Friday 18 October 2019

How to wear...the coloured suit

Pastels take a backseat this spring as designers are embracing the rainbow. Go bold with vibrant, fruity hues for a fresh take on tailoring, writes Meadhbh McGrath

Rosie Huntington Whiteley
Rosie Huntington Whiteley
Emily Blunt
Tracee Ellis Ross
Blue trousers, €40, from Next
Blue jacket, €70 from Next
Red jacket, €290, from Marella at Arnotts
Red jacket trousers, €157 from Marella at Arnotts
Yellow jacket, €395 from Reiss
Yellow trousers, €220, from Reiss
Green jacket, €73 from Warehouse
Green trousers, €47 from Warehouse
T-shirt, €20 from M&S
Bag, €49.95 from Zara
Camisole, €65 from French Connection
Sandals, €64 from Topshop
Earrings, €12.99 from Mango

Meadhbh McGrath

The suit has stormed its way back into style in the last few years, and is now a well-established staple for workwear, off-duty dressing and the red carpet. Hillary Clinton's fashion legacy lives on as everyone from Bella Hadid to Brigitte Macron turns to the trouser suit when they want to make a statement. At this stage, most women will have a suit in their wardrobe - but yours is more than likely in a safe, muted tone such as black, navy or grey.

This season, you'll want to take it up a notch. Designers are seeking to refresh spring tailoring by ditching the sombre shades and predictable pastels for something a lot louder - the coloured suit. In the spring-summer collections, the shapes range widely from slouchy and gently oversized to fitted and cropped, but it's the colour palette that matters most.

Meghan Markle's go-to brand Givenchy teamed an emerald suit with a wide belt and a black cutout top for a glamorous evening look, while Gucci's wide-legged turquoise suit was adorned with brooches and layered over a red tartan knit in typically eccentric style.

Warm tones dominated in many shades: magenta satin at Escada, dressed down with trainers and natural-look make-up; Kaia Gerber in hot pink duchesse satin with a clashing scarlet shirt at Salvatore Ferragamo; a sharp double-breasted style in warm bordeaux at sustainable brand Gabriela Hearst; and tomato red paired with a sparkling crochet knit and silver sandals at Ermanno Scervino.

Elsewhere, the look was breezy and almost beachy: at Etro, big sunglasses and flat thong sandals finished off a yellow single-breasted suit, and Roksanda's fluid longline blazer in zesty orange was tempered with a rust-coloured belt and offset by a flash of aqua blue in a silk scarf.

Here is where to take your lead when choosing your colours. For ease of wear, it can be simplest to style a bright suit with neutralising tones of black and white, but contrasting hues can be even more effective.

Burberry championed the now-ubiquitous beige trend, injecting shots of bold red tailoring to liven up the look, or try juxtaposing a vivid green suit with sugary pink accessories.

An apple green blouse or knit will complement a cobalt blue suit beautifully, especially when topped off with white boots or trainers.

For a dressy take, Victoria Beckham is urging the return of the lace camisole, and a plain black or white number will elevate even the slouchiest styles for evening.

The suit has long been a celebrity favourite, but now the A-list are swapping faithful monochrome iterations for their more colourful counterparts.

Tracee Ellis Ross's Ralph and Russo suit at the Grammys last month (right) was a standout and illustrated how the masculine silhouette can carry an admirable amount of bling, whether you prefer it wrapped around your waist or dangling from your earlobes.

The neon trend is going strong for spring, as demonstrated by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (far right) in Versace. She lets the coral pink pop with minimal accessories and barely-there satin sandals.

If acid brights sound too daunting, primary colours provide a more accessible route. Emily Blunt (left) opted for a straight-cut jacket and wide trousers by Elie Saab for a recent film premiere, toning down the striking red with a knit top and black accessories that gives us major workwear inspiration. The versatile suit would work just as well with a T-shirt and trainers or a cami and heeled sandals - call it 2019's answer to power dressing.

Irish Independent

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