Saturday, April 17, 2010

Q&A: Non-Wool Suits?

Thanks for all the positive responses to my last post!  One reader comment / question I wanted to address...

So, I'm an aspiring med student and spent this winter interviewing. I looked EVERYWHERE for wool suiting - and just didn't find much. Everyone talks about buying wool, and I am totally on board with this. But when the rubber hit the road, I couldn't find any that didn't look matronly on me or worked for having curves (I am a very hour-glass kind of girl).

J.Crew has wool suiting, but my local store carried none of it (only some weird cotton suit - who buys a cotton suit?!). Ann Taylor had it, but it was HORRIBLE. The sales associate even agreed. Banana Republic pants do not fit my junk in my trunk. And even Nordstrom didn't have any wool suits!

So what's a girl to do? I bought a very attractive synthetic fiber suit that I love, but I still wish it was wool. Thoughts on other places to look? Just suck it up and order several sizes/styles from J.Crew to find the best (I didn't have enough time to go that route this year, needed a suit just 3 weeks after I found out and I always need alterations, so I had to go with something that didn't need to be shipped. Thoughts welcome... 

Don't fret!  A wool-blend suit is ideal, but not a total necessity... I tend to say NO SYNTHETICS not because there aren't great, high-quality suits made of rayon / polyester, etc but because its easy for the first-time-suit-shopper to fall victim to one of the bad apples once they start skipping down Viscose Road.  Two of my favorite Nordstrom brands make lovely suits that contain a blend of synthetic fibers...

(polyester / viscose rayon / linen / spandex)

(viscose rayon / polyester / wool / spandex)

Elie Tahari also makes some lovely wool blend suits - slightly pricier, but wool! 

And if you like the J.Crew suiting (which is of very good quality, I hear - especially the Super 120s), go to your local store and have a salesperson order several options in different sizes for you - they'll ship straight to the store so you won't have to pay shipping costs and there's no obligation to purchase!  I do that all the time with merchandise that isn't available in my local store!  


  1. Good idea on the staight to the store. Especially if you happen to live in Podunk Mississippi Population 15000

  2. it's pretty much impossible to find wool in april. the best time is fall/winter.

  3. As a med student, I wanted to add a little thought. :) When you purchase something, make sure you get a pants/skirt/jacket combo. You won't wear the suit jacket very often because you'll be wearing your white coat instead. Its nice to have the pants or skirt option to go with the white coat. And when you get any of it drycleaned, get it all drycleaned! Your jacket won't need it nearly as often as the others, but you want to keep them the same color. Also ... wear flat shoes to your interview!!! Every interview I went on involved LOTS of standing and walking around hospitals and wearing flats (which isn't something I normally did) was the smartest decision I ever made! Good luck!!!


stall scribbles appreciated!