Guest Lecture: Thirteen ways of looking at a black suit (plus or minus 10)

You know how Thursdays are awesome in the StyleNation? Some of us are done teaching for the week (oh, thank goddess), some of us are offering thrifting advice (or preparing to do so the next day ;), and most of us are perusing the extreme awesomeness that is Interrobangs Anonymous’s Thursday Links
Well hold on, StyleNation, because things are about to get almost unbearably awesome. Because here at In Professorial Fashion, 
we’ve got a Guest Speaker for this excellent Thursday!
Introducing janey emm, StyleNation member, author of the hilarious blog It’s So Involved Being Me, serious student of all things fashion, and a voice from that fashionable suit-wearing world that some of us in academia visit only occasionally. ALL of us at IPF, including regular Guest Lecturer, Kelly Bean, have shopped, played, studied, travelled, and/or danced in a bus-mo in Vegas with the hilarious Ms. em. 
Moreover, I, Academic Writer, have a special appreciation for her as she and I are exactly the same size, but with different enough body types that we can shop together, but never battle over clothes. If it’s a widener on me, it’s bound to look fantastic on em, and vice versa(ish). 
But I digress. Without further ado, here’s janey!
~~~~~~ 
Greetings, StyleNation! My name is janey emm, and I am delighted (if slightly intimidated) to be delivering a Guest Lecture here at IPF. 
First things first: I am not an academic, but don’t let that worry you. While I may have abandoned my dreams of a doctorate to work for The Man, I know your people and I understand your ways. More importantly, my fashion credentials are impeccable.
See?
Office Blazer: Tristan and America
Heels: gifted
Silver pantaloons: $5 bin in a Boxing Day sale (can you believe it?)
BlackBerry: The Man
Hooded wool romper:  a brave, unknown designer (via The Bay)
Giant rubber suit: Helly Hansen (via my dad, via Canadian Tire)
Hat: Tilley Endurables
Shoes: Pumas
Red boat: some guy’s driveway (via a classified ad in my dad’s local paper)
Ahem.
Today, I bring you my philosophy on suitin’ up. The way I see it, there are several upsides to the suit: it’s easy! It’s professional! It matches! However, there are a few downsides: it’s boring! It’s expensive! It sometimes makes me look like a rectangle, or possibly a middle-aged banker!
Well, yes. But it doesn’t have to. Below, you’ll find three takes on a basic black suit (Calvin Klein, via Filene’s Basement), all built around the same principle: let the suit do the work. When it comes to underneaths and accessories, I like to pick ‘em as if I’m going to take off my jacket and head straight out for dinner and drinks. It helps me walk the fine line between acceptable-for-work and fun-for-me, even when the only place I’ll be heading is straight for my couch and a can of Coke Zero.
1. there’s no such thing as too much neutral
Cream cami: Club Monaco
Obi: unknown (via local boutique)
Heels: Modern Vintage
Black pearls: gifted
BlackBerry: The Man
Rockband guitar: awesome
Studded snakeskin is a neutral, right?

2. hey, everyone!  Look at my neck!
Cowl-necked tank: Ann Taylor
Necklace: art shop in Barcelona
3. party on the top, Parisian cinq-a-sept down below
Ruffly tank: Anthropologie
Earrings: local boutique
Textured hose: Hue
Shoes: Calvin Klein
Pose: classic (with a kick)
Bottom line, StyleNation? Embrace The Rectangle. And if you happen to be oddly proportioned and freakishly long of limb, abandon all hope of pants and stick to the skirt suits. You’ll be a happier StyleCitizen (if colder in winter). Trust me.

14 thoughts on “Guest Lecture: Thirteen ways of looking at a black suit (plus or minus 10)

  1. Pingback: New Guest Lecture Series: Professional Dressing (just) Outside the Academy | In Professorial Fashion

  2. Lookin' good J-Em. Those are some great suit suggestions. I third the love for your suggestion of a skirt suit for the long of limb. I really like both the ruffly Anthro blouse and the snakeskin heels! Also, you know what would make those silver pantaloons look even better? Mojitos. And possibly cheetos.

