First fashion brought us the sleek black pantsuit (or the “SBP”) as a chic alternative to the cocktail dress — with everyone from Julia Roberts to Alexa Chung and Katie Holmes — incorporating the SBP into their red carpet rotation.
Next, designers gave Bianca Jagger’s Studio 54-era white version a modern update, and the white pantsuit began popping up on red carpets everywhere.
So the fashion world moved on to another fashionable era, brightening up the pantsuit with bold hues. Jennifer Hudson and Blake Lively quickly took to the fresh take ’80s power-dressing, demonstrating that a bright red or emerald pantsuit could, in fact, look thoroughly modern again.
And just when we thought designers had taken the pantsuit as far as it could go, the ready-to-wear runways introduced the printed pantsuit.
Sure, we were skeptical of its off-the-runway wearability at first, but its initial converts — Alexa Chung, Revenge‘s Ashley Madekwe — showed us that this fashion-forward look is actually as easy to pull off as a printed dress.
To keep the look current, stay away from flared bottoms, which will conjure a disco vibe.
Another no-go? Looser, borrowed-from-your-boyfriend fits (a la Julia Roberts in the early ’90s), which will look messy when paired with the season’s busy prints.
Instead take a cue from Karolina Kurkova and Emma Roberts, and stick to fitted styles with tailored ankle-length or cropped pants for a daring but polished look.
See all the daring style setters rocking printed pantsuits in our gallery.
Then weigh in on printed pantsuits: trend to try — or pass by?
What about some of the other daring trends we’re seeing on the red carpet? Our fashion and beauty editor weighs in on more bold fashion trends in the video below.
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