Suit up

Red linen-viscose mix blazer (left). Red tasselled earrings (right, top). Beaded necklace (right, bottom).
Red linen-viscose mix blazer (left). Red tasselled earrings (right, top). Beaded necklace (right, bottom). PHOTOS: ASOS, COS, ZARA, TOPSHOP, H&M
From left to right: Patterned blazer and wide-leg trousers. Double breasted jacket and flared trousers. Burgundy blazer and matching trousers. Grey wool-blend tapered trouser and oxblood fringed loafers.
From left to right: Patterned blazer and wide-leg trousers. Double breasted jacket and flared trousers. Burgundy blazer and matching trousers. Grey wool-blend tapered trouser and oxblood fringed loafers.

Fashion designers have refreshed the suit for women

Why you should wear it:

Fashion designers such as Givenchy, Chloe and Saint Laurent have refreshed the androgynous suit (yet again) with sharp and tailored but still feminine lines.

Mr Leslie Chia, 47, creative director and founder of Pimabs Bespoke Menswear, thinks women should invest in suits. He says: "A classic and well-made bespoke pantsuit will never go out of style."

How to pick one:

A tailor-made suit gives you options to customise everything, from the width of the lapels to the blazer lining and pattern of the fabric. That said, you can add personality to an off-the-rack suit by changing its buttons, for example.

Whether you choose to tailormake a suit or buy it off the rack depends on your budget, but make sure it fits you well.

Suits can be worn even in Singapore's humid weather.

Ms Eileen Soh, a marketing manager in luxury fashion, wears a suit to work almost every day. She recommends shopping for unlined blazers as they are lighter in weight and more breathable. Then again, she points out, over-heating is not something most corporate types need to worry about, as "we are cocooned in air-conditioning most of the day".

Ms Soh, who is in her late 20s, encourages mixing and matching the colour of your jacket and pants for a personalised look: "A classic two-piece suit is not the most exciting. Pair a blazer with skinny pants or straight cigarette-leg pants and a great pair of shoes."

Ms Melanie Mak, 33, a Topshop personal shopper, suggests choosing bright colours or prints for a modern look. Materials such as viscose are "soft, comfortable and highly absorbent" - ideal for Singapore's weather.

To take a suit from work to play, all you need are some well-edited accessories.

Ms Esther Quek, 32, a magazine group fashion and beauty director who is known for wearing chic suits, offers some tips:

• Add an interesting boutonniere on the lapel buttonhole or wear a pocket square to work. For play, wear your highest stilettos and roll up the jacket sleeves to just below the elbow. A great shoulder bag or statement clutch, simple necklace and earrings will jazz things up.

• Longer blazers (those that end below the buttocks) are more formal. Keep jackets that end at or above the hip for casual events.

• What shoes to wear with a suit? Heels are great for elongating the legs. Loafers and sneakers are acceptable too.


Red linen-viscose mix blazer, $73.43, Asos, www.asos.com, grey wool-blend tapered trouser, £79 (S$170), Cos, www.cosstores.com

Pick a bright blazer when you want to make an impression. Make it tomboy-cool by pairing it with tapered trousers, like the one below, and shiny brogues.


Red tasselled earrings, $12.90, H&M

Add some boudoir chic to a mannish suit with these earrings.


Beaded necklace, $59.90, Zara

A showy necklace will make the plainest of suits party-ready.


Patterned blazer, $139, and wide-leg trousers, $49.90, both from Zara

Look smart casual in this blazer and wide-legged navy trousers combination. Slip on sneakers for instant insouciance.


Double breasted jacket, $149, and flared trousers, $89.90, both from Topshop, sg.topshop.com

A pastel pink suit is not for the faint of heart since it can be a statement-making look. Stake out some Miami Nice in strappy heeled sandals.


Burgundy blazer, $159, and matching trousers, $119, both from H&M

Channel the 1970s with a burgundy pantsuit. Heels or platforms? You decide.


Oxblood fringed loafers, $119, Topshop, sg.topshop.com

Worn with a suit, flat shoes can be just as dressy as heels, provided they have some shine. These oxblood loafers are not too dark and boring, yet not too bright for conservative offices.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 01, 2015, with the headline 'Suit up'. Print Edition | Subscribe