The world of business is becoming more casual and informal. The formal, stiff, two or three button suit is going out of fashion for all but the more conservative professions and organisations and even those are loosening up. The power suit can date a woman and give the impression of stuck-in-the-past thinking and attitudes.
So the question comes up! What do you wear when you are speaking, being a Master of Ceremonies, receiving an award or attending a more formal networking event? A jacket is called for but what do you choose so that you look like a modern 21st century woman.
Here are my three pieces of fashion advice for Baby Boomer and over 40 professional or business women. Let us apply some modern dressing skills to the formal suit jacket.
Add a Belt over Your Jacket
This is a simple solution for those classic suit jackets that are still in your wardrobe.
Stop worrying that your waist has expanded over the years. Wear your belt comfortable but not tight.
It is your choice whether you wear a narrow, medium or wide belt. The only way to find out which looks best on you is to experiment. Try it in privacy at home or wear the suit jacket to a store and try on different belt widths in the privacy of a change room.
The second consideration is whether to wear a matching or contrasting colour. The best coloured belts for classic suit jackets are black, brown or beige. Red belts are for extroverts.
You can also wear a narrow black belt over a patterned, frilled-neck formal jacket. This allows you to be formal while still retaining your femininity.
Modern Jacket Closures
If you are looking for a new modern suit or a versatile modern jacket, look at a jacket that has a hook and eye closure at the waist. This keeps the formal look with a modern edge. A rounded or pointed hemline also keeps the jacket from looking dated.
An alternative to a waistline hook and eye is a jacket with a zip closure that goes from collar to waist. It can be centred or slightly off-centre. Off-centre zips look better on modern collar styles.
A third alternative is a half-revere collared jacket with an odd number of closely placed button and loop closures that come to the waist only.
All three styles create a smooth slimming colour across your upper body. They are modern because they all meet in the middle rather than having one side fold over the other.
Soft Fold Jackets
Buttonless, draping jackets are today’s modern classic style. For occasions when a suit jacket is required, buy one in a thicker weave material. Also choose ones that create a lapel effect. The lapel can start at the neckline or from just below the collarbone.
It is your choice whether the edges meet, are slightly apart or drape down your princess line. Go for whatever looks best on you.
Choose a hem shape that flatters you – either straight or angled. A good fashion tip is that angled hems makes your hips look smaller. Keep the length to a normal suit jacket length – wrist length if you are petite or medium height; fingertip length if you are tall.
The modern suit jacket can be worn over a dress or with a knee-length skirt or tapered pants. It is always handy to have one in the wardrobe for those important invitations. Use this Baby Boomer fashion advice and know you can choose a belt, a modern closure or soft folds. Out you go now and shine confidently.