March 12th, 2018
It Item

Am I a Suit Woman?

Having never worked in a traditional business environment, I am not hardwired to wear a suit. When I was at Vogue, Grace Coddington wore perfectly tailored suits to evening events and always looked polished and pulled-together. And, last evening my friend Gigi wore a trim black suit to a cocktail party and was the chicest woman in the room.

So, I emailed Gigi and asked her why a suit is her go-to:

“I love a suit for both day and night! I have many because those are the items I get the most use out of. 
For daytime it’s a simple black or navy suit with a slim, ribbed top underneath or a wool houndstooth with a cashmere sweater. I like a flat shoe and minimal jewelry during the day, often just my watch,  wedding band and a pair of small gold hoops. 
At night I dress up the those same suits with a silk blouse and sling backs or for a dressier event I choose from one of my three black silk suits and wear with a silk shoe and small structured silk clutch, both in black. I keep the jewelry simple; just a pair of antique sapphire earrings or a dinner ring, never both.  If it’s going to be a more festive evening the shoes and bag will be in a fun color or with a jeweled toe or heel. Since the shoes and the bag draw a lot of attention the jewelry is simple or none at all. Makeup is natural and hair is freshly blow dried.
What could be easier? Or more chic?”

I realize that I’ve never owned a suit—blazers, yes, and matching tops and bottoms, but not a finely tailored, menswear inspired jacket and pant. If I ever wanted to try one, now is the time and Gigi is my inspiration.

SHOP

what's new

CHLOÉ

Long wool blazer

JOSEPH

Jamie panelled silk dress

REJINA PYO

Lila hooded checked wool-blend duffle coat

JOSEPH

Sinclair sucked silk-crepe blouse

JOSEPH

Collins draped silk skirt

LOEWE

Point-toe navy suede and leather chelsea boots

KHAITE

Doris cotton-gabardine trench coat

GIANVITO ROSSI

55 leather knee boots

VICTORIA, VICTORIA BECKHAM

Color-block ribbed merino wool turtleneck sweater

ISABEL MARANT

Nirvy studded leather sandals

REJINA PYO

Avery oversized belted two-tone cotton twill trench coat

J.W. ANDERSON

Scare Crow suede ankle boots

view all

  • When I worked as an interior designer, I wore suits (pants) all the time. I often wear a blazer and tailored trousers that match (sort of) to evening cocktail events now – I feel it’s more my look as I’ve aged – dressed feel a bit junior. I wore a black “suit” to a black tie wedding last year, and all the young girls came up to me and told me it was the best outfit in the room. I’d love an actual silk suit, so please post as you find.

    KathyMarch 12th, 2018  11:19 AM

     
  • Which brands does Gigi purchase for silk suits?

    CindyMarch 12th, 2018  12:49 PM

     
  • I lived in pant suits is the 90’s. I would love to know where your friend is getting hers now and who is making them.

    JenniferMarch 12th, 2018  12:59 PM

     
  • I love pants suits, it’s my uniform. Since I wear them almost daily, I don’t wear them for the evening. I love the idea though! I have a tuxedo suit from Jcrew circa 2005 and unfortunately doesn’t fit me any more. This post is inspiring me to go find a slim suit for the spring.

    ameeMarch 12th, 2018  1:01 PM

     
  • Also curious what kind of silk – shantung, crepe, what? Ask Gigi please…

    KathyMarch 12th, 2018  1:06 PM

     
  • The three silk suits I wear for evening are from Celine, Dolce & Gabbana and Balmain. When I saw Preston I was wearing the Balmain and it is the only one that I believe that may still be available. The Celine and the Dolce, which I’ve had for many years, are both entirely Duchesse satin (a mid-weight, semi-matte-finish silk). The Balmain is wool with Duchesse satin lapels and pockets.

    GigiMarch 12th, 2018  2:09 PM

     
  • As someone who always wore a suit to work, I never considered it for evening. You’ve inspired me to try this look for evening!

    LisaMarch 12th, 2018  2:13 PM

     
  • Suits for work can be dicey for “women of a certain age” (like me) – unless the cut is totally of the moment and it’s styled perfectly, it can evoke an 80’s Dress for Success throwback. That’s because none of the others are dressed up (my office is 87% Millennials or younger). On the other hand, a suit or tuxedo is my go-to in the evening, styled much like Gigi describes.

    Lisa MacMarch 12th, 2018  8:51 PM

     
  • These suits (and the models wearing them) are gorgeous! I’ve never worn a suit for dress, but my preference for day time and late day is classic ‘menswear’ grey pants + a beautiful blouse and accessorized along the lines Gigi describes. Simple! Finding perfectly tailored pants (i.e., slit back pockets, front zip, front slash pockets) in beautiful fabrics has been tough for years.

    PaulaMarch 12th, 2018  11:39 PM

     
  • I don’t wear suits at work, I do wear blazers or jackets with jeans at least 2 a week. Absolutely adore a suit for evening. Especially a tuxedo-esque jacket with perfectly tailored pants. I do love a high heel and smoky eye to complete the look. I am not a huge jewelry person, so stick to diamond hoops or studs and my wedding rings. I prefer this look to dresses, unless it’s a very formal event.

    JulieMarch 13th, 2018  9:29 AM

     
  • Does anybody know who makes suit #5, one before last? Thanks.

    MariaMarch 13th, 2018  5:09 PM

     
  • Hi Maria, the second to last image is Miu Miu.

    PrestonMarch 13th, 2018  7:32 PM

     
  • I’ve been considering purchasing a suit this spring. This would be wearable year round in Southern California. I would love to know the identity of all the suits pictured.

    BarbaraMarch 13th, 2018  8:43 PM

     
  • Starting with Carolyn Murphy in Khaite, Dior runway FW18, Céline, Alexander McQueen menswear, Miu Miu, and I believe Doutzen is in Armani.

    PrestonMarch 13th, 2018  9:12 PM

     
  • Any suggestions for chic suits at a reasonable price?

    ShannonMarch 13th, 2018  11:17 PM

     
  • Hhhmm, this post (text and photos ) makes me feel like suiting up again! Around 2005, vowed never to wear another suit. Of course, times change, we move on and what was old is new again.

    ClaireMarch 14th, 2018  6:34 AM

     
  • For Shannon – I think Theory makes reasonably priced, chic suits.

    KathyMarch 14th, 2018  8:18 AM

     
  • I love this look. I have one Margaret Howell trouser suit but it’s quite old and not the right, slouchy silhouette for now. Might need an update…

    That's Not My AgeMarch 20th, 2018  2:56 PM

     
  • The suits that I have left in closet after giving away to friends and on consignment have languished. I love the idea of a tuxedo-esque suit for evening. However, I live on the casual west coast where a suit is a rare sighting on a women and even men. At work I had a millennial who was going to present to the board and asked me what to wear. I said a suit. Her response: I don’t have one and where would I get one. I sent her shopping and told her: Buy a well cut, quality material one and get fit by a tailor. It’s worth the investment. She looked uptight in the suit but she did look polished. All this to say, I’m toying with a spring suit in off white or pale gray. Thanks for getting me to rethink the suit thing.

    RonicaMarch 25th, 2018  2:30 PM

     
  • Theory makes good suites (colors are great), and Kooples …. quite masculin, well cut – mid end style (with a rock twist to them)

    KatiekMarch 29th, 2018  6:14 PM

     

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