Entertainment Style Kirstie Clements: In praise of the pantsuit when you’d rather not frock it

Kirstie Clements: In praise of the pantsuit when you’d rather not frock it

When all else fails, and all around you go for gimmicks, there's nothing like a pantsuit to pull you together. Photo: Getty
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Maybe it’s just all the bad news and coronavirus concern that’s circulating in the world at the moment, but the international fashion shows don’t seem to be quite as glamorous as they used to be.

All about sleeve for Olivia Culpo. Photo: Getty

A quick online scan of the Paris leg showed a lot of jumpy fashion editors trying not to touch one another, crammed in to watch Kanye West’s weird Sunday Service, where his daughter, North, screams into a microphone while he looks on benignly and tries to convince us he is a man of God and not actually bonkers.

Didn’t see any fashion.

I always like to look at what’s on the runway, as it inspires me to update my wardrobe, but I wasn’t getting much inspiration.

Nobody wore pants quite like Katherine Hepburn. 

I clicked through 241 photos of Paris street style and found one person who looked good.

I’m sorry, but it’s a crap show.

People are literally just wearing anything, all at once, the more outrageous and uglier the better.

I remember fondly one concierge at a Paris hotel telling me that he and his colleagues love “faaaarrrshion week’, mainly because they’d all knock off work with a glass of Sancerre and watch the crowd walk by with one French eyebrow firmly raised.

Meanwhile, I had a posh Cartier dinner to attend in Melbourne and needed an outfit – and a clown suit with platform sneakers and a zany bag shaped like a turtle was not going to do the trick.

So I returned to the black, floppy pantsuit.

I haven’t been wearing suits for a while, as I am a freelance writer and not especially corporate but my goodness don’t you feel pulled together in one.

Before she wanted to be “a lawn”, Greta Garbo found stylish comfort suited her.

I bought a fab one by Jac + Jack, the jacket a bit oversized, hip length, with volume in the sleeves, and wide pants with elastic at the back.

You can do anything in that suit.

I wore it on the plane, with a T-shirt and sneakers.

I packed a high-necked crème pintucked shirt by Zimmerman and some high heels and the suit went straight out to dinner.

I love that fluid, viscose mix fabric because it seems to suit any temperature – Sydney was 20 degrees Celsius and humid and Melbourne was 20 degrees Celsius and cold and I felt comfortable in both cities.

There’s comfortable and for Lady Gaga there’s something you can live in. Photo: Getty

When I met up with my journalist colleagues in the hotel foyer, I was pleased to see three other female fashion editors in chic evening pantsuits, all a bit boxy and oversized, as is the current and very forgiving style.

We arrived at the event, and there was actress Asher Keddie looking phenomenal in a navy blue pinstriped suit, her blonde hair worn scraped back and wearing a gold chain Cartier necklace.

It goes without saying the men looked great. I think I may skip the fashion directives for a little while and invest in another suit for winter.

You really can never have enough of them. Turtle handbags however….

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