I really should wear more suits to the office. Not every day. But, at least a few times a week when I have meetings with outside people or am with my boss. My female boss wears a suit every day. Her female boss wears a suit ever day. I don’t. I look nice. I look creative and I look fun.
A few months ago I was at a meeting at the Pentagon. I was the youngest person in the room by 20 years. Not only was I one of a few women in a room of 50 people, I was the only woman of color. And, I was the only person not in a suit or uniform. I felt incredibly conspicuous.
I realized I was just not going to sew the suits I had in my mind. On my way home from that meeting, I stopped at the outlets and stocked up on about six suits for under $100 each. They all needed altering. I’m not a standard bust, I have muscular legs and a massive swayback. My purchased suits needed fitting.
I thought I would do it myself. But, last week I realized it wasn’t going to happen and took them to my tailor, Liliya. She’s a former neighbor who started an alteration and custom clothing business. Liliya is originally from Odessa, Ukraine. She told me she was so surprised to come to the US and see that women didn’t fix their own clothes and that a living could be made making alterations.
Now to be fair, she gets annoyed with me because she thinks she’s taking me for a ride. But, the truth is, I don’t have the time or desire to do alterations. As we’ve discussed, it’s a different skill set. I’m way more in to the creation of a garment. Not the fixing of it. And, my time is worth paying for.
And so now I can be far more relaxed in my sewing! Everytime I sewed something not work appropriate I would be a little mad at myself. But, now I’m free to sew what I want! I don’t have to stress every morning about what I’m going to wear. It reminds me of when I had a part time job at Lord and Taylor *just* to buy suits. I was a speechwriter in the Governor’s Office and everyone wore suits. Even the support staff. That was well over 10 years ago and I’ve grown out of every single one of those suits. But back then, I sewed much more for fun rather than function.
Liliya takes my pants and blazers in at the waist and hems my skirts and trousers. These pants took in nicely. There are a few that now dip at CB, but they fit!
I’ve also invested in disposable dress shields. Sexy, right? I do plan on making some fabric / cotton ones in the near future.
But, I will need a lot more shells and blouses. This sequin tank is from J.Crew on clearance. At the end of the day, I also feel much more put together at work. When I wore this suit, I had four different people tell me how nice I looked and my boss specifically said, ‘professional’.
Last night I was asked if I consider suits to be more professional than dresses. No, I don’t. Especially woven dresses. But, I think other people do. This person noted the Hillary Clinton pantsuit as his example of it being more professional. What do you guys think? Are dresses as professional as suits?