How to wear a suit in the summer


This summer, it’s not just superheroes who are suiting up. Hollywood’s hottest celebs are switching out gossamer gowns and sprightly sundresses for strong shoulders, sharp lapels and tailored trousers.

It all started in May, when Kristen Stewart showed up for jury duty at the Cannes Film Festival sporting an array of sparkling tuxes, tweed trouser ensembles and slouchy suits drenched in attitude.

Since then, a smattering of stars including Issa Rae, Thandie Newton and Jane Fonda have hit the red carpet in matching pants and jackets. And while the season’s most fashionable flick, “Ocean’s 8,” features an embarrassment of extravagant dresses, it’s Cate Blanchett’s swaggering David Bowie-worthy suits that steal the show.

“A suit makes you feel powerful, with the crisp shoulders and architectural tailoring,” Stewart’s stylist Tara Swennen tells The Post. And though it might seem staid, she calls the silhouette a “building block” for a fabulous look: “There’s so much opportunity to play and have fun.”

Here, Swennen, along with bespoke tailors Amber Doyle and Emily Meyer, dissect some of the season’s best suits, and share tips for how to replicate the looks, even if you don’t have their famous frames.

Gabrielle Union

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A bright blue patterned suit may not seem like the easiest style to pull off. But Lower East Side tailor Amber Doyle says that Gabrielle Union’s hourglass-shaped jacket and cigarette trousers by Lela Rose are universally flattering.

“All women look really good with an exaggerated waist,” she says. “The waist on the jacket is just so beautifully nipped in, really showing off her figure.”

Androgynous-inspired styles can be harder for curvy or plus-size women to fit over their busts, says Doyle, “but you can definitely tell this is a woman’s suit made for a woman’s body.”

Tip: Wearing bright shoes that stand out can take a suit from business to pleasure. “It looks a lot more natural,” says Doyle.

Saoirse Ronan

Double-breasted jackets are notoriously tricky to wear, with the potential to make you look more boxy than bodacious, but “Lady Bird” star Saoirse Ronan carries her shell-pink Michael Kors version with panache.

“People think that double-breasted makes you look wider no matter how trim you are, but it’s all about keeping the buttons to a minimum,” says tailor Emily Meyer, who is based in San Francisco. She points out that while most men’s jackets have six buttons and three clasps, Ronan’s has four buttons and only one clasp, which she calls “more feminine.”

Doyle says that the fit of the trousers also helps balance the look. “It’s very fitted around her thigh, and this really straight, not skinny, leg. And she’s wearing a heel to really elongate her so she looks very statuesque.”

Tip: Doyle says that for longer jackets such as this one, you want the sleeve to end right near your thumb knuckle — where Ronan’s falls is “perfect.”

Jane Fonda


Jane Fonda’s sexy Brandon Maxwell suit with flared trousers doesn’t try to hide her womanly figure with large swaths of fabric. And that’s why it works.

“You can see there is some tension where it clasps at the waist, and that’s the inevitable result of having a larger bust,” says Meyer.

But Fonda leans into it, choosing a fire-engine-red color and feminine shawl collar, while further accentuating her waist with a trim belt.

Tip: Belts help define the waist and are a great option for busty women. “It’s a neat trick because it can close the jacket without having to button it,” which can cause the fabric to strain, says Meyer. Just don’t belt a jacket with a vent in the back.


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The 5-foot-1 rapper and “Ocean’s 8” star shows that even petite women can get away with a snazzy suit from Topshop. “Ironically, very petite women and plus-size women have the same concerns when it comes to pattern,” says Meyer, adding that those body types can be easily overwhelmed by dramatic detailing or bright colors. “She went pretty bold, but I think it works because the colors are so muted and neutral — and it gives it a summery feel.”

Tip: If your double-breasted jacket doesn’t fit perfectly, drape it over your shoulders. Thanks to the aired-out waist area, “There’s more jacket to cover you, and it looks really casual, cool and relaxed,” says Doyle.

Scrunching up the sleeves is another way to get that easy elan — and is a great hack if you don’t want to shell out for a tailor to shorten them.

Kristen Stewart

Swennen, Stewart’s stylist, says that tweed is one of the most challenging suiting fabrics to pull off, but she loves the flirty light-blue color and breeziness of this Chanel suit.

“Tweed adds bulk, so you have to be very careful,” she says, particularly around the waist. A longer jacket helps camouflage some of the padding around the waist, while the monochromatic scheme and cropped cigarette pants feel modern and show off her long legs.

Tip: Showing a little skin helps to offset heavier fabrics such as tweed. Swennen loves layering sleek, scoop-neck bodysuits underneath boxy jackets.

“It shows just enough skin to make it a little sexier, without being inappropriate for work,” she says. “Plus, it’s modern and cool and looks like you’re not trying too hard.”

Carey Mulligan

More adventurous fashionistas may want to try a flared cropped trouser suit, such as Mulligan’s trendy Gucci get-up.

“It’s a tough length, and you really have to have the personality to pull it off,” says Meyer.

“I think what makes it work here is the stripe going down the leg, which makes it more fun and very ‘genre.’ ”

Tip: A cropped pant allows you to have more fun with your shoes.

“I think it’s really cool to be able to have the option of wearing a lower heel with a pant like this,” says Doyle. “These would look cute with a low-heeled brogue with laces, and it wouldn’t disrupt the line of the suit.”


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