Whether you’re interviewing for your first post-college job, pounding the pavement in the middle of a career change or working hard to impress a new client, the right suit always makes a good impression. Conversely, the wrong one can make a not-so-favorable impression. Put your best foot forward with advice from Erica Waldthausen of E. Leigh Style, Milena Joy, founder of Milena Distinctive Image Consulting, and Dana Lynch, owner of Elements of Image. These Denver stylists have helped their fair share of people, they know how to help you pick a suit that will accentuate your style while looking polished and sophisticated.
Milena Distinctive Image Consulting
Elements of Image
11174 W. 54th Lane
Arvada, CO 80002
Fit is Key
Just because you’ve saved some money by picking up a new suit at a consignment shop, doesn’t mean you have to look like you just pulled the first thing you saw off the rack. According to Erica, “The blazer should have solid seaming that creates shape both for men and women. It should be comfortable through the shoulders, arms and waistline without gaping when closed.” To make sure that you get a great fit, don’t go suit shopping an hour before your interview. Make sure you have plenty of time to try things on and go to several stores if you don’t find what you want in one.
Dress for Less Clothiers
3045 S. Broadway
Englewood, CO 80116
Know Your Shape
In order to find a suit that fits, you need to know your body. No, this isn’t an occasion to look in the mirror and pick out your flaws, but be realistic. Milena says, “Understanding the basics of how a suit should fit will help you make a better buying decision in the end. Evaluate your unique body shape and determine which brands best cater to you.” For example, if you are a petite person, look specifically for petite styles. While some people may think that this just means the pants are shorter, these suits are tailored to flatter a smaller frame. You will look poised and put together rather than drowning in a suit with short inseams.
2725 S. Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO 80222
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Know Your Audience
For the most part, Denver isn’t really a suit and tie kind of town, but that doesn’t mean that you get to show up to an interview in a linen suit or that you can come to an important client meeting in a wrinkled polo shirt. If the suit is for an interview, do some leg work ahead of time. Dana offers the following tip: “Contact Human Resources or even your interviewer in the absence of an HR department. Ask what the preferred dress for a job candidate is.” She also states that even if it seems like you may be overdressed, it’s better to be on the safe side. “The candidate [who is underdressed] would be seen unprepared and less than serious about the job.”
3476 S. Broadway
Englewood, CO 80113
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A Tailor Can Be Your Best Friend
Mass merchandised clothing is not made to fit everyone perfectly, it is made to fit most people adequately. If your suit isn’t quite custom to your body, take it to a tailor. Milena states, “It’s pretty unrealistic to expect to wear your suit right off the rack. Sleeves, inseams and even the waist can easily be taken in. The shoulder area is typically the most expensive to alter, so find a jacket that fits your shoulders perfectly and go from there.” To choose a tailor, Erica recommends, “Price points are dictated by the location of the shop and how much competition they have in the area. Get an estimate before you decide to leave your items with the shop and check online reviews and ask friends and colleagues for suggestions.”
T&T Custom Tailors
240 Saint Paul St., Suite 102G
Denver, CO 80206
Don’t be Afraid to Stand Out
While most suits are black or grey, color has been popping up all over fashion as of late. As a suit can be a pretty pricey investment, it’s best not to go too trendy. However, you can still have fun with color. Erica says, “A colorful suit can still be professional. Think clean lines. Keep the cut classic if you are going to go bold on color. Also keep in mind the industry and/or occasion you will be wearing the suit for.” She also recommends adding personality with your accessories (just make sure not to overdo it). If you’re sticking with a black or grey suit, add color with a scarf, handbag or necklace. For men who want to rock color, Milena suggests, “A suit with a subtle color weaved into a plaid or pin stripe is a great way to incorporate color into a suit. However, wearing a suit in a solid color that isn’t a neutral, simply isn’t considered professional. Instead, you should focus on playing with color in your tie, button-up and even your socks.”
2021 W. 32nd Ave.
Denver, CO 80211
Alaina Brandenburger is a freelance writer living in Denver. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.