Let's talk about summer suits! Solid navy, black and gray are the classics, but the warm months lend themselves to lightening things up a bit. White and ivory are tough to wear in winter snow and mud, but this time of year, they're do-able...for some of us brave folks :). Maryse and Charlotte both showed off light-colored suit combos recently, and both ladies used the same super-trendy pairing of white and blush. Charlotte's version, put together for a speaking engagement, was a bit more professional - as one would expect, given the event-, and incorporated pants and pointy toe pumps. Maryse's day-out-with-her-girls look was styled with shorts and her Rockstud pumps. Note: you can probably get away with shorts at the office in certain industries (creative and artistic fields = yes, law and finance = most likely not), if styled in certain ways: done in formal fabric (chino, silk), paired with a blazer or oxford shirt, and if kept to certain lengths (mid-thigh at the shortest). If you're in one of those fields where it's frowned upon, do it Char's way and go for the pants. What pants? Well, white suiting pants or chinos would be high the list. Also an option are cotton or poly blend woven (not knit) fabrics. (Trivia: woven fabrics stretch in only one direction, as opposed to all over, as a knit does. A woven fabric tends to be more substantial (think "not yoga pant"), making it work-appropriate). White denim is a can-do if your office/event leans t the casual side. The critical aspect of all white pants is opacity. Non-see-through only, please! Linings are helpful, but not a guarantee. I strongly encourage checking out all white pants under bright light while holding/wearing first a bright and then a skin-tone fabric underneath to see exactly how much everyone else will see. Recreate Charlotte's look by adding a cami in blush, nude or pale peach (I don't recommend ivory under white as it tends to make the ivory look stained). I'm a big fan of mixing various levels of formality; try a casual tank with a true suit, or a dressier cami with denim and/or linen. Top it with a polished blazer. Charlotte chose a cropped suiting jacket, but a longer length blazer is also fabulous. Definitely consider beautiful, textural linen blazers here! Finish with classic pumps or pointy toe flats. Also, for those of you who, like me, could get dirty in a washing machine, think about doing this combo with tan, sand, or camel; those shades convey the pale freshness of this color combo, while being a bit more forgiving of stainage ;).
While I completely love both Char and Maryse's looks, I would not be able to wear them safely in the real world without first encasing myself completely in a protective layer. Not attractive. Also, defeating of the purpose. I like practical fashion. I like to be able to sit down without first cleansing the surface I'm about to park on and scanning the environment for potential stain hazards like a spy just air-dropped into enemy territory. Consequently, I decided to metamorphosize Maryse's look just a smidge. It's still the shorts-suit thing, but instead of white, I envisioned it done with (much-more-sensible-than-white)gingham shorts :) (If you happen to have a jacket with contrast piping that coordinates with the gingham, you must use it! It's a rule. The Fashion Arbiters will never cease hounding you if you don't. J/k. ...Kind of ;)). No gingham shorts? Fear not, Fashionista! Girls' days can be attended just as fabulously in chambray, neutral twill, linen or upscale denim (think non-ripped, non-torn, non-cutoff pieces in a solid wash) shorts. Top with a cami or tank in one of the colors mentioned above and a blazer. The blazer is crucial; it's what puts the shot of chic in this look by adding refinement to the shorts. Any length you love is do-able, with the one stipulation being that the jacket should be shorter than your shorts. Also note: your blazer and shorts need not match precisely. Feel free to blend a range of neutrals in the same family. Finish with strappy sandals, wedge espadrilles or lace-up flats...and a cute ponytail! I hope this inspires you to try a shorts-suit sometime soon! Happy styling!
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Brie: shoe-lover :) fashion-lover and generally glamorous semi-dork