Imagine you’re lounging at a bar in Casablanca, sipping a martini and enjoying the Moroccan sun, when you realize you’ve got a hot date with Humphrey Bogart tonight! You run to the nearest shop, scour the racks, desperate for something debonair. In exasperation, you leave and there, in another store’s display is exactly what you need for a night of dapper dancing and quick wit. Is it a flowing gown, or maybe a floral skirt? No, of course it isn’t! You wander into the store, so stunned you’ve forgotten about Fred Astaire, or whatever his name is. This is your destiny, this is who you’re meant to be, a person who wears leisure suits. What kind will you wear? Let’s take a look at your options.
Basic Black and White
The little black dress may be a classic, but the form fitting white suit is iconic. For Restless Sleepers takes the smoking jacket to a whole new level with a smoking suit, perfect for discussing Dickinson over a cigar, Duke Ellington playing over the sounds of animated conversation. Gareth Pugh takes on a more rigid form with their structured black suit, while Vionnet’s white suit with cigarette pants was made for a fervent waltz, giving just a flash of yellow to onlookers.
Ready to be one of the greats? Grab one of these iconic fabrics:
The vibrant colors of Pantone’s Playful Palette come to life in leisure suits. Meet up with your friends at the old college hangout in a striking suit of sapphire, similar to La Perla’s shapely ensemble. Mugler gets bold and bodacious with pointed shoulders, while Dondup lets the colors speak for themselves with tangelo trousers and a buttercup blazer. Joseph’s forest green suit was meant to strut its form on a historic tour of London, while Tibi’s red leather suit looks the best suited for leisure.
Bring vibrant colors into your wardrobe with these colors:
Pastels provide a pleasurable palette that plays off the power of suits pleasantly. Ports 1961 and Adeam use a puckering pink with a simple silhouette, while Roksanda’s pale pink is the perfect shade for the baggy fit. Tibi’s pastel blue suit, paired with a velvet turtleneck, is perfect for your first poetry reading, the candle lights on the tables illuminating the suit, bringing out the sky blue tones back dropped by the earthy brown of the venerated cafe. Agnona’s pastel green suit is perfect for a day off, spent driving through small towns and stopping in at roadside antique shops.
Pick out some of these pastels:
Neutral suiting takes the adventure and energizing air of the outdoors and combines it with the suave and sensual atmosphere of suits. Brandon Maxwell and ICB take advantage of metallic neutrals with their suits, both of which are ready for the discotheque. Jonathan Simkhai’s suede suiting is perfect for lounging in a cabin deep in the woods, while Vèronique Leroy’s casual suit is great for enjoying tea and reading in the rain. Apiece Apart is the perfect suit for post-yoga matcha and getting your palm read.
Get your hands on these neutrals:
Velvet is the ultimate in luxury, so lounge around and enjoy how good you look in a soft suit of supple scarlet, like Alena Akhmadullina’s. Trussardi’s suit of relaxed rust utilizes a blouse for a pop of pattern, while Dolce & Gabbana’s three piece suit was meant to be worn while whale watching. Meet for a midnight coffee in Mother’s silken silver suit, or take it to go in Altuzarra’s sophisticated style.
Vie for velvet affection with these fabrics:
Check yourself out in a suit of windowpane check, akin to Tory Burch’s, enjoying the last warmth of the early autumn afternoon while walking home from the library or get graphic with 6397’s graph check suit. Take charge in tartan with Bally and Markus Lupfer, perfect for wine tasting in the countryside of Italy, or go for a wintry walk in a thick suit of houndstooth.
Check out these checks and plaids, or refresh yourself with my guide to checks and plaid:
Striped suits are quintessential attire, and versatile too. Versus Versace’s striped suit could be content at a tennis match, while Versace’s pinstriped ensemble and Thom Browne’s suit shorts are the epitome of international business apparel. Adam Selman’s relaxed striped suit is perfect for travelling in style, and Alice+Olivia’s striped suit is great for after-parties and going backstage after concerts.
Strident about stripes? Strip these fabrics from Mood:
Floral patterns bring beauty to attire that’s all about power. At the conjunction of beauty and power is grace, which is clear in these floral suits. Naeem Khan’s floral suit is reminiscent of a deep forest, filled with ancient trees and watchful animals, unfamiliar with the modern world that surrounds their venerable dwelling. Gucci chose a loud floral pattern to execute their refined suit, perfect for sitting at the bar in a Broadway theater, waiting for intermission to end. Zac Posen’s floral brocade makes the perfect suit for garden parties and sipping tea in the shade, while CG’s suit is perfect for mulling over art at the MoMA. Sonia Rykiel’s suit features small bunches of wild flowers, which juxtapose nicely with the sophisticated tone, perfect for wine night with the ladies at the local wine and paint place.
Fascinated by floral? Pick up these fabrics
Will you be stepping out in suits this season? Let me know in the comments!