Thursday, October 28, 2010

Budget Career Suit of the Week: Larry Levine Coffee Suit

I know it's tough on many legal staffers' salaries to buy enough suits for interviews, depositions, trials, as well as more formal offices that require suit-dressing almost daily. I also speak to a lot of professional groups, and having several nice suits is necessary (and several backups if you swing between sizes like I sometimes do) - but budgeting for them is challenging since I also have two teenage girls to dress.

I think an underrated budget suit designer is Larry Levine. I own several of his Signature line of suits, and I'm not embarrassed to say I've scored them for $39.99 each at my local Ross Dress for Less store. The jackets are fully lined; the pants aren't lined but the fabric is a good weight and hangs nicely. They often have interesting details that separate them from the same ol' boring suit-dressing. Sometimes you have to visit Ross often and dig through what seems like hundreds of clothes hung on endless racks in a rather bare bones shopping environment, but it's worth it when you're trying to build a career wardrobe on a limited income.

I recently bought a collarless coffee-colored Larry Levine Signature pantsuit with a waist tie that looks similar to this Larry Levine Coffee 4-Button Skirt Suit offered by a great online discount store, Smart Bargains. At $79.99 it's a great buy, but I'll be keeping an eye out for a sale. I love the coffee color, which is both flattering and slimming, and the slightly different take on the traditional three-button grey or black suit. I can't quite bring myself to wear pantyhose with skirts, but I do wear tights and Nine West high heel boots in the colder months.

Other local discount clothing stores where I keep an eye out for good deals on Larry Levine or Tahari, another fave discount suit designer, are Marshalls and T.J. Maxx. Online I've had great success with

I'd love to hear from readers who've scored great deals on suits - what designers do you like, and where do you do your bargain-hunting? Even better, if you've got a photo of you rocking a bargain suit from a second-hand store or eBay, I'd love to feature your career-dressing savvy here at Practical Paralegalism.


  1. Kasper outlet store for me! WARNING: Not all 14P are created equal. The ones made in China were too small, but the ones made in Vietnam fit perfectly. Go figure!

  2. Cute, but too much brown. I think you'd have to rawk it up with some bright accessories or bright shoes. Otherwise I'd snore....

    - pitbull . paralegal

  3. Margaret ~ I haven't had much luck with Kaspar suits, but I know a lot of women who look great in them.

  4. R ~ Of course, accessories are the difference between a boring suit and a suit worth a second glance. This one could be rocked with a great belt instead of the waist tie, and a great brooch and/or earrings. I'm big on one focal piece of jewelry to jazz up a suit. Not so much for this suit, but I also love to add a scarf to a monochrome palate.

  5. Thanks for posting. May I also suggest: Lawyers: give raises to your paralegals.

  6. Bev - You just won Practical Paralegalism's Best Comment of 2010 :)


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