Enter the Angeleno

The new women’s suit is long on ease, short on pretense (and pant length)
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angelenos Photograph by Gal Harpaz

See you later, bohemianism, and the fringed and embroidered separates you rode in on. The embellished mishmash that defined the aughts in fashion is ceding to the tidier teens. Among the dressed-up ideas for spring is a new kind of women’s suit more appropriate for Malibu than Manhattan. Call it the Angeleno: It’s a sportier approach to the matching two-piece, with a loose fit and cropped trousers. “I wanted sophistication,” says Monarchy designer Eric Kim of his blue silk set, which is flowy and unstructured, with pants that hover above the ankle. Maxine Dillon, a downtown designer who’s never owned a tailored suit, paired a short-sleeved jacket with cuffed black trousers in a blend of linen, cotton, and twill. Jenni Kayne’s Angeleno comes in a lightweight black wool viscose with (gasp!) an elastic waistband and pant hem. “I think girls who never wore things that matched are going to start to this spring,” Kayne says. “It’s just time.” Cynthia Vincent created a slinky, dark ensemble with trousers gathered midcalf. The silk twill jacket, which has no closures, is short in front and back but long on the sides, which adds elegance. “As a designer, you’re always chasing that fantasy of an amazing pulled-together uniform that looks effortless,” Vincent says. “This one allows you to go from day to night by changing shoes and jewelry. You can’t really do that with a banker’s suit.” Specialty stores are stocking the khaki outfit by Boy by Band of Outsiders, which uses buttoned straps to keep the pant cuffs in place, while department stores expect business with Robert Rodriguez’s blazer with rolled-up shorts. Leila Baboi, a stylist who has worked with Lily Allen, Yoko Ono, and Peaches, believes the Angeleno is the successor to the 1980s power suit. “Thanks to Michelle Obama, there’s a feeling in the air of women being empowered again,” Baboi says. “But this time around the suit has an ease to it, with new takes on length and fabrications that are totally Californian.”