The Trouser Suit Styling Trick: How to Not Look Corporate in Tailoring

How to wear a trouser suit now? Well, it's less about the actual style of tailoring—anything from pajama-influenced to power-shouldered looks will do—and more about what you're not wearing with it. Namely, a top.

The trouser suit has become a very normal and trusted part of a fashion girl's repertoire—with many choosing it instead of dresses during the wedding guest season—but where you'd usually want to suit-up in a pussy-bow blouse to hit the '70s trend on the bullseye, or pair with a tee to add casual slant, right now the A-list and street style set are choosing to forgo a top-half layer altogether. 

Now, if this sounds like a potential step into flasher territory, don't worry. There are degrees of exposure that one can choose from. If you opt for a PJs vibe, then you'll instantly be more covered up. Double-breasted styles also create far more coverage. There's also the little trick of wearing a statement bra or bralette underneath to feel secure and nod to the underwear-as-outerwear trend we've seen everywhere for S/S 16. 

So scroll through the gallery below to see the trouser suit sans top in action; then shop a few of our favourite pairings to get yours in gear.


(Image credit: Joe Pepler/REX/Shutterstock)

Style Notes: Super-blogger Doina Ciobanu avoids the corporate look by pairing her suit with a choker and bold bag.


(Image credit: Style du Monde)

Style Notes: Mariacarla Boscono's sombre take on the trend (all black, flat shoes, wide shoulders) helps balance out the fact she's not wearing a top under that suit.


(Image credit: C Flaningan/Getty Images)

Style Notes: If you've got a plunging neckline, don't feel like you have to fill the space with jewellery—going bare like Emilia Clarke can be best.


(Image credit: Dave M. Bennett/Getty Images)

Style Notes: Make this your party piece instead of a pretty dress, like Georgia May Jagger.


(Image credit: Style du Monde)

Style Notes: Slip on a skinny scarf to nod to the retro roots of this trend.


(Image credit: David M. Bennett/Getty Images)

Style Notes: Treat your trouser suit jacket as a going-out top, and wear it barely there like Edie Campbell—if you're game!


(Image credit: Jacopo Raule/Getty Images)

Style Notes: Eleonora Carisi's pajama trouser suit is a way to tick off the boudoir trend at the same time—and it's so comfortable.


(Image credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Style Notes: The tweed fabric of Sophie Kennedy Clark's heavy trouser suit means that peek of bralette is completely unexpected but totally right.


(Image credit: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Style Notes: Pinstripes read busineswoman, but a deep-V neckline says otherwise…

Shop our favourite trouser suits:

Hannah Almassi
Editor in Chief

Hannah Almassi is the Editor in Chief of Who What Wear UK. Hannah has been part of the the Who What Wear brand since 2015, when she was headhunted to launch the UK sister site and social channels, implement a localised content strategy and build out the editorial team. She joined following a seven-year tenure at Grazia magazine, where she led front-of-book news, fashion features and shopping specials as fashion news and features editor. With experience in both print and digital across fashion and beauty, Hannah has over 16 years in the field as a journalist, editor, content strategist and brand consultant. Hannah has interviewed industry heavyweights such as designers including Marc Jacobs and Jonathan Anderson through to arbiters of taste including Katie Grand and Anna Dello Russo. A skilled moderator and lecturer specialising in the shift to digital media and e-commerce, Hannah’s opinion and work has been sought by the likes of CNBC, BBC, The Sunday Times Style, The Times, The Telegraph and, among many others. Hannah is often called upon for her take on trends, becoming known as a person with their finger of the pulse of what’s happening in the fashion space for stylish Brits. Hannah currently resides in Eastbourne with her photographer husband, incredibly busy son and highly Instagrammable cat.