Women in Suits: Style, History, and Tons of Inspiration

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Ottolinger

Ottolinger

When I started my first internship, my mom insisted I buy a suit to wear on the days when I didn’t want to get dressed and needed guidance. To be honest, the suit did indeed satisfy a distinct wardrobe need. It was automatic confidence-boosting dressing. There’s something about the intentional sharpness of a suit set that makes you feel like you can conquer the world (or at least the cubical).

Whether you work in an office or not, I think we can all appreciate the draw of an impressive set (even if these days, that’s the all-too-familiar sweat set). Though a blazer and slacks comprise a typical suit set, it doesn’t end there. These days, they are available in a multitude of styles. Ahead, I’ve rounded up eight types of suits fit for every fashion sense. 

The Patchwork Suit

Mecca James-Williams in a patchwork suit

Mecca James-Williams

I remember when stylist Mecca James-Williams posted this photo of herself wearing Rowing Blazer’s patchwork suit and tee. It stood out to me because I love patchwork jackets and have envisioned pairing one with matching trousers as James-Williams did. The fun thing about patchwork is you can pair similar jackets and pants together, even if they’re not technically one suit.

The Colorful Suit

Naomi Elizée in a green suit

Naomi Elizée

Vogue Market Editor Naomi Elizée wears this bright green metallic suit effortlessly. This look can be paired with skin tone flip flops and a basket bag. On the flip side, you could pull the outfit together with nude-colored pumps and a beaded clutch.

The White Suit

Bianca Jagger in a white suit

Getty Images / Express Newspapers 

Bianca Jagger looks stunning in this white suit. The look is equal parts structured and sharp. Jagger styles it perfectly with a white shirt, black pussy-bow collar, pointed white pumps, dark aviator sunglasses, and a skinny belt. 

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The Better-Together-But-Still-Good-Separate Suit

Ottolinger yellow suit

Ottolinger

Matching sets will never go out of style, but sometimes jackets and pants need to shine on their own. Investing in separates will ensure that you always have something to wear.

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The Laid Back Slouchy Suit

Blanca Miro in a slouchy suit

Blanca Miro

Vasquiat’s Co-Founder and Fashion Director Blanca Miro is wearing a Hope Stockholm suit, a brand that makes everyday timeless wardrobe staples. With cool unexpected detailing, this outfit has a unique feel that will make your co-workers do a double-take.

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The Oversized 90s Suit

Julia Roberts suit

Getty Images / Steve Granitz

Julia Roberts looks cool and chic in this loose-fitting suit. While you can’t see her shoes, I imagine pairing this elevated business look with a pair of combat boots, white sneakers, or even pumps. 

The Occasion Suit 

occasion suit - dries van noten

Getty Images / Victor Boyk

When I think of the perfect occasion suit, my brain goes immediately to Dries Van Noten. For black-tie events, I love a suit with structured shoulders and billowy pants like this one from Dries Van Noten. Occasion suits like this are a great investment— you can break it apart and style it countless ways. 

The Loud Suit

Gucci checkered suit

Gucci

Round out your suit collection with statement prints. This checker-print one from Gucci is playful, intentional, and sharp. While this look is dressed up, an all-over print suit can be toned down. You can pair it with a sweatshirt and sneakers for a more casual vibe. 

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