OK, stop looking at the photo now, because I don’t want it to put you off the concept of a summer suit. It’s not the suit that’s not working here, I promise you that. I actually love this suit, even though I don’t love it on me. Whenever I see shorts suits on other people – even real people, not Instagram people – they look brilliant. A shorts suit would probably look really nice on you.
You don’t need to take it from me, take it from Kate Moss, instead. Kate has form in wearing suits to weddings. In 2006, she wore a pale grey silk shorts suit to the wedding of stylist Katy England; last year, she wore a polka-dot skirt suit to the wedding of Princess Eugenie. A suit when everyone else is in a pretty dress is subversive without being inappropriately informal. It’s not like you haven’t made an effort, it’s just that you don’t look like everyone else.
This is excellent, because smart summer dressing can be strangely stuffy. Women whose wardrobes are at the cutting edge of fashion the rest of the time, come over all Four Weddings And A Funeral as soon as a fancy summer do is on the cards. Out come the wedge heels, the pashminas, the dusty pot pourri florals. And one way to snap out of that is to take your cue from what the men will be wearing, rather than the women. I mean, why not? The men-are-from-Mars-women-are-from-Venus vibe is very 20th century, after all. Dressing up in a suit tips your hat in a more modern direction.
How to wear: one colour from head to toe | Jess Cartner-Morley
My success rate with the suit is not Moss-level, sadly. Even the simplest trouser suit, which looks chic and easy on absolutely everyone else, can look officious and sterile on me. Because I have to work hard at getting suits to work, I have learned a few things about suit-shopping. Number one: if your first thought on trying on a suit is, “Even if I don’t wear it as a suit, the trousers will be useful,” then stop kidding yourself and just buy the trousers. Number two: don’t wear suits that work only with heels. I could go further, and say don’t buy any clothes you can only wear with heels, but it’s definitely true for suits. If it doesn’t look nice enough on you with flat shoes, it doesn’t look nice enough for you to buy it. Number three: don’t buy a suit because it looks nice on someone else. But most importantly, this week, number four: don’t not buy a suit because it doesn’t look nice on someone else. In the immortal words of Kristin Scott Thomas as Four Weddings’ Fiona: “Why be dull?”