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Item of the week: the skirt suit

By Rachel Douglass


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(From left) Selected Femme, French Connection, Gentle Herd. Credits: FashionUnited Marketplace.

What it is:

If there was one suit style that really stood its ground for SS24, it was none other than the skirt suit, widely favoured by designers who either referenced eras past or modernised for the present when it came to their own creations. While once worn as a statement of power among women in the workplace, the skirt suit of today has taken on a softer edge, yet details of its history can still be found in the occasional sharp shoulder or rounded silhouette. Now, however, there are less restrictions on what the skirt suit needs to entail, bringing forward a wider variation of styles that appeal to a vast audience.
Madewell. Credits: FashionUnited Marketplace.

Why you’ll want it:

It is this factor that makes the skirt suit so imploring as a current statement wardrobe piece. From maxi skirts to cropped blazers to contrasting textures, brands have begun exploring more variations of the look so that it no longer fits into the tastes of one target group. It also allows the skirt suit to bend the boundaries of clothing categories. While one style may still fall into the formalwear sector, others may cater to eveningwear or link to the casual wardrobe. Such a wide selection allows for retailers to seek out the perfect two-piece that fits with their own identity.
Jennifer Ritz. Credits: FashionUnited Marketplace.

Where we’ve seen it:

SS24 welcomed an influx of highly contrasting skirt suits from a huge number of designers. One notable style choice was the pairing of blazers with matching maxi skirts in flowing shapes – seen at Erdem – giving the suit a gown-like appearance for the eveningwear wardrobe. The 80s, in the meantime, were referenced in a number of varying details. Rounded silhouettes could be seen at Versace and Jason Wu, while high-pointed shoulders – mirroring typical ‘power suits’ – descended onto the runways of Vivienne Westwood and Luar. Chanel, on the other hand, stuck to its classic design values, integrating its staple tweed material into co-ord sets, elevated through lace trimmings and subtle accessorising.
Selected Femme. Credits: FashionUnited Marketplace.

How to style it:

While garments that make up a two-piece can be styled separately, to really make a statement pairing the co-ord items alongside each other is preferred. Here, layering plays an important role in elevating the outfit, and helps to define when the look can be worn. Adding a turtleneck under the blazer allows for it to be suitable for both daytime and nighttime, while a fitted blouse in a contrasting shade can make the attire more formal. Spruce it up with pointed-toe kitten heels for a formal occasion, or keep it casual with sneakers and ankle socks for a day trip out.
Nicowa. Credits: FashionUnited Marketplace.
Skirt suits have become a classic addition to the womenswear wardrobe, sticking close to its feminism-based roots while still moving up with the increasingly modern world.
Vero Moda. Credits: FashionUnited Marketplace.

Similar items available for (pre)order can be found in the FashionUnited Marketplace. You can find them by clicking on this link.
Item of the Week