Meet Your New Alternative to a Pant Suit!

At work, when I’m told to dress nicely for a presentation or dinner I usually dread it. Dressing professionally or semi formally for work usually means wearing a trousers and blazer or an annoyingly conservative dress. I have gotten creative in the past and I usually like what I’m wearing, but I don’t love it. But recently, I found a new outfit that can cross between a formal presentation and a work event. Ladies, meet your new alternative to a pant suit or a boring dress – color coordinated separates.

Color coordinated matching pink pants and blouse
All photos by Michelle Dorman Photography

I have to admit, I didn’t come across this outfit completely on my own. Recently, Redfin’s Director of PR wore this outfit when Redfin went public. I saw it and thought, oh my god that has to be Max Mara or from the coveted 2nd floor of the downtown Nordstrom store. I did some asking around the office and found out the outfit came from Zara! So naturally, I bought it.

Color coordinated trousers and blose pink Zara

Color coordinated separates are an easy and chic alternative to dressing in a suit, pencil skirt, or dress.  To avoid looking like you’re wearing a pair of teal nurse’s scrubs, here’s some tips to finding the perfect color coordinated separates.

1. Look for special details

Matching trousers and pants with wrap tie blouse pink

The wide leg and tie waist instantly sold me on this outfit. While the color made a statement, the structural details of the pieces make the look more dynamic and interesting. Search for monochrome outfits that have interesting details or structure that don’t distract from your body.

Wide leg trousers and blouse coordinates

2. Make sure it fits

Pink color coordated separates with tie waist

Nothing will kill your monochrome outfit faster than if it doesn’t fit properly. Wearing all one color can be a little tricky. Luckily, if the outfit is tailored and accentuates your body you won’t get lost in the color.

3. Ensure the color is flattering

What to wear for a work meeting women's fashion

If you’re going to rock one color, make sure it’s perfect for you! There is no way this outfit would look good on me if it was pale yellow or a bright orange. Choose a color you know, love, and always kill it in.

4. Accessorize properly

Alternative to a pant suit Color coordinated separates

Utilize your accessories to set the tone for your outfit. Grab an office tote, neutral shoes, or a watch for a perfect work look. If you’re going out at night, rock a statement shoe, clutch, or earrings.

Alternative to suits with color coordinated separates

Outfits instead of wearing a suit

What are your favorite alternatives for wearing a suit?

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About Bailey

Seattle fashion blogger at hotdresshotmess.com

2 thoughts on “Meet Your New Alternative to a Pant Suit!

  1. Bailey,
    It’s Jani Strand, the Redfin PR girl who wore the outfit at our IPO. First of all, THANK YOU. I can’t tell you how absolutely flattered and thrilled I am to be mentioned in your blog. It really made my year. Secondly, you look amazing in the outfit. In the Who Wore It Best contest, you win! I wore black open-toed, open-heel booties, but I tried it with my nude pumps as well. For some reason more foot showing did it for me, plus is was hotter than Hades in NYC that week. I am so happy to subscribe to your blog now, and thank you again for most amazing compliment.
    xoxoxo Jani

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