  3. Once an English major, always an English major I see, J-Em.You look gorgeous, as usual, and I especially love the Anthropologie ruffles. More importantly, please explain the provenance of the hooded wool romper. Was this a dare? Was A-Dubs involved? Because I think that if she were, this brings The Shopping Team to new levels of awesome (and I use that term in its terror-filled sense).

  4. I, too, have problems embracing the rectangle. But I could totally embrace that obi belt – StyleNation, I saw it live, and it's sooooo soft and grey/mauve – as well as the studded python heels and the ruffly Anthro blouse. So maybe I just don't have enough interesting distractions with my suitage to keep me from dwelling on the rectangularness of everything. For the record, however, the rectangle you are supposedly embracing here is decidedly curvy-looking. Well played, J-Em.

  5. I, too, have problems embracing the rectangle. But I could totally embrace that obi belt – StyleNation, I saw it live, and it's sooooo soft and grey/mauve – as well as the studded python heels and the ruffly Anthro blouse. So maybe I just don't have enough interesting distractions with my suitage to keep me from dwelling on the rectangularness of everything. For the record, however, the rectangle you are supposedly embracing here is decidedly curvy-looking. Well played, J-Em.

  6. This post makes me want a new suit. And I hate suits. And I hate the rectangle. I'm gonna try to embrace it, though. I don't have freakishly long limbs but I lack the lady-like accountrement that others possess that might mitigate rectanglehood.I think I may dream of this cowl.

  7. I demand more janey-emm guest lectures! You look gorgeous and completely cracked me up.Suddenly I want to buy a suit, despite the fact that I have no earthly reason to do so.

  8. Thanks, all! I am especially excited to see so many other limby ladies ready to stand up (up, waaaaaaaaay up) and be counted!Katie: I wouldn't worry in the slightest. Dior's New Look, Can Tire's red suit…it's important to be up on all the major fashion milestones. Well done.Allison: your jeans trick is GENIUS. I've been dragging myself to the trainer, trying to put muscle back there to hold my pants up, and the solution was in my laundry room all along??? Smell ya later, gym!E-Jo: I accessorize pretty much everything with cheetos and mojitos, whether they are visible in my hands, or simply lurking around my midsection and upper thighs. I like to think of this as storing them for later. It's efficient!Terri: love the way you used that obi in your last post. I'll be doing the same asap!D-Med: the hooded wool romper was, alas, not a dare. The exchange went more like this:A.Lo: Hey, look at this! Janey, try this on.janey (excitedly): Okay!!!A.Lo to ST: See? She'll try ANYTHING on.And I will.

  9. Once an English major, always an English major I see, J-Em.You look gorgeous, as usual, and I especially love the Anthropologie ruffles. More importantly, please explain the provenance of the hooded wool romper. Was this a dare? Was A-Dubs involved? Because I think that if she were, this brings The Shopping Team to new levels of awesome (and I use that term in its terror-filled sense).

  10. Lookin' good J-Em. Those are some great suit suggestions. I third the love for your suggestion of a skirt suit for the long of limb. I really like both the ruffly Anthro blouse and the snakeskin heels! Also, you know what would make those silver pantaloons look even better? Mojitos. And possibly cheetos.

  11. This is a terrific guest lecture. As one who is indeed freakishly long of limb, I will most certainly be on the lookout for a skirt suit.

  12. First, thanks for the oh-so-sweet shout out! Second, how worried should I be that I automatically recognized the red suit as coming from Canadian Tire and could tell that was a Tilly hat just by the cord? I'm thinking rather worried…Third, "And if you happen to be oddly proportioned and freakishly long of limb, abandon all hope of pants and stick to the skirt suits." This may have to be my new mantra – so true, so very, very true.P.S. I just got sucked into Janey's blog for the past 20 minutes – laughing the whole time – and forgot to actually post this comment!

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