Business suits are having a major sartorial moment in 2017, and we're definitely on board with the office-friendly, forward-thinking trend as working women keen on fashion. Indeed, there's now an entirely fresh batch of work outfit ideas to consider. As Who What Wear editor Lauren Eggersten observes, many of the best runway looks of the season happened to take note of office attire. "Both the fall 2017 and spring 2018 runways brought out updated suiting of all kinds, thanks to designers like Victoria Beckham, Celine, Ellery, and more," she notes.
So "what was once thought of as a dated office ensemble has now taken on a new meaning."
While the traditional ensemble may conjure up clichéd images of an unflattering uniform that stifles personal style, expression, and comfort, business suits for women are gaining a whole new clout in the office setting as well as the fashion industry. Now, it's all about playing up your own sense of style and prioritizing comfort throughout the workday while still feeling refined and somewhat formal. In fact, Eggersten says "we're seeing the trend paired with sneakers, graphic T-shirts, and funky jewelry.
It's the subtle styling touches like those that are making suits officially cool again." So for a fashion editor–approved take on the classic office getup, scroll through the 13 suiting options below, and find the aesthetic that speaks best to your wardrobe, as well as your boss vibe.
Cotton Candy Comfort
Tapered trousers and blazers know how to have fun when they boast this shade of blush baby pink. Pair it with a clean, sleek pair of sneakers for the perfect mix of formality and casual cool.
The Style Boss Vibe: Practical, upbeat, and steady.
Grownup School Uniform
This matching set takes notes from the business suit tradition, though it offers a more contemporary design. The asymmetrical ruffle skirt and statement sleeves bring some playfulness to the neutral-hued plaid fabric. Wear it with loafers, or introduce a pair of metallic kitten heels for a little kick.
The Style Boss Vibe: Bubbly and charismatic with a serious side.
Channel Annie Hall by reimagining the tradition. With a classic button-down white shirt and overlay plaid bustier, this top is thoroughly on trend, and when paired with simple black loafers and matching trousers, you'll be ready for anything.
The Style Boss Vibe: Unconventional, forward-thinking, and always on the go.
If you're not sure the pantsuit look is for you, try a matching set that feels flirty and business-appropriate. Pair it with a sweater and a blazer, and then swap in jeans for the skirt for a night out.
The Style Boss Vibe: Elegant, bold, and retro-inspired with a modern twist.
This baby blue pantsuit is taking style notes from Hallie as Annie in The Parent Trap. Remember when she spends the day exploring London and shadowing her beyond fabulous, wedding dress–designing mother? This is basically what she wore, which is good enough a reason for us take it out for a spin. Give it a grown-up, au courant edge with a soft tee like this one.
The Style Boss Vibe: Optimistic, savvy, and ambitious. (Again, we'd be lying if we didn't say we were inspired by Hallie as Annie.)
All-black suiting can feel a little severe, but that is not the case here. On the contrary, it's full of independent spirit and chic design with impeccable draping, whimsical details (that button and those sleeves…), and high-quality materials. Add a pair of vintage-inspired earrings for a slight pop of color, and then head out the door.
The Style Boss Vibe: Determined, original, and sharp with a sense of whimsy.
Out of all the colors of the rainbow, red knows how to make a statement. Warm up the clean-lined, crimson-hued trousers with a textured tweed jacket. Highlight the edgy stud embellishments by wearing a pair of pounded metal earrings.
The Style Boss Vibe: High-energy, goal-oriented, and fearless.
There will always be days when you just want to wear the basics without having to think, and that's okay. Funk up a simple houndstooth or plaid midi, and pair it with hip, daring outerwear like this organza blazer. The turtleneck keeps the look feeling grounded, and there's something effortlessly cool about opting for an unexpected neutral like chocolate brown, too.
The Style Boss Vibe: Imaginative and quirky.
With flared sleeves and pants, this is the suit we'd wear if we woke up feeling as groovy and disco-hungry as John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever on the day of an important business meeting (let's be real, there's no better pump-up song than "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees). But despite the ode to the '70s, there's also something distinctly futuristic about the shape.
The Style Boss Vibe: Creative, strong-willed, and magnetic.
Dresses are just so easy when you want to throw something on and get on with your morning commute. The double-breasted pinstripe blazer adds a chic contrast to the clean-cut shift, though it's versatile to wear with pretty much anything. Just grab your top-handle purse, and be on your way.
The Style Boss Vibe: Calm, wise, hard-working, and poised.
This is what we imagine Corduroy the bear to wear if he were a fashion-savvy CEO. The olive tones bring a kind spirit to the look, complementing the regal, plush fabric perfectly. To add a little touch of runway-bound sensibilities to the outfit, carry a sophisticated bucket bag, and slide into some V-cut kitten-heel mules.
The Style Boss Vibe: Patient, caring, and full of integrity.
The dramatic, oversized length of this blazer, the two-town loafer heels, and the mod A-line skirt remind us of Winona Ryder's Veronica Sawyer in Heathers, but with far less lethal teen angst in the mix. It's the perfect mix of on-trend style and wearability.
The Style Boss Vibe: Spunky, confident, and organized.
Well look at you, you ray of sunshine amid a sea of excel algorithms, growth projections, and expense reports. Jokes aside, a yellow pantsuit takes confidence and delight, so this is the perfect option for anyone passionate about boosting morale and sartorial experimentation. If you want to tone down the cheer and whimsy without drowning our that enviable eccentricity, opt for avant-garde accessories in neutral hues.
The Style Boss Vibe: Enthusiastic and inspiring with a strong sense of self.
Which of these business suits for women is your favorite? Share your thoughts and styling adventures with us in the comments below.