Vanquish any lingering fears that the past few years of Zoom shirts and elasticised pants have rendered the suit irrelevant. For women, at least, it feels like the suit has never been better. What’s more, as evidenced by the slouchy, sexy, powerful ones we’ve seen in recent seasons (and not just in a seat-on-the-board, chopped-salad-for-lunch kind of way), there is more than one way to wear a suit. Australia-based tailor Emily Nolan says this turn towards the suit matches the mood for now. “ The power of a suit is that , though it’s grounded in principles of tailoring, it can be reinvented and pushed time and time again,” she says. “Is it any wonder that suits were so dominant on the runways of Milan and Paris? More and more, clients are coming in wanting a suit for their day-to-day Emily Nolan, Australia-based tailor “I know everyone was anticipating the return of party dressing, but the world doesn’t exactly feel like a party right now. “We want to feel strong, protected and adaptable because that’s what this moment requires of all of us.” Wearing a suit – and in particular, a blazer – has always felt like a power move. Thanks to Covid-19 and working from home, men’s suits have been removed from the UK “shopping basket” of items used for calculating inflation. Women have always worn suits with more ingenuity, which means they’re hardly likely to lose their allure. You only need to look at actress Diane Keaton’s turn in Annie Hall , human rights activist Bianca Jagger ’s tuxedo-wearing in the 1970s, the boxy, shoulder-padded suits of the 1980s, the enduring appeal of fashion brands such as Jil Sander in the ’90s, and the suits the Haim sisters have worn on red carpets in 2022 to know this. Still, there’s something else happening with the suits of the season – there’s an insouciance, a proportion play (from exaggerated shoulders to almost baggy fits) and a toying with femininity in cinched waists, or corsets worn with blazers à la Versace . In all of this lies an implicit acknowledgement of the suit’s many powers. Suits remain armour, but they’ve adapted to a world where you can be anything, and nothing is certain. This is as evident in style icon Zendaya wearing a Barbie pink Valentino suit front row at the pink-themed Valentino show as it is in Emily in Paris actress Lily Collins donning a slick tuxedo (with bow tie) at the Ralph Lauren show in New York in March or in actress Maggie Gyllenhaal wearing a terracotta number to a Women’s History Month panel. Then there’s the slouchy elegance of the relaxed suiting (including two-tone spliced ones) at fashion label Peter Do, the highlighter bright ones at Alexander McQueen and more. The power of a strong shoulder remains, evidenced at Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton (with designer Nicolas Ghesquière adding a tie for an extra play on androgynous tailoring). Saint Laurent has always known the power of the suit. After all, couturier Yves Saint Laurent gave women the Le Smoking tuxedo in 1966. This season, creative director Anthony Vaccarello offered the kind of sophisticated ease that women with much on their plate dream of – the blazers and overcoats were slightly oversized in the sleeve and elegant, and the tuxedos were the slinkiest of boss moves. Meanwhile, Matthieu Blazy’s debut as creative director for Bottega Veneta truly embodied, particularly in its precise and luxurious tailoring, the idea that his collection was about a journey. “There’s many characters, they all have places to go, they feel quite free,” he said backstage. Libby Page, senior market editor at e-tailer Net-a-Porter, was impressed with the breadth of the suiting offering this season. Adding sneakers always provides a more relaxed sensibility Libby Page, senior market editor at e-tailer Net-a-Porter, on how to wear a suit “At autumn/winter 2022 fashion month, we saw many wonderful iterations of suiting, in various silhouettes and a wide variety of styles,” she says. “[This includes] Jil Sander’s skirt suits, Bottega Veneta’s classic tuxedo, in addition to designer Nensi Dojaka’s sexy suiting paired with naked corsets and bralettes. “The common similarity between the collections is the use of full tonal hues from top to bottom.” As for how to wear a suit right now, Page suggests some easy tweaks. “The addition of a waistcoat makes a suit look fresher and chicer. That and adding sneakers always provides a more relaxed sensibility.” Try a bralette or corset if you’re feeling bold, as lingerie and tailoring has been a major trend this season – with good reason. But mostly, as Nolan says, really wearing a suit is more about an attitude and a feeling – the very thing that the best kinds of suits conjure. “There are no rules any more,” she says. “Wear it oversized with heels, wear it tailored with loafers: the suit can be gendered and de-gendered, formal and informal. “Right now, I’m drawn to suiting in jewel colours layered over a knitted cricket vest or simple white tank. Think dark brown, dark green and dark purple. “ Messy hair, sneakers, no make-up , just SPF [sunscreen], a coffee in one hand and a pair of vintage sunglasses in the other.” Most of Nolan’s clients, she says, are seeking suits to wear well beyond the office. “We still have corporate clients who recognise that a suit is part of their style uniform, and can be a powerful signifier for them as they negotiate their career. But, more and more, clients are coming in wanting a suit for their day-to-day. “Linens, cottons, lightweight wool: these fabrics are being requested in light neutrals, even peachy pinks or rich emerald greens. “They want to wear their jacket and trousers separately as well as part of a whole look, and they want the suit to feel easy, effortless and supremely comfortable.” If you need further inspiration, Nolan says it’s hard to look past Jagger, French style icon Caroline de Maigret , the way actress Gillian Anderson wears silk shirts with trousers, and actress Tracey Ellis Ross. These are all women, it must be said, who embody a sense of freedom and have an inimitable personal style and all kinds of places to go.