“I see a lot of familiar faces here tonight including one or two who inexplicably haven’t been accused of sleeping with me.”
Fitz, the American president in one of my once favorite TV shows jokes at a White House Correspondents Dinner. He’s following Olivia Pope’s advice that he should mock his own image. Laughing at himself would have made it impossible for all that criticized his marital failings to laugh at him.
It worked on that show, and it seems to have worked for Hillary Clinton’s fashion sense as well. “To my supporters, to my champions – to my sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits – from the bottom of my heart: Thank you.” Clinton joked at her fashion critics – most unimpressed by her pantsuits, and by her occasional makeup-less public appearance – in a Democratic National Convention address about 7 years ago.
Several years now, Clinton has not only pacified her critics but also triumphantly turned them into appraisers. Her cobalt blue suit from a campaign speech on Roosevelt Island sometime this year is said to have been “ a youthful yet elegant statement in power dressing,” and by Vogue no less.
At Ysttyle, we love Clinton’s fashion sense, for its vogue-ness, but much more for her staunch commitment to a personally defined aesthetic. Below find ways to dress up your pantsuit wardrobe to exude the chic and power you’re seeking when you go for the pant suit in the first place.
1. Add to your black pantsuits
Black is elegant and powerful, but it’s also neutral, and no, you will probably not be the best dressed person in the room. Diversify
Consider navies and dark hues of lively colors – such as green, blue and purple – if you’d rather err on the conservative.
If best dressed is your thing, a crisp white suit – or a rich cream one – is a must have. Dress this without an inner blouse, or with a similarly colored blouse in a satin or silk finish.
Bright suits in orange, red or yellow will work well for cheer-filled events during the day or during the evening, especially when dressed up with the right pair of neutral heels.
They are probably not a good bet for a conservative work place though.
2. Stand apart with patterns
The right patterns will set you apart from every pantsuited person.
Sparsely patterned fabrics might work for the entire suit but we prefer (and you might want to start out with) patterned separates – solid colored pants with a patterned blazer or with a solid colored blazer with a patterned neckline, or patterned pants with a solid colored blazer.
3.Embrace stylish cuts
Find sophisticated alternatives to the classic 2-button full-sleeve and V-neck blazer.
Try tuxedo-inspired blazers with plunging V-neck and style these with a body chain, go for asymmetrical V-neck blazers or those with a zipped front. Try half or three-quarter-sleeve blazers and those with a flared peplum cut.
Pair these with cropped pants worn with dainty heels, with wide legged pants worn with block heels, or with skinny pants worn with pointed pumps.
To go the entire bold way, you might even replace a pantsuit with a neutral-colored jumpsuit –suit pants
A body harness will work well with a plunging neckline, especially one worn with no blouse. Pearls will work with conservative suits, or with bold ones that seek to reclaim conservative-ness.
On the not so warm days we totally recommend a stylish scarf.