Quality clothing for corporate / business environment?

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  1. #1 Feb 6, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2010
    Hello, my wife's looking to upgrade her work wardrobe and I'm trying to help her out here since she's extremely busy and doesn't have a lot of time to participate forums. I would appreciate any help anyone here might be able to provide regarding clothing designers/styles to explore for a little variety while still remaining professional.

    She's in her mid 20's and needs some corporate business / business casual items. The emphasis would be on fit and quality, as we've both been extremely dismayed with the ever decreasing quality of a lot of low and even mid-range clothing. At this point we'd rather spend more to get some pieces that will last than buy more overpriced junk like banana republic. She's had some limited success with maxmara, which seems well constructed to my eye, but it's pretty hit or miss on the fit.

    She's not looking for anything trendy or flashy, just some classic, well-made items that will stand the test of time, and look excellent.

    Also I don't know if this will help, but she has an athletic hourglass figure (broad shoulders, large chest, muscular thighs/butt, small waist) and most clothes end up being far too tight in one area or too loose in another (e.g. if a sweater, blouse, etc. doesn't show off her waist she ends up looking extremely bulky and about 10-15 lbs heavier). Tailoring definitely helps, but it's nice to get something that is at least close and doesn't need major alterations.
     
  2. have you looked into armani collezioni? they have a number of business/professsional suiting options, all with a little unique or interesting twist that's not too ostentatious, and armani clothing drapes wonderfully. john galliano also makes fantastic suiting, and i've seen some elegant items at burberry as well.

    what kind of brands does your wife normally wear? that would help in assessing which other brands would fit better
     
  3. I'm a law student in my early twenties. I am very physically active, so I'm slender but very muscular. (5'7'', 120) I've mentioned this in other threads before, but I'll say it again. Loro Piana and Luciano Barbera are must haves for me. Their suit jackets have structure, but without excessive shoulder padding. (I'm a rock-climber with broad shoulders so to0 much padding can make me look like a line-backer.) The pants of most women's suits tend to just be these tubes of flimsy fabric. However, LB's and LP's pants have a decent waist bands and they are made out of substantial material. When I had to buy my first suit last year I was dismayed at the poor quality of most of the clothes so I understand where you are coming from. I tried on everything from Chanel to J Crew and these are the two brands that deliver.
    When it comes to shirts, I've just had to have mine custom-made, because my waist is so tiny compared to my shoulders. (I'm 15.5 across the back and 24-25 around the waist). The prices are VERY high, but the pieces are timeless and will last forever. (I've heard piazza sempione is a good line that is lower priced.)
    Personally, I stay far away from Armani because I think the quality is lacking.
    The most important thing for me is to get a jacket that fits in the shoulders, because my tailor can take the rest in.
    I hope you can find the right suits! Having a strong body underneath a sleek suit can really project an image of power! And good for you for helping out your wife!