iStyle: Follow suit

Tuxedo dressing isn’t just for the Christmas party - louche separates are perfect for the formal events of the summer too, says Rebecca Gonsalves
  • @R_Gonsalves

Love it or loathe it, Hedi Slimane’s Le Smoking-inspired womenswear debut for Saint Laurent was a huge talking point this season.

And as the tuxedo is often relegated to winter-wear, more specifically Christmas party dressing, its summer release makes for a refreshing change.

After all, a soft colour palette, silky fabrics and soft, slouchy shapes make this just the thing for tackling the formal dressing dilemma if you’re not the sort of person who wears skirts just because the sun has got his hat on.

Of course, a blazer or tuxedo jacket for summer isn’t a new concept. But that just proves how much of an asset such a garment can be to your wardrobe. It can be worn as part of a matching set – or mismatched if that’s more your style – while it adds instant smartness to jeans and a T-shirt.

White is a big trend this summer, and certainly makes a statement: anyone prone to clumsiness doesn’t need the risks that look would entail explained to them. But styling is key if you do opt for a white tuxedo: looking like you came in fancy-dress as Tony Manero from Saturday Night Fever is most definitely best avoided.

Balance the masculinity of tuxedo-style tailoring with a feminine ruffle-fronted top, or add a bit of va-va-voom by leaving a silk shirt unbuttoned as low as you dare to go, further emphasised with a delicate long-line necklace. Sheer fabrics or panels are an alternative way to up the wow factor, while keeping the jacket on should counter any self-consciousness.