Improving the Suit: Adding Your Own Style and Personality

Last week we looked at getting a great fitting suit on a budget, and today we are going to talk about bringing your style and personality to your suit.  Recently, one of my favorite nurses took a Nursing Director position, Miss M was always the bright spot of your day when you went to her floor because she rocked the neon scrub and it worked for her. I was so sad to see her in a boring black suit with a white dress shirt at a meeting.  You do not have to sacrifice your personality to wear a suit.

Colorful Tops.  Tops are an easy way to inject color and interest while on a budget.  They are usually less expensive than your suit bottoms and jackets, and are much easier to shop on sale.  I have dress shirts in shades of pink, blue, green, and purple.  I have numerous patterned tops.  Let your personality shine.

Recycling Tip: If I buy a pattern, I look for a shirt that can also be dressed down for the weekend. I also look for a color or pattern that I can wear with multiple suits to create different looks. I am loving the Pleione Faux Wrap Blouse (see my Pinterest page) right now for this purpose.  Next week, I am going to talk more about recycling pieces to make a great suit.

Buy what suits YOU.  If your style is more laid back and less structured, then find suits that are the same.  J Jill has a great line of more relaxed suits.  If you are more feminine, look for feminine details like a top with some lace or look for a great print shift dress that would pair with a solid jacket.  If you are less girly, embrace the menswear look.

Warning: As you embrace your personality and style, still remember you are dressing for 9 to 5 hours.  This is not the place for the jacket from your bridesmaids dress.  Glitter and Rhinestones are not 9 to 5 items. 

Shoes and Bags.  Shoes are my absolute favorite way to brighten a suit.  Remember the warning above … those red satin shoes are not 9 to 5.  However, red patent leather are.  I have a black and white work bag and a red one.  I use them to inject style into my look.

Jewelry.  I believe in picking one piece to make a statement, and I prefer that to be my necklace, scarf or a broach.  I think earrings should be understated.  However, your necklace or scarf is an inexpensive and great way to bring in color and style to any outfit.

Money Saving Tips: I scour the White House Black Market end of season sale for inexpensive statement necklaces.  I also shop Nordstrom Rack for great tops, scarves, and bags.  Lastly, is my current obsession for great shoes.  I recently purchased a pair of Cole Haan heels for 75% off.


Don’t forget my Pinterest site for fashion ideas.  As always, please send your questions, comments, concerns, or issues to

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