Tailoring can be confusing; there is no doubt about that. But all you need to know is which cuts suit your body shape, and how to make sure your chosen garment fits properly. If you master the basics, and experiment as your confidence grows, you will soon find something that you love.
Choosing Your Fabric: As a general guide, a mid-weight wool is the best fabric to choose for a suit. This weight of fabric is versatile enough to wear in all weathers and can be worn for all occasions. When handling your choice, remember that any good fabric will spring back without wrinkling after being squeezed. Fabric choices for women’s tailoring can prove versatile, so choose based on the occasion. Linen suits are beautiful in the summer, but will crease very easily; make sure you consider all the options.
The Fit of the Trousers: You should be able to fit two fingers between your waistband and your waist in order for the trousers to fit comfortably. If you plan to wear heels, make sure that the trousers are an acceptable length for your shoes, preferably just grazing the inside of the instep.
Trouser Shapes: There are many different styles of trousers for women’s suits, and again, choose based on the occasion and your body type. If you’re short, steer clear of crops and turn-ups; go for a straight let to make you appear taller. If you’re tall, choose turn-ups as they give a beautiful movement to a straight or wide leg. Try not to go for the latest fad in suiting. Your tailoring should be an investment, not just a piece to last you for a season.
Jacket Length: This depends entirely on the style you have chosen. A cropped style will give definition to a waist, whilst a draped style will be longer with a beautiful movement, but neither may be your ideal suiting style. As a rule, jackets for women should fit at the hips and end just below the tops of your thighs. This is long enough to cover a waistband, and give the ultimate professional style.
Shoulders: The jacket should sit neatly over your own shoulders. Too far either way and your suit will look like it belongs to somebody else.
The General Fit: Most importantly, you should feel comfortable in your suit. Make sure that you can move whilst wearing it. Try sitting down and stretching your arms across you to make sure that you have free movement.
Lining: Your lining says a lot about you; conservative, fun, stylish or colourful. Bold or watercolour floral prints look beautiful with plain brown wool, whilst polka dots catch the eye underneath a pinstripe. Check the lining does not pull anywhere when you try on the jacket. Check the interior pockets for durability and a good finish.
The Three Piece Suit: Always effortlessly glamorous and beautiful, even on women. Team your suit and trousers with a waistcoat in a matching or co-ordinating fabric for the height of chic.
The Ribbon Tie: Try a sleek satin alternative to the traditional tie, which can be too masculine when teamed with women’s tailoring. Simply loop under the collar and tie in a bow over the button, leaving the ends free.
Evening Dress: Challenge men for the supremacy of the tuxedo. A beautiful white shirt, black tuxedo trousers, stilettos and a satin bow tie worn undone are all you need for a beautiful, sleek and sexy evening outfit. Strut in your best foot forward and give Janelle Monae and Karl Lagerfeld a run for their money (see below).
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