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How to Accessorize a Black Skirt Suit

by Hilary White

Incredibly versatile and universally flattering, a black skirt suit is the perfect blank canvas you can style for any number of occasions. A slightly more sophisticated cousin of the little black dress, a black skirt suit can do it all – from an important interview to a soignée evening affair, all you need to add are few occasion-appropriate accessories.

Interview Appropriate

Play it safe in interviews by pairing your suit with classic pieces. Tops such as a simple silk shells or blouses are feminine without being too revealing, yet are not as conservative as a basic button-up shirt. Choose a contrasting color, such as white, or opt for a more monochromatic look with a gray or black blouse. Stick to neutral-toned accessories, which should be kept to a minimum -- limit yourself to one bold piece, such as an oversized watch. Avoid dangling bracelets or statement rings that could get in the way of a handshake. Mid-heel, closed-toe shoes, such as a black pump, are a safe option for any interview and comfortable if walking is involved. If stockings are a requirement, choose a pair that matches your shoes to elongate legs. Wearing simple clothes and accessories will let the interviewer focus on you and your qualifications instead of your wardrobe.

Work Wear

Add interest to your suit at work by mixing in an attention-grabbing scarf or ascot. Choose a brightly colored scarf tied in a bow, or opt for an exotic animal print ascot tucked into your shirt to give your plain black suit more personality. Express yourself with jewelry, like drop earrings, a pin fastened to your lapel, or an elegant watch. Stick with sophisticated pumps or ankle boots, and only wear open-toe footwear if appropriate. A sleek, large leather tote is not only practical but can add a dash of modern chic to your everyday work look.

Post-Work Ensembles

Transition from work to dinner by simply swapping out more conservative pieces for those with a bit more personality. Kick off your pumps and don black boots for a figure-flattering look that lends laid-back flair to conservative suits. Swap your jacket for a cozy sweater, bejeweled blouse or favorite graphic T-shirt to add individual style. Feel free to take off your pearls and put on your oversized hoop earrings and stack of bangle bracelets.

Elegant Eveningwear Additions

Skirt suits can easily go to the most elegant occasions with a few fancy flourishes. Add accessories in gold, bronze or silver, such as a skinny metallic belt and matching high-heeled sandals for a dose of high-style shine. Break out your statement jewelry and consider polished pieces like a gold charm bracelet. Carry a luxurious-looking leather clutch or a stylish jewel-encrusted evening bag. Just be careful not to add too many elements and go over the top. Finish it all off with a classic black trench coat.

About the Author

Hilary White is a professional writer and editor based in San Diego. White has been writing articles on fashion, style, fitness, nutrition, movies and entertainment since 1994. Her articles have been published in "Westways" magazine, "Pages" magazine, "Book Street USA," "Magill's Cinema Annual," and numerous titles from Visible Ink Press. White holds a bachelor's degree in English from Michigan State University.

Photo Credits

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