Even without a Hillary Clinton presidency (sigh), 2017 is gearing up to be the year of the pantsuit. The Fall 2016 runways kicked off the trend, offering up pantsuits 2.0 boasting slim cuts, bold patterns, slouchy fits and peplum-accented blazers, some more apropos for a night out than the boardroom. Spring 2017 picked up where Fall 2016 left off, providing working women everywhere options like velvet, oversized silhouettes and creative layering tricks.
Cut to Fall 2017 and it was pretty hard to find a runway that didn’t feature some form of power suiting. The selection was varied, including everything from boldly patterned pieces to more conventional incarnations with an exaggerated twist. Both Altuzarra and Mary Katrantzou offered patterned velvet blazers styled with matching velvet trousers. While Marni was all about comfort and eye-catching graphics with relaxed separates.
Celine, Jil Sander and Victoria Beckham tried to sell us on the concept that bigger is better with outsize jackets teamed with streamlined slacks or loose-fitting bottoms.
And for those of us who like to keep it old school, Max Mara sauntered out an all-business pantsuit that screamed 80s (not that we’re complaining). Jonathan Anderson presented a rather straightforward black tux in his Loewe lineup, while Alexander McQueen gave us a similar silhouette but with a more pronounced jacket hem and a shapely side accent. Hermes, Jacquemus, Ports 1961, Maison Margiela, Bottega Veneta, Paco Rabanne and The Row all jumped on the business wear bandwagon.
As with any well-established runway trend, street stylists and celebs soon followed suit (pun intended). Outside the Fall 2017 shows, we witnessed button-up pantsuits conservatively styled, brightly colored blazers and matching pants, and even a pair of pants — combined with the coordinating blazer, natch — that gave high-waisted new meaning.
Not to be outdone, stars also have been stepping out in all manner of suiting. Perhaps the greatest self-marketer around, Victoria Beckham was snapped in one of her Fall 2017 pantsuits just a few weeks after its runway debut. While out promoting Beauty and the Beast, Emma Watson rocked a vintage Yves Saint Laurent set that somehow felt completely fresh. Solange Knowles shined in an asymmetrical silver blazer and cropped baggy pants combo. And fashion risk-taker Soko embraced the quirky nature of Alessandro Michele’s Gucci gamble by striking a pose in the label’s patterned pantsuit styled with equally vibrant accents.
Now we’re fully aware that your office environment may not permit some of the crazier runway pantsuit interpretations from nine to five, but there are still several sets that you can sport to have you looking like you deserve a raise. Brands like J.Crew, Zara, Topshop, Mango and even Calvin Klein offer pretty reasonably priced ensembles, while if you have more money to spare, Haider Ackermann and Gucci can provide catwalk-tested pieces sure to turn heads. If you’ve made up your mind to expand your corporate closet, we’ve compiled 21 pantsuit picks in the slideshow below. Promotion not guaranteed.