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Item of the week: the statement suit

By Rachel Douglass

Jan 12, 2022

Fashion

(From left) Image: Scotch & Soda, Premium, Karl Lagerfeld

What it is:

With the uncertainty of lockdowns looming over all of us for almost two years, the workplace has started to feel like a fictional setting. However, as the world inches its way closer to the light at the end of the tunnel, so does this widely talked about ‘new normal’. And what better way to enter this twist on normality than to reshape a classic workplace look into something that is a bit more fitting for this budding way of life. Enter the two-piece trouser suit. This definitive look has seen a major upgrade in recent years, as we move towards a world where smart-casual has outrun the typically neat attire we used to know. Now, suits can be found in an assortment of conspicuous styles, marking the look as an immediate statement-maker and allowing for an outfit option that extends beyond work attire.
Image: The Kooples

Why you’ll want it:

Dramatic lifestyle changes over the past two years have caused consumers to rethink their wardrobe choices, specifically causing less demand for formal wear and more interest in casual attire. The statement suit is the perfect balance between these two lifestyle approaches, offering consumers something that is both work-appropriate yet suitable for daily wear. Many styles offer a pop of colour or fun prints, forming more daring looks that will appeal to the fashion-forward consumer. Others play with the silhouette of a typical suit, implementing belted waists or oversized proportions to transform this classic look. Either way, a statement suit is something that exists as a versatile piece, presenting itself as an item that can translate into the currently unusual times.
Image: Ted Baker

Where we’ve seen it:

If any brand was to be noted for their statement-making two-piece it was Versace. Donatella brought her A-game for the SS22 collection, presenting a runway show inspired by the icon that is the Versace scarf print. Among the latex-like dresses and sparkly minis, an array of striking suits caused a stir, each boasting either daring scarf prints or neon colourways. Stella McCartney also took on the trend with bold colour choices, offering relaxed fit suits with adjustable waistbands. The oversized blazer fit mirrored that of Kenneth Ize’s take on the style. As part of his ready to wear collection, Ize presented a striped multi-layer ensemble complete with a matching high neck shirt. In a major contrast, Armani approached the statement suit with a more classic interpretation. Across the group, suits in the SS22 collections consisted of androgynous tailoring and sleek modernist designs, that brought twists and turns to the traditional trouser suit.
Image: Sandwich

How to style it:

The statement suit is an item that truly speaks for itself. Its ability to stand on its own is just another positive element to it, making it an easy-to-style fit for any season. When putting a look together, consider the occasion that the shopper would wear it. If the suit has the potential to be a workplace staple, pair it up with a loose-fitted shirt or basic turtleneck and ankle boots, for an understated yet stylish appearance. If the occasion is a more cocktail and champagne affair, pair the two-piece with a sparkly cami and strappy heels to bring the look into a nighttime one. When opting for a more daily-appropriate outfit, layer up more comfortable items, such as a casual shirt underneath a sweater.
Image: Na-kd
When thinking about the transition from continuous lockdowns to a ‘new normal’, the suit is something that has been transformed into the perfect lifestyle crossover. The statement suit has made its way into multiple designer collections and has twisted the formality originally linked to the typical workplace attire. It can help a customer find their identity, just as the world begins to open up and life comes back knocking.
Image: Scotch & Soda

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