MEET THE NEW POWER PLAYER

Grazia (UK) - - 10 Hot Stories -

PRIM, PROPER AND POL­ISHED, the skirt suit is the pin­na­cle of ef­fort­ful dress­ing. Sug­gest­ing taut to­geth­er­ness rather than slap­dash spon­tane­ity, it’s no sur­prise that the tai­lored two-pieces are tra­di­tion­ally worn by the kind of woman whose hair is al­ways blow-dried and tights never lad­dered. They are board­room ar­mour and the uni­form of man­i­cured ladies who lunch – but can a skirt suit ever re­ally be cool? Ab­so­lutely!

This spring, de­sign­ers are tak­ing the skirt suit out-of-of­fice. And it’s res­onat­ing: global fash­ion search plat­form Lyst re­ports searches for skirt suits are up 33%, driven by their emerg­ing pop­u­lar­ity among the kind of Mil­len­nial It girls who’ve never stepped near a 9-5 (see Mar­got Rob­bie and Bella Ha­did). ‘ The skirt suit rep­re­sents the next step of the tai­lor­ing trend,’ says Net-a-porter re­tail fash­ion di­rec­tor Lisa Aiken. ‘ We used to think of it as be­ing con­ser­va­tive and a bit stiff, but when brands like Off-white are do­ing it, it re­ally changes the game’.

To make the new suit work, cut is key. The stiletto-sharp sil­hou­ettes favoured by afi­ciona­dos Me­la­nia Trump and Queen Le­tizia of Spain are out; miniskirts and over­sized jack­ets are in. Wear with the same ease you would jeans and a tee, and opt for an un­done or un­ex­pected de­tail to sub­vert the co­or­di­na­tion. Swap a blouse for a cropped top, or sling­backs for graphic mules. Even Chanel – the spir­i­tual home of the so­ci­ety skirt suit – is at it: fray­ing the edges and trad­ing strings of pearls for outré plas­tic ac­ces­sories for S/S ’18.

That’s not to say you should shy away from am­pli­fy­ing those late ’80s/early ’90s con­no­ta­tions. At Ver­sace, sug­ary pas­tel suits were worn with gold chain belts and base­ball caps. And at Off-white’s Princess Diana trib­ute, a candy two-piece was worn with socks and Work­ing Girl train­ers. In the real world, team with sheer tights or preppy knits for an un­apolo­getic, go-all-in spin. Para­dox­i­cally, when de­signer jeans come with holes, there’s some­thing mod­ern about whole­heart­edly do­ing a neat look. Af­ter all, if you’re go­ing to wear this most proper pair­ing, why not wear it, well, prop­erly?

Jacket, £69, skirt, £39, Top­shop (top­shop.com)

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