We've said it before, and we will say it again, good tailoring to your wardrobe is like butter to a pastry. The better the quality, the better the croissant. Tailored suits, or indeed any tailored fit, be it a pencil skirt or a tuxedo jacket, has a lot to do with the signature fit of the maker. Every house has its own set of 'blocks', these are the basic patterns that each garment is created from, unless the designer works with drapery. The subtleties within the block, which is the basic outlines of a bodice, skirt, trousers, dress and jacket, is often what makes you fit one designer better than another. Have you ever noticed that with some labels everything just slides on and works? That’s because the original cut, suits your shape, and it’s always variations of the same fit.
Suits for women are trickier than suits for men, we have curves to shape around, which is no easy task. For a man the most important part is from the highest point of the shoulder to 25cm down. For women, the most important, critical even, is from below the belly button to the inner-thigh. Those magic pants that make you feel fabulous? That’s great tailoring coming into play. Each designer has a style in which they craft the clothes we love, using textiles that work not just for the collection or the season, but the drape and fit of the curves mentioned above.
Stella McCartney, a big favourite for a lot of us, uses a tailored drape, working with the fabric’s weight, to create garments that feel both grand and relaxed. If you've ever put on one of her dinner jackets, or her tailored trousers, you understand what we are talking about. Fitting the shoulder and arm, the hip bones and waist, the rest hangs elegantly, often described as 'over-sized' but more correctly labelled as well-fitted. It’s the kind of elegance in tailoring that makes the woman wearing it feel unrestricted, but still very chic. A black pencil skirt from Roland Mouret has a high chance of making you feel like Julianne Moore in one of her more sizzling roles, herself a big fan of both the man and his clothes. He uses every curve of the body, creating more of a textile support system hugging in all the right places, often without the use of stretch. Making his name at the house most synonymous with sex-appeal, Gucci, he went on to make suits for characters such as James bond, and every other man who secretly wanted to be 007. We knew, when a few years ago, his namesake label entered the realm of womenswear, we should expect something with the same potent allure. And, we weren't wrong, his female suits had a similarly blockbuster effect to their male counter-part.
When shopping for women's suits, be it a skirt suit or trouser suit, or maybe just a blazer, know that the flexibility of these items can be tremendous. No longer are ladies suits associated exclusively with nine-to-five, a grey suit no longer automatically spells 'lawyer'. Shapes have changed – yes you can still wear your work suits to work, but that doesn't mean that it’s restrictive. Heels off, sneakers and denim jacket on, or vice versa, keeping the jacket on and whipping on some heels and a pair of jeans. It’s a five minute solution to just about any occasion between 6 and 8. We also love how street style has influenced the way women wear tailoring, in particular, the popularity of high-waisted, floor-sweeping trousers that make the legs go for days or crisp tailored shirts, heavy knits, miniskirts and sandal heels, the inspiration right now is bountiful. By building up your wardrobe with these kind of investment pieces, you have the right direction to take any outfit in, at any season. Add your most frivolous purchase from last season, that sequin dress, with a dinner jacket and loafers. Wear a navy suit with the wildest pair of heels you own. Put on a pencil skirt with your man's turtleneck sweater. Good tailoring means you'll feel great in the clothes you’re wearing, which is surely the whole reason why we should shop.