Bow Down To Lorde And Julia Roberts, The New Queens Of Suits
The Debrief: Tis The Season Of The Suit
I used to associate suits with two things: Joan Collins from Dynasty (not a bad thing) and anxiety attack inducing, uber-corporate job interviews (defs a bad thing). But lately, I’ve been feeling a tug towards all kinds of two-pieces and tuxes. Blame Lorde and Julia Roberts. Lorde is pretty much in a two-piece 24/7, and everybody’s favourite Pretty Woman was just snapped for the new Givenchy campaign in a super-cool, mannish blazer. Meanwhile, Lena is producing a documentary about bespoke tailors Bindle & Keep, who make gorgeous custom suits for LGBT women and men. It’s enough to make me forget the sweaty nylon armpits of my cheap, off-the-rail ‘please hire me’ outfit.
Lorde laid out the garment’s transformative powers in a recent Telegraph interview: ‘I put on a suit and I’m like, “I’m a badass!” And that to me is my daring.’ If there’s a better way of zeroing in on the precise appeal of suits, I’ve yet to hear it. You feel different in a suit. Maybe it’s all those decades of power suit history, but you feel like you’re channelling a very select coven of strong, badass women in history. Greta Garbo intoning ‘I want to be alone’; Bianca Jagger accessorising her white suit with a totally unnecessary but magnificently fierce cane; and Catherine Deneuve looking haughty on Yves Saint Laurent’s arm. Who wouldn’t want some of that magic?
Celebs have been snubbing glammed-up dresses in favour of two-pieces on the red carpet too. Cara Delevingne gives hers a sexed-up, sporty twist with Nike trainers and no bra; Suki Waterhouse does 70s Jagger rock chick in suede kicks and Solange basically embodies bold block colours like nobody else on earth. Is it any wonder that Topshop deemed suits and co-ords the holiday season’s biggest hits?
‘Wearing a suit to a party does feel different,’ Girl in Menswear blogger Sophia Marinho de Lemos tells us. She says she prefers to wear suits in the evenings, opting for velvet or a tuxedo. ‘Because you aren't showing-off legs, arms or cleavage, it's about an understated sex appeal. You feel elegant, but in an effortless way. It's an empowering evening choice.’
That doesn’t mean finding a good suit is easy. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve failed to squeeze my bum into slim-cut tux trousers or discovered a jacket that couldn’t even button up over my boobs.
‘Fit is key for a suit,’ Sophia advises. ‘Make sure the shoulders sit in the right place and that you can button up your blazer without any gaping or pulling, if you've got a big bust and a petite frame this may prove tricky, but keep looking - don't go for double-breasted tailoring if you're heavy on top, instead opt for a deep V neck and one or two buttons.’
There’s also a huge variety of suits now on the high street: Sophia bigs up Reiss for more traditional, work-friendly cuts, while ASOS and Topshop are great for a quick trend fix. ‘In a slightly higher price bracket I love the Scandi labels HOPE, Dagmar and Filippa K for black suit - they're cut beautifully, for a more androgynous fit,’ she adds.
If LBDs really are on the way out, maybe it’s time we all embraced the joy of suits. No more frantically yanking on hemlines and fending off the cold in cut-out dresses. And as Sophia puts it, you never really forget your first suit: ‘The first co-ord I bought was from ASOS, and it was burgundy with a faint paisley print - I still have it actually. I fell in love with the colour and the way it made me feel: strong.’ Who wouldn’t want that?
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