanted to give you another option.
I like black suits, but I travel a lot for work, and need everything to work together for packing purposes. As Novice says, you can do so much with accessories, and I prefer dresses to skirts or trousers as it pulls together better. I'm tall and broad shaped, and I think trousers make me look unbalanced, and too leggy tbh.
But dark grey does look vvv smart, and if you need that totally spanking look, is prob your best bet as no one objects to it.
Armani. Always look smart. Or alternatively a jaeger jacket and dress combo. Very classic. Never, ever black. Too pedestrian.
I think whether you need to go above the top end of the high street depends on how many suits you already own (and their style/colour), how often you will see these clients, what type of Corporate sector you work in and whether or not you deal with a lot of international clients. I would buy quite a different suit to wear just for one off high profile meetings/dinners/presentations than I would buy as a suit to wear at least one day every week for a decade. I also used to wear a different type of suit when working internationally - lots more colour and non creasing crepe type fabrics.
I have a very suit type job and I am not sure that once you get past 400 quid plus most people can really tell. As novice says fit and style are more important than a particular brand and you might strike lucky with Hobbs or Jaeger at an outlet rather than Armani - lovely though that would no doubt be. I also agree on the accesories point, people comment on them far more than they do your black/gray/blue/beige suit however good quality. The women that always look polished and reassuringly expensive to high end clients (not me I hasten to add) in my line of work normally have chic shoes and statement jewellry and often professionally done hair/nails. Some people go for bags but in my experience they are often left in cloakrooms when attending meetings or get stuck under a table so even if you have a beautiful one nobody sees it.
I have also moved away from skirt/trouser suits to dress suits ie shift dress with matching jacket. I find it much more flattering for my body shape and noticed that other women are wearing more "suit" dresses too, again from the places that have already been mentioned.
I have a prada suit. Amazing quality. Timeless.
Thank you once again everyone for your advice.
StatisticallyChallenged - you sound like an expert, so many options! Hugo Boss appeals to me. And I like Calvin Klein too - more so in States - for the variety of choice - but here in the UK I do buy quite a lot of Calvin Klein in TK Maxx too! All this made me think that I should probably wait until I go to States in November and buy the suit there! Then if that fails I can always carry on searching here in the UK afterwards.
Mosman - thanks
1605 - will consider Maxmara, never looked at it properly and have no opinion except that I know it's mega-posh and mega-expensive brand in Eastern Europe.
Itsgottabebags - yes it looks different, but I guess I need something safe, there's no need to make a statement as such at my work. I need to look professional, polished and smart but not pretentious.
CMOTDibbler - great idea to do a bespoke one - good fit is important and in my case a bit of a struggle. I'm well proportioned but because I'm so tall many clothes look awkward on me because they are not quite right in terms of the size (length, waistline etc).
suburbandweller - No, I'm not in London. Hugo Boss has a store near where I am so will be looking at them.
HorraceTheOtter, suburbandweller, noviceoftheday, battherat - thanks for your comments on black. I sort of feel the same but couldn't articulate. Will see whether I can get a sensibly priced black suit for the next 6 months or so, in addition to grey 'long-term investment' suit.
noviceoftheday - great point about accessories! I've got a good choice of top-end jewelry but will need to focus on shoes, bags, scarves and a watch.
Definitely check out the states, you will get a much better price on Theory, DKNY etc out there, plus I think choice will be greater as I don't think Americans do the smart-casual thing quite as much as we do over here.
Agree it has to be grey, simple and beautifully cut. Tailor not a bad idea if all else fails.
belsize77 - great questions/thoughts.
The suit is meant for high-impact meetings and conferences. Mostly I will be meeting people for the first time. So this is about creating the right first impression.
I will probably spend one week out of a month in meetings like this.
I've got one light grey suit which I need to retire - too old! Several dresses and smart skirts/trousers/shirts etc but no other suits as such. I'm changing jobs, so something that I've been doing every now and again previously will now become my full-time job. My wardrobe isn't entirely ready for this.
International travel - yes. Some UK, some international. Sector (in terms of the clients) - a complete mixture, both government and private, dull and conservative companies, as well as exotic and extravagant. So that's no help - I need a safe bet to cover all bases
If you are going to the US, then its well worth taking an extra day, hiring a car and driving to a designer outlet mall as you can get some great bargains on high end things in them, and lots of choice.
For the travel part, you need some hard working suits where you can really ring the changes - and I do like to have a long pencil skirt option to wear in countries where a more 'modest' dress is appreciated. Austin Reed are quite good on jackets with several matching pieces.
Don't forget a really neat carry on size suitcase as you may sometimes end up trailing it with you into meetings on trips. Obv black Samsonite is the norm, and wears very well.
Not sure about the rest of you, but for me, a Chanel suit is the impressive choice. Chanel inspired also works (the label is not important, tailoring is). Power accessories: pearls, particularly Tahitians, watches (for women, Cartier Le Tank is common). During daytime, gray and navy are okay; if you go to a cocktail reception after work, black reigns supreme.
My top tip for expensive/impressive personal presentation is a hairdresser and manicurist who comes to your house or office.
Less expensive than you might imagine. Mine charges £15 for a blowdry and £10 for a polish change.
Grooming can make any outfit look expensive.
Be careful about the semiotics of obviously expensive clothes. Chanel and Cartier are fine if you're the chief exec, or work in fashion, but will alienate clients in some industries.
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