The only thing better than a perfectly tailored power suit? Perfectly tailored suits in statement hues that are both the work and playwear du jour this summer
There’s something special about a well-tailored power suit. We don’t know what it is, but whenever we wear one, we just feel like we have our lives together. Like we can do anything. It’s a shame, then, that the workwear staple also comes historically associated with corporate environments and stuffy events, giving it a bad rep for all the wrong reasons. Luckily for us fashion doesn’t listen to clichés, which means this season a whole wave of designers has turned trad tailoring on its head with bold and brash iterations of this 80s classic, making it look and feel punchier than ever.
“A brightly coloured suit challenges the conventional codes of suiting, moving it from strictly business into the modern woman’s everyday wardrobe,” Lisa Ruffle, senior buying director at Moda Operandi tells MOJEH. “It’s about the cut of the suit and how you wear it that takes it beyond the boardroom and into daily life or event dressing.” Centered on the mood-boosting power of Crayola brights, many designers are running with the ‘colour makes you happy’ theory right now, with oversized, bold-shouldered power suits in a variety of pop colours seen everywhere from Dior and Stella McCartney to Alexander McQueen and Michael Kors.
“They are often paired with a sultry crop top or bralette to add flair,” adds Nahid Kermali, buying manager at Ounass. Just one look at the new season runways and it soon becomes clear that fruity suiting is the way to go right now. Stabilo highlighter pinks washed over the two pieces at Versace and Alexander McQueen where, for every prim full-skirted dress there was a boxy, boy-tailored suit. As for the former, it was Naomi Campbell who stole the show in a hot pink power suit teamed with a neon orange top that commanded attention. Elsewhere, Giorgio Armani dabbled in high-shine aquatic hues, while the padded shoulders at Stella McCartney and Michael Kors do the heavy lifting in your new season wardrobe.
“Sergio Hudson and Proenza Schouler are also masters of tailoring who consistently include bright suiting in their collections,” adds Ruffle. “I think they are innately aware that suiting is an essential part of a woman’s wardrobe, and that by adding colour they can offer her a classic in a way that feels new, yet fashion forward and pulled together.” More than just stylish, the slouchy suit has the added bonus of being comfortable too, making them a relaxed and fluid staple that should be a must in any woman’s wardrobe. “As a result of the pandemic we have all become used to the cosy sweatpant, but as the world opens up and we look for ways to refresh our wardrobe, this gives us the same level of comfort but with an elevated twist,” says Kermali. In other words, it’s a perfect mix of coziness and sophistication. If the traditional trouser and jacket combination isn’t quite your bag, why not raise hemlines and work a joyful skirt suit à la Dior instead, where the most alluring take at Maria Grazia Chiuri’s SS22 show was a tangerine-coloured miniskirt suit? Boasting a shrunken yet boxy silhouette, all that’s needed is a pair of ballet pumps and micro bag to complete the look. Similarly, Chanel’s summer collection greeted us with a burst of vibrant nostalgia complete with sunshine yellow tweed suits that were all about unbridled joy. “Skirts are an excellent alternative for those who are looking to add more femininity to their boxy, tailored look,” adds Kermali. “We are seeing an abundance of skirt suits right now that provide a fresh alternative to tailored pants.” Not only is a hyper-bright power suit both on-trend and flattering, but it’s also very versatile, working dressed up for dinner worn with a cami top and heels, or teamed with a fresh white tee and a pair of trainers for a more casual look. Even better, the pieces can also be worn as separates too, so you can get more bang for your buck by throwing on the jacket with some jeans one day, then wearing the trousers solo with your favourite shirt the next.
“I think bold slouchy suits are so popular with designers right now as they can be interpretated and styled in so many different ways,” adds Kermali. “They can be teamed with everything from towering platform pumps to chunky sneakers and edgy cropped tops to feminine blouses. The comfortable yet sophisticated approach to suiting this season makes the trend a perfect option to wear in and out of the office.” If you’re still not convinced, there’s this little thing called dopamine dressing which associates brightly coloured clothing with feelings of happiness, and it’s been proved by researchers to be the real deal. While hardly a new phenomenon, this season’s boldly coloured suits are the perfect embodiments, and their feel-good, mood-boosting qualities are ones we would highly recommend soaking up. “Colour is the ultimate mood lifter,” concludes Ruffle. “As our Moda Operandi co-founder Lauren Santo Domingo says, why be boring?” Why indeed.
- Words by Naomi Chadderton