In the age of social media, it's challenging to keep your outfits looking fresh, unique, and on point all at the same time. But if there was a look you could easily cop without looking repetitive, it's the pantsuit. We've noticed that celebrities and bloggers alike are using the handy pantsuit as a fallback for any and every occasion. Got a last-minute dinner out with friends? Pantsuit. What about a semi-formal event? Pansuit. Running out of travel OOTD ideas? Pantsuit.
For those who need to brush up on their fashion history, the origins of the pantsuit can be traced back to Chanel's revolutionary tweed suit that changed the way women dressed for work. Fast forward to the late 1970s, author John T. Molloy wrote a book titled Dress for Success, which gave birth to the idea of power dressing.
Power dressing aimed to establish women as respectable, authoritative figures in the workplace by resembling the men's work fashions at that time. Hence, the tailored jacket and knee-length skirt that were typically rendered in "male" colors like navy and black. Obviously, that antiquarian idea of mimicking the opposite sex just to affirm your power has evolved since then, making the pantsuit designs as creative as they are now. Think: pretty pastels, shiny fabrics, lush velvets, and the brightest, boldest colors ever.
Yep, the pantsuit has proven to withstand the test of time, and given its history, sporting one today is a pretty badass statement of female prowess. Here are the many modern ways you can wear a powerful pantsuit:
1. Play it safe with classic black.
Here's the deal with black pantsuits: They may be the safest color to choose, but there is the risk of looking a little drab—and we wouldn't want that. The trick to keep your look interesting is to play with proportions. As seen above, you could wear slim trousers with a relaxed jacket that doesn't skim too close to your body. Another important thing to keep in mind is to choose bold accessories. As seen on Jess Connelly, a bold red lip looks stunning with an all-black ensemble. A surefire way to add drama.
2. Try a cropped jacket.
From the pantsuit's early iterations characterized by stiff tailoring and masculine references comes the new breed of fabulous, feminine pantsuits that embrace every woman's individuality. A prime example would be the pantsuit featuring a cropped jacket. Recently, there have been designs in satiny finishes, as seen on Liza Soberano and Janeena Chan. You can sport one with a tank top or tube top underneath.
3. Inject some feminine flair.
For those who love accessorizing, this tip's for you. While it's often perceived that being covered up doesn't leave any room for a few accessories, you can defy this by strategically adorning yourself in the right places. Case in point: Camille Co topped off her look with a baby blue headband and matched her white earrings with her strappy shoes. On the other hand, you can also glam up a cream-colored pantsuit with a lace-trimmed camisole and simple gold jewelry.
4. Choose one statement accessory.
If you're a minimalist and find yourself gravitating towards nude hues and autumnal colors (rust orange, yeah?), you can style your pantsuit with one standout accessory, like Pia Wirtzbach's white pumps or get away with no jewelry at all by cinching your waist with a thick belt as seen on Camille Co.
5. Be bold by mixing bright colors.
Say it with us: Your pantsuit look is only limited by your imagination. That being said, just because pantsuits are essentially monochromatic, that doesn't mean you can't throw in a few more colors here and there. Case in point: Liz Uy tempered her neon green fare with a silk pink camisole that adds a dash of romance to an otherwise blindingly bright OOTD.
6. Give padded shoulders a try.
The pantsuit was popularized in the '80s; it's an outfit that the decade was best known for. You can modernize padded shoulders by layering your pantsuit with collared buttondowns, a turtleneck, and throw on a pair of chic sunglasses. Basically, this technique results in edginess and can border on androgynous as seen in the navy blue pantsuit above. Don't you think it's a tongue-in-cheek nod to the past when women had to dress like men? We love a playful look! On the other hand, if you aren't a fan of layering, you can simply wear a white T-shirt and sleek pumps for a more feminine vibe.
7. Wear it with a sheer top... or nothing at all.
Usually, a striking outfit consists of contrasts. It's the unexpected details that add drama. Take the chic white pantsuit for example. What would normally be worn with, say, a tank top or a white T-shirt is switched for a sheer mock-neck top that oozes with sex appeal. A tailored pantsuit + skin exposure = a good contrast. And that effect gets even more real when you wear nothing underneath your jacket.
8. Throw in your streetwear.
As mentioned earlier, pantsuits are great because of their versatility. That being said, you can wear it even on casual days or when you're feeling too lazy to curate an outfit. It's a good cheat. And, it's especially great for streetwear enthusiasts who can't leave home without their favorite kicks. Check out the Converse sneakers and dad sneakers as seen above. It totally works!
9. Pair with pointy pumps.
Yup, it seems that pumps are the foolproof way to complete a pantsuit, for the simple reason that it juts out from the bottom of your pants. This successfully lengthens your silhouette, making you look taller even though you're all covered up. If heels aren't really your thing, you can opt for boots that are just as pointed.
10. Loosen up in relaxed silhouettes.
Here's the only exception to the "contrasting elements" rule: you can only get away with zero drama if you bask in the insouciance of it all. Yup, it takes attitude to get away with a slouchy pantsuit like Gigi Hadid's. Here, she paired hers with equally tomboyish Oxford shoes. On the other hand, you can also play up the chill vibe by slinging a canvas tote bag just because you can.