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Every woman should own at least one great suit…but there isn’t often too much technical information on what makes a great suit. Either that or sometimes one just feels too lazy or busy to find or read through men’s articles on what makes a great suit.

Luckily enough for you, I’ve taken the time to read a few and I’ll condense the gist of it for you here.

Women’s Suits | Buying Guide | Adapted

Double breasted/Single breasted: Single breasted will always looks more classic while double breasted tends to look either less formal or overly traditional for women. But it really depends on how it’s worn and designed. Double breasted jackets in my opinion give more room for curves and pockets which I like. It just has to be nicely fitted.

Number of Jacket Buttons: One is casual, two is classic, three (or more) is basically outdated for women unless you’re working with a design that varies from the standard jacket. I think two buttons allows for the most flattering fit, so I usually go for two or no buttons at all.

Lapel (ləˈpel/)shapes and sizes: Standard lapels for women tend to be the cut-out V called notches. But there are also curved lapels and even women’s jackets without a lapel at all.

Vents | Double Vent/Single Vent/ No vent:  It’s nice to have a vent so that when you sit and stand, it’s not wildly uncomfortable. But otherwise, there’s no issue with having or not having one. It’s a matter of comfort. Usually double vent is only seen in men’s suits.

Jacket waists: The main difference here is suppressed versus non suppressed waist. This depends on your body shape. If you want a more fitted jacket, you might want one that cinches around the waist. If you have an athletic build, you may prefer a straight waist.

Shoulders: Shoulders can’t be altered by a tailor, so it’s actually pretty important that you like the way your jacket’s shoulders fit. Many jackets have pads on the shoulders to give more form to the jacket, but not all do. Pads can help those with sloping shoulders look more even or it can just look strange, so pay close attention to how yours fits to ensure that whatever kind of style it has works for you.