In fashion, it's the unexpected that makes for iconic moments. Such was the case earlier this year at the Grammys when Haim's Danielle and Alana shut down the red carpet in tailored trouser looks in lieu of pretty dresses. Danielle channeled Bianca Jagger in an all-white Stella McCartney pantsuit, while Alana stunned in a strappy jumpsuit, also by McCartney. As poised as they appeared, according to the band’s stylist Rebecca Grice, the motive behind their Grammy looks was more of a style hack than fashion statement. “Suits are a great solution for an event," Grice shared with The FADER. "You don’t have to think about what to wear with it—you’re already set.” As the wedding-heavy season approaches, Grice believes that there's no better time to add a pant suit to your style repertoire. The FADER asked the Grice, who also styles Lorde and actress Jaime King, to share all of the red carpet-tested pro-tips that you’ll need to pull off pant suits as well as the Haim sisters.
Decide if a jumpsuit or two-piece is best for you
Grice says that the first step to conquering a suited look is to decide whether the two-piece suit or the all-in-one jumpsuit works best for you."Suiting has to fit the shape and also the vibe of the person wearing it, which can make it harder to pull off. The fit can be tricky hard when it comes to blazers. You want to make sure that its not too boxy, that it will show off shape, and will still look hot. Whereas jumpsuits can be more forgiving; they have a looser fit and can accentuate your waist. Women with a larger bust tend to look better in a jumpsuit. I don’t think a blazer is for everyone. It depends on what kind of girl you are and what you’re comfortable wearing."
Consider all options from high to low
Grice suggests searching the high-end boutiques as well as the fast-fashion shops for the great suit options. "Zara always makes a great knockoff. It’s the trickle-down trend place. I was in there the other day and saw some really cool suiting, trousers, and jumpsuits. There’s always a lot of great consignment places as well in New York and Los Angeles. Then you’re getting something that’s really beautiful and designer, and you don’t have to spend $3500 on it.
Tailoring is necessary
Whether you choose to shop high or shop low, spending the extra money on a good tailor can make all the difference in suiting. "You could spend $4000 on a suit and if it doesn’t fit, what’s the point? Or you can spend $350 and get it fitted to where the length is perfect, the waist is taken in, and it looks flawless. No matter where you live, you can just go to a local dry cleaner and have them snip it, hem it, and take it in just right. The pants length, as well as the fit of the shoulders and arms are important. There’s nothing worse than seeing a suit that’s ill-fitting or a hem that’s too long and too short."
Don’t go overboard with accessories
Grice relies on the age adage that less is more to guide the accessories of your suited look. "You want to feel comfortable and look chic; it doesn’t have to be about a kajillion rings and a necklace. Sometimes just an earring and one or two rings works. It’s about a clutch that holds your phone, some gum, and a lipstick is all that you’d really need for a wedding. So pack light."
Opt for minimal underpinnings
Since the true beauty of a suit lies in its understated simplicity, Grice suggests keeping the undergarments to a daring minimum. "A silk blouse always looks chic. I wouldn’t suggest anyone with large breasts do this but, if you're wearing a blazer that you can button and you'll feel comfortable enough, go without a shirt. That’s a really sexy move."
Adjust your shoes to the occasion
Regardless of how trendy designer kicks might be, Grice says to leave them at home when it comes to fancy events. "If I were going to a wedding or a dressy event, I would never wear a sneaker. You should wear a heel to elevate the look. I think Danielle wore a really nice, nude suede pump with her suiting at the Grammys and it was the perfect feminine touch. Manolo Blahnik's BB Ankle Strap pump is a really great, versatile shoe to have in your wardrobe."
Preserve your clothes in between wears
Now that you've spent time and money securing the right statement suit, it's time to invest in this gem for the long haul. Grice shares a few pointers for keeping your suit in great shape for years to come. "Definitely keep your clothes hung up. Garments come with those annoying ribbons that usually get cut off but use them. They’re there to help preserve the silhouette. Also I suggest using a handheld steamer, they're easier on garments than an iron."