How to Wear the Modern Suit

It's easy to make a case for suits: They're sleek, often flattering, and show that you mean serious business (they don't call them "power" suits for nothing, after all). For many, though, it's equally as simple to make a case against them. If it's not perfectly tailored, it can look awkward, outdated, or more corporate than cool. Well, we're officially making a case for the new suit: the cool-weather version of the matching set you were wearing all summer long. 

When Coco Chanel first introduced the women's suit in the 1920s, it shook things up. Women were sick and tired of wearing dresses, and the two-piece set provided an alternative that wasn't just comfortable, warm, and practical — but it was actually cute. The shoulder pads or awkward hem lines we think of today were nowhere to be found. Nor was it crafted from itchy, thick material. Instead, the Chanel look was slim-fitting, collarless, and featured luxe gold detailing. And that's probably why, nearly 100 years old, it's still just as popular today.

Somewhere along the way, though, the cool-girl suit lost its groove. What once was a staple of female empowerment and sophistication became...stuffy. Nowadays, when we consider the idea of a matching blazer and pants, our minds immediately gravitate to Hillary Clinton's '80s yuppie suit sets, or color-blocked pieces with jogging sneakers. It's no surprise they have such a bad reputation.

Where has the suit's sexy side gone? Why are we so quick to forget about Nan Kempner in Yves Saint Laurent's eponymous le smoking jacket, or Bianca Jagger in her signature white, or the slim-fitting sets of André Courrèges. Why have women decided that suits are either ugly or unattainable, rather than something that could actually save your wardrobe (and make getting dressed in the morning way easier)?

It's time to reclaim your work wardrobe, reinvent your going out look, and reinvigorate your closet completely. And if you didn't think it was possible, we've found a variety of different ways to add the suit to your style repertoire. Say goodbye to shoulder pads and say hello to suits that will suit you way better.

PHOTOGRAPHED BY BEN LAMBERTY