The Show-Stopping Suit Trend We Love For Spring

The women’s pantsuit has come a long way since Yves Saint Laurent designed the first of its kind, the infamous Le Smoking tuxedo suit, in 1966. Since then the matching separates have been reimagined with modern silhouettes, bright hues, and interesting fabrics, making it a trend we never tire of. While we love our tried-and-true monochrome versions, we’re eager to experiment with more exciting styles too, like the printed suit. A favourite of sartorial risk-takers, including Anna Dello Russo, Rita Ora, and Solange Knowles, this standout look is a surefire way to amp up your standard weekday repertoire and makes a serious style statement on and off the clock.

On The Runway

Go bold or go home—that’s what we imagine Iceberg designer Paolo Gernai had in mind when designing his S/S 13 collection. It certainly felt that way when he sent a matching pantsuit with a damask motif paired with a printed turtleneck down the runway. The easy silhouettes and dizzying patterns flaunt a relaxed yet elegant vibe that’s right on-point for spring.

On The Streets and At Events

WHO: Rita Ora

WHAT: On her way to the BBC Breakfast morning show in London back in November.

WEAR: Kenzo Leopard Diagonal Rib Cotton Coat ($838) and Leopard Diagonal Rib Cotton Pants ($457); Christian Louboutin shoes.

WHY: When working with matching suit separates, a buttoned-up trench jacket is an unexpectedly cool alternative to a blazer.

WHO: Anna Dello Russo

WHAT: As seen on Stockholm Street Style during Paris Fashion Week.

WEAR: Rochas Printed Silk and Wool Jacket ($4373) and Printed Silk Wool Pants ($3440); Chanel bag.

WHY: A checked suit combined with a bright blouse and statement accessories creates a fashion-forward result.

WHO: Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad

WHAT: Front row at the Sonia Rykiel F/W 13 show in Paris earlier this month.

WEAR: Sonia Rykiel Printed Cotton-Blend Crepe Blazer ($1995) and Printed Cotton-Blend Crepe Straight-Leg Pants ($1290); Paula Cademartori bag; Christian Louboutin shoes.

WHY: Sans shirt, a printed suit is a subtly alluring choice for evening.

WHO: Leigh Lezark

WHAT: Heading into the Jean-Charles de Castelbajac F/W 13 show in Paris earlier this month.

WEAR: Jean-Charles de Castelbajac Kamouflage Aquatik All Over Embroidered Jacket ($1021) and Pants ($763); Chanel clutch.

WHY: The modern suit: a belted jacket and matching slouchy trousers.

WHO: Solange Knowles

WHAT: At a pre-Grammy party in Los Angeles, hosted by Delta Air Lines.

WEAR: Diane von Furstenberg Vint Splash-Print Jacket ($375) and Benett Splash-Print Cropped Pants ($275); Lia Sophia Royal Blue Ring ($118), Acropolis Ring ($78), and Compass Ring ($98).

?WHY: A tailored blazer and cropped pants keep a playful print feeling polished and sophisticated. While you’re free to experiment with a variety of silhouettes and pieces when addressing today’s look, we prefer to focus on three different versions.

Get The Look

While you’re free to experiment with a variety of silhouettes and pieces when addressing today’s look, we prefer to focus on three different versions.

The Tailored Look Neatly fitted blazers and cropped pants are an excellent formula for the office or evening. You can’t go wrong with animal prints this season, which is why we suggest checking out Rachel Zoe’s Charlie II Suit Jacket ($375) and Jeoffrey Pants ($245) and Preen Line’s Berry Leopard-Print Stretch-Cotton Drill Blazer ($715) and Ellen Drill Pants ($455). For something brighter, try Rachel Roy’s Vibrant Orchid Multi Jacket ($448) and Mandarin Pants ($398) with a neon blouse and nude heels.

Easy Elegance If you’re someone who prefers your suit separates to be a little more relaxed, we have a couple of options for you to try too. Vibrant, tropical motifs are a fresh choice for the season, and Rebecca Taylor’s Hawaii Silk Jacket ($495) and Silk Ankle Pants ($295) exude that effortlessly feminine vibe you’re going for. We also adore Just Cavalli’s Printed Crepe Tuxedo Blazer ($890) and Printed Stretch Twill Pants ($487), which would look chic paired with pointed-toe stilettos.

The Unexpected Want to sub out the blazer for a contemporary take on the look? Topshop’s Printed Oversized Bomber Jacket ($140) and Skinny Trousers ($84) will do the trick, or ensure you’re a standout in Clover Canyon’s Turquoise Valley Neoprene Jacket ($396) and Pants ($216).

Executive Director, Entertainment

Jessica Baker is Who What Wear’s Executive Director, Entertainment, where she ideates, books, writes, and edits celebrity and entertainment features.