It’s no secret that the ‘80s power suit has returned. Now, more than ever, women are working to make their voices heard and suiting up in menswear-inspired clothing commands attention. Whether when presenting in a meeting or protesting, double-breasted blazers, tailored trousers, and stark-white collared shirts have once again found their place in the pursuit of female empowerment. But the return of the tailoring trend has brought on many playful iterations, including the short suit, which the fashion scene labeled one of summer’s biggest trends.
Nothing new, necessarily, it’s the Working Girl or Pretty Woman look, modernized for young professionals and style influencers. “I love the short suit because it’s a chic alternative to the traditional women’s pantsuit,” says Caroline Vazzana, a stylist and author of Making it in Manhattan, The Beginner’s Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the World of Fashion. “It’s a younger, cooler version that is versatile enough to go from the office to cocktails while remaining occasion appropriate.”
And just because summer is coming to end, doesn’t mean you need to pack away your separates. “The suit separates can be worn together or separately, so the looks you can create are endless and can work season after season,” Vazzana says. For the office, she suggests a short that is a bit longer in length, like the Bermuda or paper bag style. “The length of the short is key to ensuring your look is office appropriate,” she says. Pair it with a billowy blouse or mock turtleneck and a kitten heel. For cocktails or brunch, she says to go for a classic white sneaker (tube socks optional) or strappy sandal to keep the look more casual. Add tights when the temperature starts to drop.
Whatever you do, have fun with it. “When shopping for a short suit to wear into fall, I’d suggest looking for an option in a print or bold color,” Vazzana says. “Stay away from all-black options because the style is intended to be playful yet refined.” Instead, try plaid, gingham, stripes – hell, even denim works if you wear it well.
Shop some of our favorite shorts suits below.