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The M Dash

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It’s Time to Redefine the Suit

You have our Brand Stylist’s permission to ditch the traditional matching-pants-and-jacket combo for something

By Nyjerah Cunningham

In the workwear world, suits are a classic go-to. Traditionally, they incorporate a few things: elements borrowed from menswear, formal fabrics (think tropical wool, sharkskin), and neutral colors (like black and navy). And usually, they’re styled with a button-down and classic pair of pumps

Suits never go out of style because there’s something about a matching jacket and bottom that just feels so put-together. But there are other ways to go about styling a suit that allow for a little personality and the opportunity to redefine what suiting means to you

Personally, I like deconstructing my suits; I find the best pairings when I mix and match suiting pieces with other styles in my closet. After all, style is all about challenging yourself and trying new things—and your outfit can still mean business, even when you mix in some fun elements. Plus, the world as we know it has changed, and it’s okay for your style to change with it. 

Here are my five go-to tips that will elevate your suit style to the next level.

Go for a Relaxed Underpinning

Switching up your underpinning is a great way to ease into non-traditional suiting (baby steps, right?). Try swapping your go-to dress shirt for a relaxed underpinning, like the Rochelle tank, the Mia top, or the Paige tank. This change still gives you a classic suit style, but with extra ease, comfort, and stretch.

Mix Up Your Textures

I’ll say this forever: No, your suit separates don’t need to be made of the same fabric. However, it helps to know which fabrics work best together and which ones don’t. Like all things style-related, this distinction is subjective, but I let the textures guide me. A good rule of thumb is that garments with a similar fabric weight and finish tend to make good pairings. And usually, your outfit feels more polished when those different textures are in a similar color.

Have Some Color-Blocking Fun

This one is my favorite! I like to switch up the game by wearing one color on top and another on the bottom. This method takes minimal effort but is a showstopper to the max. It’s bold and makes one hell of a statement for your next meeting.

Create a Column Ensemble

I always say that dressing in monochrome is one of the easiest ways to put an outfit together—and column dressing falls into that same category, but with an extra bit of punch. Use one color as a base, then add a contrasting color as a layer. It’s a streamlined way of dressing that hugs your body in the best way. And the look gets even better when you introduce new shapes into the mix: Push the limit by pairing an oversized boyfriend blazer with a flared pant. It’s a dream.

Power Your Way into Casual

Let’s say you work in a casual environment where suits aren’t needed, but you still want to look the part—this one’s for you! A jardigan (try the Merritt or Woolf) and Better Than Denim combo always does the trick. This look is the perfect blend of business and casual, and it proves that jeans can look elevated when you dress them up the right way.

Written By

Nyjerah Cunningham

Nyjerah is the Brand Stylist at M.M.LaFleur, and a lover of all things style-related. Her wardrobe motto is simple: take risks and wear them well.

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