When Are Skirt Suits Too Formal?

When should you pull out that wildly expensive suit and wear it and when should you keep it in the closet?

Ah, the good old standby, the skirt suit.They come in every concievable color and material combination, and for many years were the attire de rigeur for the working woman.Women's skirt suits are the response to the traditional men's work attire, trousers, starched shirt, tie and jacket.

Women's skirt suits in general are of two pieces:A knee length or longer skirt, and a structured jacket of the same material.The jacket can be single breasted, double breasted, or most other shapes, but generally short, bolero jackets and short skirts are not considered part of a "traditional" suit, though they certainly are out there.

In today's working world, suits are being eschewed for a more comfortable, laid back way of dressing for work called "business casual."Business casual generally entails a skirt, or trousers and a blouse or sweater or combination thereof.This is the working woman's uniform of the modern age.The traditional skirt suit gets broken up into different outfits, only to be dusted off and donned for certain occasions; important meetings, if you need to appear in court for some reason and job interviews.


With regard to job interviews, there are even exceptions to this rule.A skirt suit may be way too much for many types of job interviews; even for professional positions.With the computer age came a whole brigade of new professionals, .com multi millionaires that wear Hawaiian shirts, bermuda shorts, and flip flops to work.When interviewing for a tech company, it may be wise to try to find out how dressy the place gets for work, and adjust her interview outfit accordingly.Am I suggesting you interview in flip flops and bermuda shorts?NO!However, in a highly casual atmosphere, an interviewer may feel that you would not fit in with the group if they are all extremely casual and you come in for the interview dressed to the nines in your ultra conservative suit.In this case, business casual dress gives you a smart, stylish, polished appearance without putting off your interviewers.This situation, however, is not the norm, and generally, your suit is a good bet when interviewing for a position.Dressing well for a job interview definitely gives an impression of desire to secure the job, which is a positive thing.

You may want to keep your suit in the closet when going to social functions.Even business related functions.The trend is definitely leaning toward a more relaxed, casual way of conducting business and dressing in a slightly more casual, but still polished and professional manner, helps to make your clients or customers feel comfortable instinctively.Making oneself approachable certainly helps to facilitate conversation and impart a sense of friendliness.A suit can be intimidating at a social function; particularly cocktail parties and evening functions.

Of special note are weddings and celebrations of that variety.In a time not that far in the past, one could don a suit and feel pretty confident she was dressed appropriately for anything; but as times change so does the mode of dress.It is far safer to put on a pair of trousers or a skirt, and wear a nice blouse and either carry or wear a jacket or sweater that compliments but is not a perfect mate to the rest of the ensemble.Doing this allows you to continue using the suits you paid good money for while preventing you from sticking out like a sore thumb at just about any social event where you want to look professional and confident, but not stiff and unapproachable.

Birthday parties, dates, weddings, most workplaces and evening business functions are all places where the traditional skirt suit may be too formal.Truly, the best bet is to use the suits in other, creative ways, or save them for job interviews and appearing in court.

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