mannish pockets (in which to jingle coins), teamed with a sharp, game-changer of a jacket. The kind of suit that will have friends asking whether you mind them buying it too, promising that they won’t wear it when you do.
There is an enduring myth that skinny suits can only be worn by those with skinny body types. But this just isn’t true. If you get the balance and proportions correct, a suit will be one of the most flattering pieces you will ever own. You do not need to have the figure of Angelina Jolie to get it right by any stretch of the imagination. (Although, that Saint Laurent tux with the undone bow tie she wore to this year’s BAFTA Awards? One of the best red-carpet looks ever put together.)
But back to real life. Do you have a generous bottom? Then go for a three-quarter length jacket to conceal it. No curves? Opt for double breasted. And although Saint Laurent may be the pioneer of this silhouette, other designers have followed, er, suit: Antonio
Berardi; Theory; Joseph; Givenchy; you name it. There is plenty of room to improvise on the skinny suit theme, too. Look at the slit-sleeved cape tuxedo by Victoria Beckham that Carey Mulligan wore a while back. Or, if your ankles and calves are your best asset, Balmain’s tuxedo skirt suit. And don’t think you are confined to black, either. Quite the contrary: I’m mad about the electric-blue silk suit by Antonio Berardi that Bingbing Li is wearing on this week’s cover. And then there’s the unimpeachable cream one that LeeLee Sobieski wore at the CFDA awards, teamed with a simple white shirt, red lips and tan heels.
But what about my skinny suit? Well, I’m torn. There’s a nude- colored tuxedo with silk lapels by Donna Karan that I can just see
“If you get the balance correct, a SUIT is one of the most FLATTERING pieces you’ll EVER own”
with a golden glow, a white tee and Converse (very Christy Turlington, somehow), or there’s Givenchy’s black version with slightly cropped pants, which would work perfectly with a white silk pussy-bow blouse. I’d team both with teetering slim black heels by Gianvito Rossi and maybe a pair of arrow diamond earrings from Lynn Ban to keep them extra sharp. Then again, maybe I should just head straight to the source: head to toe in Saint Laurent with a simple white shirt and skinny tie, à la Angelina. Oh, the swanky restaurants I will stride into, the battles I will conquer, the people I will impress dressed thus.
But whichever I choose, I need to apply some restraint. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve dashed back from a trip wanting to buy a piece immediately – a gray skirt suit was the fixation last summer – and bought something that somewhat approximated what I had in mind, and ended up wearing only once. Not this time: I have two whole weeks to lie here and plan. What better way is there to spend a vacation?
MAKE THE CUT
A perfectly tailored tux and crisp shirt always looks super-sleek.
Put a sexy spin on androgyny with silk pants and a slim leather tie.
TO A TEE
Complete the look with point-toe, T-bar stilettos with a pin-thin heel.