Love ‘em or hate ‘em, it’s hard to get away from pantsuits, especially if you’re working in a fairly conservative office environment where they’re a must-have if you’re looking for a more comfortable alternative to the traditional shift dress or skirt/top combo.
Most designers include at least one every season as they know they’ll always sell, whatever the trend momen and there are lots for pre-fall. But frankly many of them are, well, yawn-inducing.
This selection though, has a more on-trend edge, coming in under the dress code barrier but making the wearer feel like she hasn’t abandoned fashion altogether.
The volume play
We’ve seen a move towards wider trousers this pre-season with ultra-slouchy pants representing the most directional (but admittedly least wearable) extreme of the trend. These four pantsuits are acceptably on-trend but also practical. They team wider trousers with slim cut jackets (a loose jacket would be a step too far towards a total volume silhouette). Play with colour (the year’s top trend colour rose quartz feels strong), or choose traditional suiting – but combine it with a soft blouse that ups the femininity quota.
Cut ultra-slim, the new skinny pantsuit can be as formal or as relaxed as you like. Choose after-dark fabrics and heels to add a dressy edge or team it with relaxed knits or a boho-influenced bag for daytime. Turn up the colour intensity to really make an impact. I love the Sonia by Sonia Rykiel duo that feels both luxe and comfortable at the same time.
The easy option
Keep it casual while also smart. Teamed with flats, it’s a great daytime option but it can move easily into evening with the addition of heels. Keep the jacket subtly slim-but-easy with a touch more slouch to the trousers – a luxe track pant with drawstring waist feels fresh.
The acceptable alternative
Pantsuits don’t have to mean regular jacket and trousers. Team your trousers with a shell top of structure tee, or try a sleeveless jacket over a simple long-sleeved tee or elaborate blouse. If you want a traditional cut but feel the need to make a statement that’s a bit different, try a power pattern and take a tip from the pyjama dressing trend with a can’t-miss-it floral.