Monday, November 22, 2010

I Would If I Could Part IV: Pantsuits!

Theoretically I'm truly in my element. Pantsuits! I love them. I am enthralled by the way they break apart, reassemble, add, multiply, divide. You give a pantsuit an assignment, i.e., an occasion, and no other combination in the closet executes the the mission with such aplomb.

Before you start thinking, "Maybe, but that's not true for all pantsuits." I admit, you are correct, but that's where individual style enters into the equation. They must be chosen with care and intelligence. They are the true workhorses of a wardrobe and for them to morph into multi-taskers, its essential to get the basics in house before venturing out to models that might not work throughout the day into evening. 

You have long ago decided upon your basic color favorites. Maybe you prefer gray or navy over black. Fine. In that case, make sure you have a clean, classic pantsuit in your personal palette, always pristine, pressed and ready to wear. The shape is your call, but the more precisely, well tailored without the bells and whistles, is always the best fallback choice for all occasions. Once your best friend is ready and waiting, you can add a new version every year or so.

If you want to take a gray flannel into evening, put gray lace under the jacket or a pewter lurex T-shirt, add strappy sandals or a jewel-toned satin pump; bijoux, small bag, and out the door. For navy, lace always works, this time it could be in white or cream or navy, of course -- so sophisticated -- and voila. For those of us locked into black as our basic, we already know the infinite possibilities.

On this virtual shopping expedition, I discovered there were not as many pantsuits available in the collections as I would have hoped. I did take many to my virtual dressing room as you can see. My three favorites are at the top. My rejects below. As you know from last week, I am only allowing myself one item from each category of clothing. Minimal is my mission.

And, the winners are. . .

Bottega Veneta

This may have been the most difficult decision to date. Strictly speaking, I more or less own the gray Chloe ensemble, including the coat, and also the silky Bottega Veneta although I have worn it to death and will have to have it remade. Therefore, the mix-up of camel and reddish brown, with the unique style of the jacket from Chloe is my final choice. I have never owned anything remotely like it and think it is remarkable.

And the rejects are:

1.) Marc Jacobs -- The princess style of the jacket almost made it into the finals.
2.)Hermes -- Yes, I know, very masculine in its presentation, but easily broken apart.
3.) Akris
4.) Balmain -- The cut of the jacket is all wrong for me.
5.) Akris
6.) Stella McCartney -- The tunic top is an interesting, unexpected twist on the pantsuit. And, yes, of course, with something beneath unless she would add a gray flannel dickie ( I love that word) for special clients.


Duchesse said...

Loooove the Stella tunic almost-pantsuit (tought I'd need pants with wider legs!; many pantsuits too mannish for me. I have heard young men in business call them "those middle-aged women's clothes" and in my large city I rarely see a woman in her 20's in one, they prefer skirted suits or unmatched pants with jacket.

Deja Pseu said...

I too love that Stella McCartney version. Nice twist.

Our work culture here has dialed down the formality, and my once trusty uniform of a pantsuit now feels way too serious for the office. But for the symphony or a fancier night out, I sometimes throw on my tuxedo jacket over black trousers and a liquid pewter silk charmeuse tee, and it works.

metscan said...

I don´t like pant suits, never even tried one on. I don´t have occasions to wear them, and I find them a bit too masculine. Sorry, I´ll pass.

That's Not My Age said...

Great selection - I do love the androgynous look and have a lovely Margaret Howell trouser suit - my dream is to one day own a YSL tuxedo. How chic would that be?

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

Metscan and I are in the same camp here...I feel they are too awkward to wear as I have a probelmatic figure.

If I did have more height I'd be tempted, Stella would be my choice.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I love that grey suit in the second picture. Diane

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