The suit is back but not in the same way it has been for decades. If you think it’s time to dust off your old power suits in grey, black, and navy, you’d be wrong. It’s all about color.
I love this trend because it’s powerfully feminine. If you remember women’s suits in the ’80s, they looked like what men wore if they were women. Instead of blazing their own trail, women were expected to figure out how to conform to a man’s world.
Since the ’80s, women’s suits have evolved marginally. The cuts may have become more feminine, but the colors mainly stayed in the lane of classic colors. While colorful suits aren’t new, colorful suits of years past often looked passive and not exactly bold or in charge. Then, as the suit took a backseat to the casualization of the American workplace, women took their power back with powerful dresses, mix-and-match suited separates and sportswear looks.
As with most things in fashion, what goes around eventually comes back around but always in a slightly different and more evolved way. The suit has made a comeback but in this new landscape of women owning their power and on a mission to topple the patriarchy, it has returned on its own terms.
Colorful suits being trendy in the workplace in a big way doesn’t surprise me at all. When I look at them, I don’t see the corporate, stuffy, fall-in-line drone look of yesteryear, I see feminine power. And it’s not just the colors that are exciting, the cuts are too. Women are stepping out with colorful suited looks in cuts that are just as dynamic as the colors they are in.
Colorful Suits for Work
If the idea of adding some colorful suits for work excites and empowers you, I have put together five looks to give you some ideas.
When I look at a suit like this from The Fold (links to jacket and pants), it shows how evolved the modern suit has become. Suits today aren’t classic and traditional, they’re creative and thoughtful and allow women to showcase their personalities, all while being appropriate. I styled this suit with a brown tank, tan pumps from Corso Como, burgundy bag from Dagne Dover and mixed chain link necklace from Lizzie Fortunato.
Color also makes more traditional suit cuts look modern. This Ted Baker suit (links to jacket and pants) gives an updated twist to a classic. Plus, if you’re not ready to embrace bold colors, hunter green is a color that can easily act as a neutral. I styled the suit with a pink top from Everlane, hunter booties from Boden, the same burgundy Dagne Dover bag as used in the first look and a simple pair of silver earrings.
Colorful suits don’t just stop at solid ones. If you are feeling bold enough, this plaid suit from BOSS Hugo Boss (links to jacket and pants) makes a statement. I was reminded of my client Mrs. Refined who rocks plaid suits and jackets amazingly well. I styled this suit with a navy top from Akris Punto, a pair of burgundy heels from Hobbs and the same burgundy tote.
It’s not just the color that makes suits look modern, it’s how they are styled. Instead of classic pumps, you can try different shoe styles to give your suited looks some edge. I styled this Akris Punto suit (links to jacket and pants) with an ivory top from Hobbs and finished the look with white mules from Via Spiga, colorblocked bag from Botkier and open frame drop earrings from Kendra Scott.
This last look illustrates that suiting isn’t just for corporate environments. I love that sneaker styled suits have taken suiting to a different level of being smartly casual. I styled this russet-colored suit from Mango (links to jacket and pants) with a graphic Bowie t-shirt and finished the look with blush sneakers from Sam Edelman and the same burgundy Dagne Dover bag.
Don’t be afraid to infuse some personality into your work looks. As long as you are dressing within the parameters of what is acceptable at your workplace, individuality will help you stand out while fitting in at the same time.