Throughout history, fashion has served as a faithful comrade to female empowerment. In the roaring ‘20s, flappers renounced corsets, favouring straighter cuts and raised hemlines – a liberating movement that broke away from long withstanding, constricted ideals towards “how women should dress”.
Flash forward to the ‘80s, and we’ve got two words: shoulder pads. Mimicking that of men’s suits, women’s pantsuits sported structured masculine shoulders which were meant to give women a heightened sense of unprecedented confidence at the workplace.
And here we are today, with inspiring women everywhere persistently pushing boundaries with great agency… Which got us thinking: Considering the multifaceted fashion environment of our current times, how do the urbane women of today wear their power? One trend, in particular, stood out: Suits with relaxed, feminine tailoring.
Displaying soft relaxed lines, flattering cinched waistlines, and contemporary details such as asymmetrical cuts or delicate ruching, the suits trending today make themselves work for the women wearing them; who are in this case, women who run meetings, pick their kids up from school, conquer a quick grocery shop run, and take on the bustling city – all while looking chic in a pragmatic outfit.
Unfussy and minimalist, the resounding message we got from these suits is pretty clear-cut: You can embrace your own femininity AND demand authority at the same time.
Get started on curating your very own smart work wardrobe and invest in these designer suits right this instant.
Photo: Matches Fashion, Farfetch and Net-a-porter
Made from a beige wool-blend twill and crafted with oversized sleeves and ‘80s-inspired power shoulders, this blazer from Acne Studios showcases the brand’s modern reimagination of the woman’s suit. Seen with a cinched waist, this blazer goes perfectly with its matching high-rise palazzo trousers. Show off the eclectic energy of this number by teaming it with an artful sculptural bag and square toe heels.
Acne Studios Onesta cinched-waist wool-blend jacket, S$2,145; Acne Studios Pristine pleated wool-blend wide-leg trousers, S$935; both from Matches Fashion
Photo: Matches Fashion
We’d be lying if we said that this spectacular retro green suit didn’t hold our attention the second it emerged on the runway of Givenchy’s Fall ‘19 show. Sporting defined rounded shoulders that gave it an air of freshness amongst other sharper-cut boxy shoulders we were so used to seeing, the blazer is emblazoned down the front with antique-looking buttons that showcase hand-painted crests.
Style this suit with a pair of ornate earrings to enhance the architectural shape of the curved shoulders.
Givenchy belted technical-wool blazer, S$4,670; Givenchy belted straight-leg twill trousers, S$1,690; both from Matches Fashion
Photo: Matches Fashion
This bright yellow suit from Jacquemus’s F/W ‘19 will keep you walking on the sunny side. The jacket features strong shoulders, a low V-neckline and a flattering slouchy silhouette that team perfectly with the tailored wide-leg trousers. Style this with a turtleneck underneath the jacket and a pair of statement pointed toe pumps in a bold print for a day at the office.
Jacquemus La Veste Bergamo blazer, S$935; Jacquemus le Pantalon Moyo, S$679; both from Mytheresa
Leave it to Prada to make us fall in love with a skirt suit at first sight. The checked blazer showcases feminine pleats on one side to create an asymmetrical look – a detail mirrored by the complementing midi skirt that is also cut with pleats at the side.
Wear the blazer with the arms pulled up to the elbows to create a ruching “puffy sleeve” effect, and team the entire number with chunky soled ankle boots for a sensible and edgy look.
Prada belted blazer jacket, US$4,120 from Farfetch; Prada Prince of Wales-checked wool-blend midi skirt, S$2,060 from Matches Fashion
Photo: Matches Fashion and Farfetch
Inspired by ‘70s retro checks, this stunning suit features a longline blazer that’s split down the centre with checks in juxtaposing colour schemes. Crafted from wool-blend pique to keep you warm and snug against the office AC, this suit comes with a straight-cut midi skirt with a high slit that rides up to the middle of the thigh to allow for ease of movement.
Style this with a knee-high boots and chunky earrings for a statement look.
Staud Pepper faux pearl-embellished belted checked wool-blend blazer, US$350 (S$476.23); Staud Simone belted checked wool-blend pique midi skirt, US$245; both from Net-a-porter
Get on board with the shorts trend by opting for this chic wool-silk co-ord from Khaite. Featuring a blazer that’s tapered at the waist for a contemporary silhouette and matching high-waisted knee-length shorts.
This reinvented classic looks modern and chic, and we’re styling ours with the blazer unbuttoned over a crop top, and a pair of quilted pumps.
Khaite Kendall checked blazer, US$2,632; Khaite Ruby checked shorts, US$1,224; both from Farfetch
Monse offers an unorthodox approach to classical elegant tailoring with this asymmetrical suit in herringbone wool-blend. The jacket showcases the brand’s expert construction with an off-the-shoulder on one side that’s supported by a bone structure, and a gathered panel that drapes one the other side for a balanced look.
The trousers are also noteworthy, with its offset tailoring that features a contrasting brown panel spliced slightly above the grey herringbone panel. Style this chic number with minimalist naked sandals with multiple ankle straps.
Monse asymmetric herringbone wool-blend blazer, US$2,931.04; Monse cropped paneled herringbone wool-blend straight-leg pants, US$1,521.45; both from Net-a-porter
Rejina Pyo’s white wool blazer features fuss-free, contemporary lines bolstered by the lack of traditional collars and a tapered waistline. Its minimalist appeal is perfected with the use of the statement metallic gold button that secures the blazer at the front.
Team it with matching high-rise flare-kick trousers that offers a sleeker cropped hem and finish the look with modern strappy kitten heels and a ‘90s baguette bag.
Rejina Pyo collarless blazer jacket, US$1,205; Rejina Pyo high-rise kick-flare trousers, US$874; both Farfetch
Displaying a laid back yet polished approach to tailoring, this blazer from Lemaire comes in a boxy silhouette that owes itself to the stiff, warm-pressed wool blend fabric and structured shoulders. The high-rise trousers features a subtle buckled tab at the back to cinch the waist so that it hugs the lower body in the most flattering way, and wide cuffs that are folded up.
We’re taking styling cues from the brand’s Fall ‘19 show and styling this relaxed number with a button-up shirt underneath with statement pointed collars peeking out over the blazer.
Lemaire patch-pocket wool-blend blazer, S$1,945; Lemaire high-rise wool-blend trousers, S$955; both from Matches Fashion
Photo: Matches Fashion
We love relaxed takes on suiting because a) we get to style oversized suits with sneakers, and b) it looks immaculate without appearing stuffy. This oversized co-ord from Raey features a wool silk-blend blazer featuring feminine lapels and soft feel trousers that have pleats at the waistband.
Leave the blazer unbuttoned and style this pant suit with something more body-fitting like a bralette to balance out the proportions.
Raey oversized collarless wool-blend blazer; S$675; Raey wide-leg wool-blend-blend trousers, S$555; both from Matches Fashion
Photo: Matches Fashion