Soft Suiting – The Power Suit Revamped
March 5, 2014
After years of seeing everything embrace the ‘slim-fit’, ‘tailored’ and body conscious trend this spring we will get a breath of freshness with softer, relaxed, generous cuts and the introduction of the new ‘slouchy silhouette’.
Say farewell to the stiff, fitted and slim lines of Mad Men and hello to the softer fluid lines, longer unconstructed blazers and roomier pants reminiscent of American Gigolo. It is important to point out that this trend is not about being shapeless, boxy or oversized. There remains an elegance with this new style with very clear lines and definition, they just happen to be more fluid than stiff. Here are some tips and ideas on making this new look work for you:
1. The blazer. The focal point of the new suiting, this blazer is all about softer lines in fabrics that cascade like water. This is a rapid departure from the stiffer, close-cut, crisp look of the past few years, but not all of the rules have been abandoned. There are three main points to focus on when distinguishing this look from the past.
The shoulders, while still strong, with the new trend they follow a more natural slope instead of a hard straight line. They will also tend to extend slightly beyond your natural shoulder line.
The cut still follows your shape and sets off your waist, but now it is more generous through the torso and arms. Gone are the extra-slim arms and high armholes. The new blazer has wider arms with a larger armhole giving the piece a more relaxed look.
The overall length of the jacket has risen over the years from covering your butt to sitting at your hips. The new trend has them falling on your lower hip. If middle of the hip is ideal, the new jacket sits just below that, but still not fully covering your butt.
2. The pants. This season we see looser cut pants that still manage to keep their shape and definition. While the new pants are roomier through the hips and thighs they are not tapered, rather they fall in a straight cut. The full width leg makes hemming them paramount. If they are too short you look like you’re wearing high waters, and if they are too long you lose the elegance and just look frumpy and unkempt.
Along with this trend we will see the pajama pant return in full force for casual wear as well as longer Bermuda shorts. There is also one trend I hate to mention, but we are seeing a return of pleats. While they may work great in other forms, I still find pleated pants unflattering. I can only hope that part of the trend passes quickly.
3. Fabrics. This is the last piece of the trend puzzle. To create the fluid look, the fabrics must be soft yet heavy enough to hang and drape. That means you want to look for treated wools, silks and blends of the two. Avoid anything stiff and rigid like cotton and canvas, especially if you opt for pleats. The idea is that the fabrics fall and flow effortless like water.
As the temperatures start to rise this trend will keep you cool and airy, which is perfect for summer in the South. It also works great for all generations and seems ideal for everyone who wants luxury and comfort.
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About Brian Maynor
Brian Maynor has built a reputation as one of the leading style coaches in the Southeast and is quickly expanding his eponymous company, BRIAN MAYNOR and his FIND, FLATTER & FLAUNT line of image consulting services. A professional with a fresh, upbeat and down-to-earth personality and boundless creative energy, he works frequently with with local celebrities; Fortune 500 companies and nonprofit organizations; modeling agencies; fashion designers; production companies; record labels; media and individuals. A regular contributor to various fashion blogs and online communities, Brian Maynor is one of the most trusted and recognized style experts in the region, utilizing his education and training as a broadcast journalist to serve as a style lecturer, emcee, and commentator for over a decade. He has appeared at fashion shows, expos, and charity fundraisers, as well as events with big brands like Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Chico’s and Macy’s. His approach is innovative, creative and fashion-forward, balancing fresh, modern styles with classic pieces to keep one’s look grounded. To learn more, visit http://www.brianmaynor.com.