One thing I will say is that every person needs a suit of some sort. Skirt suit, dress suit, pantsuit, any combination of the above. You will get your money's worth out of it. Not just for funerals, interviews, and business formal attire. Split it up and wear the components separately, too. BAM! Not just a suit, but a blazer and slacks/ skirt/ dress. I would honestly recommend the pants or skirt over the dress, just because the dress severely limits wearability.
I would also recommend you suit being one of the things you spend a bit more money on. I'm not talking "go out and blow a paycheck on it," but I am saying you'll look better if you don't buy the trash in the juniors department. Here's what you should look for:
- A lining. Jackets without linings tend to either be very casual, crappily made, or hang funny, none of which you want to be the impression you give.
- Avoid shine, intentional or not. Some cheap fabrics tend to have a sheen to them, making them look even cheaper. Avoid those.
- Obvious shoulderpads or trendy detailing. You want this jacket to be something you can wear for many more years than just this season. Huge shoulderpads make you look like an 80s reject, and trends mark it as a one time use jacket.
- A dark color. It doesn't hafta be black, but black, navy, or charcoal are your best bets for versatility.
- Buttons that stop just under the tits and button all the way down. They should also close. without pulling. This is the best fit for a professional blazer. It doesn't need to button all the way down, but it should definitely button just under the chest for the most professional look.
- Fit is everything. If it pulls ANYWHERE, put it back and grab the next size up. You can (and should) always get it tailored to match your body, but very rarely can you let a blazer out and still look good
- Check the seams and buttons. Are the seams well sewn and straight? Are there loose threads? Do the buttons look ready to pop off any second? Check for quality. If it's crappy sewing, it's a crappy suit.
- Match the color to the blazer. There are different colors of everything, even black. You want them to match exactly, which is why I really, REALLY recommend you buy them as a set.
- Check seams, buttons, hooks, and zippers. Crappy closures mean crappy clothes.
- Check the length. A skirt should be long enough can sit in it without looking like a street walker. I'd say stick with knee length or just past the knee, as ankle length tends to look nunnish or dowdy. For pants, they should be long enough to break across your shoes and hang to within half an inch of the ground in the back. You don't want high waters, and you don't want to drag your hems out.
- Check the slit on the skirt. You should be able to walk fairly easily with a natural gait without it being slit up to There. If you can't, or if it is. put it back.
- Check the pockets. and make sure you can't see the outline when you wear the pants or skirt.
- Check the waist and belt loops. If it has belt loops, you'll always hafta wear a belt with it. If it has no waistband, make sure it doesn't dig into your waist.