The New Suit

The New Suit

The pace at work is getting almost unbearable and the spring refuses to arrive both in Tallinn and Brussels, but I’ve been cheered up by these pictures of my Tallinn Dolls by Karolin Kuusik suit. Although taken a while back, I’ve just received them from the photographer: in time to (hopefully) offer some inspiration for your spring wardrobe shopping.

For years, the coordinating suit has been the most boring way to dress, but this is changing. People and brands are rethinking both skirt suits and pant suits – and often calling them co-ords, to avoid the dreaded S-word. Probably the most obvious way to do The New Suit this spring is the pink pant suit, as demonstrated by the fabulous Pandora Sykes and the famous Harry Styles. Pink is (again) the colour of the season, so I predict there will be a reasonably good selection of suits to choose from.

It’s obviously not the only way to do it, though. I’m really liking this yellow Topshop version, for example. Cropped pants one feature to look out for, double-breasted boxy jackets and non-neutral colours are others. The suit has to be saying loud and clear that even if it’s related to the grey, classic suits of the past, it has since moved on. And has basically stopped calling, except maybe around Christmas.

One way to demonstrate this is to take the sporty route. Athleisure is possibly the biggest megatrend of recent years and is not going anywhere. My mint green skirt suit is influenced by sportswear both in fabric and in shape. Then again, because there’s a skirt, there is no mistaking it for actual sport clothing. It’s comfortable and fun and the striking colour combination never fails to make people smile.

I’m wearing it here with Adidas Gazelle sneakers that I believe are pretty perfect for styling the suit in a more casual way. You could (and I have) smarten it up with a blazer and a proper shoe – I have a pair of pink Zara ones with a block silver heel that work well. If you want to tone it down, a neutral nude pump is an option. It might still be a stretch for a conservative work place, but would not look out of place in many modern offices. I think the hoodie/sweatshirt under a blazer thing will become completely unremarkable in office wear very soon.

Pictured: Tallinn Dolls by Karolin Kuusik suit, Adidas sneakers. MUAH by Lana Vallo studio, photo Marin Sild.


Add yours
  1. 1

    Gorgeous colours, great style! I agree with you about how dull traditional suits often are, self-consciously proclaiming,, it always seems to me, that the wearer is An Important Woman, someone who takes herself seriously. Your “new suit” is pretty, light-hearted and practical, because (I imagine) comfortable to infinity and back, and easily washable, at least by hand. I was thinking, that my life is moving beyond the need for even a new suit, but then I thought, “Well, why?” I don’t have to wear it for work, after all. All the things I’ve just said above apply when I travel. I’m off to search for fabric …

    By the way, I’m looking at a kimono hanging on my bedroom door. It arrived yesterday, and it needs dry cleaning, but that didn’t stop me from wearing it last night. I love it!

    • 2

      Ooooh, so excited to hear about the kimono! What does it look like?

      And you’re right about my suit – it’s comfortable and low maintenance, but high in impact. I do occasionally like a classic suit, too (tweed, for example). The thing is that these were easier to pull off when I was in my twenties, now it can look like I’m taking things too seriously.

  2. 3

    Mine, I suspect, is a more “everyday” kimono than yours. It has an all-over pattern of hexagons, each embroidered with some different pattern, in colours of green gold, gold, burnt umber, dull orange—you get the idea. Dying leaves, is what I thought when l saw it in person, though my friend kindly said, “Not dying, autumn!” Hmmm….comes to the same thing, in my opinion. The hexagons are joined by a narrow band of very dark navy blue, which makes the whole thing perfect to wear over a plain navy dress I have in heavy, dull satin. The lining that shows is a lovely tangerine colour. I have to say that I like it as well with jeans as with my formal dresses, and I will wear it with both. I wanted a black kimono, but a Japanese friend talked me out of that–apparently black is very formal. Since I never intend to wear my kimono in the Japanese way, I couldn’t see that it mattered much, but she seemed adamant, and I decided not to die in a ditch on that one. I’m very happy with my choice. Thank you for that cool idea. I will always cite you when I wear it.

    • 4

      This honestly sounds amazing. And I cannot help feeling very satisfied that my style advice is being quoted on the other side of the globe!

  3. 5

    Amazing colour on you and rather wonderful suit. See I wish I could carry this sort of thing off but I never manage to. Agree though that a softer or hipper alternative to traditional office wear is emerging in many guises including a personal favourite wearing a statement skinny t shirt with a more traditional S thing. Also something a lawyer can just about get away with! I might try an athleisure inspired sweatshirt too now- thanks for the inspiration. Hope work pressure eases up.

    • 6

      Thank you! Of course there are limits to what one can do, depending the specific office. That’s half of the fun with the work clothes, I think – trying to find those ways of making them more fashion/modern, without pushing things too far. T-shirts are certainly indispensable when attempting this, as are great flats. Any especially good t-shirts you’d recommend?

  4. 7

    Wonderful pictures and styling, and what a fantastic look! I love suits (dress or skirt suits) – I don’t need to wear them for work, but I like the formality and the co-ordination of them at certain times. My favourites are a primrose yellow knock-off Chanel (I know, classy) and a black and white jacket and skirt that are quite voluminous (I fondly refer to that one as my Balenciaga, in the manner of Mr B’s sack-back dresses and jackets). I get a hugely enjoyable sense of dressing up when I wear them, and I would love a really nipped-in tweed suit as well, but wearing tweed to a university job can look a little too parodic. But then some days that’s what work feels like, so I really should get one. To be worn with an enormous cameo brooch and very high hair!

    • 8

      Your suits sound wonderful and I think it’s OK to copy the classic Chanel jacket by now. Otherwise it’d be OK only to buy Burberry trench coats, too. I’m very much lusting after a yellow Chanel-ish suit now, thanks to you.

      I’ve always thought the best time to wear very traditional suits (anything classic, really) is when quite young, as it automatically makes them look less dated. Not that it’s impossible to wear them after turning 35, but one needs to be more careful with the styling. At least this is how I feel. Which means, paradoxically, that my style is generally getting more casual as I grow up.

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