Suits Might Be My New Athleisure — Hear Me Out

To cut straight to the point, and for lack of more eloquent words, I am absolutely smitten with suits. I didn’t realize how pro-suit I was until I saw a reader comment on this story that she felt like wearing a suit to work would empower her. I said “YES” out loud. If my own personal experiences have shown me anything, though, it’s that suits will empower you for any any occasion. Not just work.

Getting dressed has been grueling process for me lately, especially in this cold. I try on a million things, end up frustrated, an inevitably wear something that makes me feel meh. If you’re familiar with this routine, you know it can cast a cloud over your whole day.

A suit will save you from all of the above. There’s no secret, nothing revolutionary, just a good ol’ two-piece suit. The best part is, for how put-together a suit makes you look, it requires little to no effort. Plus (!) I have yet to find another clothing combination that makes me feel as confident, and simultaneously comfortable, as a suit. So there’s also that.

Below are my three favorite ways to wear suits on any given day, beyond work or special occasions.

1. The sweat suit replacement

I used to reserve suits for special occasions. I always thought they were more of a “lewk” than a casual outfit, but their instant pick-me-up factor recently has me gravitating toward them whenever I A) have no idea what to wear B) want to be superbly comfortable but am not in the mood for athleisure.

If Phoebe Philo wore sweat pants, I imagine this is what they would look like: Streamlined, nonsensical, cozy, and ready for whatever might come that day. The best part is that this outfit feels like I’m nuzzled between two fluffy sheep. I think this turtleneck from Raey (which is my favorite new thing) might be 85% responsible for that, but the loose fitting trousers definitely help. A sharp pair of flats helps to balance the whole thing out, but I think you could also go sneakers or heels here and still look comfortable and sophisticated.

2. The Nancy Meyers fantasy

You know those beautiful fall or spring days in NYC when all is right in the world? You go for a stroll with no destination just because it would be a sin to stay indoors. It’s fresh and crisp out — just like this Joseph suit — so naturally you dress to match the weather. In the Nancy Myers movie this suit makes me feel like I’m in, I’m strolling to my ceramics class. In actuality, it’s still winter (hence the sweater) and I’m running errands. As for the necklaces, I love adding something really playful and almost childish to an otherwise serious suit. I think it makes it more approachable.

3. The ironic embrace

In the same vein of keeping a suit approachable, here I am wearing a gray tartan suit from Ganni (I work for the brand, but this has been my favorite suit since August so I had to include) with sneakers, a cluster of very summery earrings, and a scrunchie for good measure. In theory it makes no sense, but that’s exactly what I love about it. It’s perfect for running out — maybe hungover — to grab a weekend meal with your best friends. It also works Monday through Friday, when you still have professional endeavors to tend to but need a reminder that the weekend is almost near.

Any other tricks for making suits more casual? Show down below!

Photos by Edith Young.

Juliana Salazar

Juliana Salazar is a freelance stylist and brand strategist and contributing fashion editor for Man Repeller.

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