Real Life: You think these suits look similar? Silly old you: Sophia Chauchard-Stuart on this autumn's major fashion con trick
Wrong. Read that headline again. This is new-look powerdressing. Nothing whatsoever like your old suit, despite the evidence of your eyes. Completely different. If you can't see it, poor old you. Everyone else can.
But can they? 'It's a softer animal,' says Kathryn Flett, editor of Arena, struggling to put her finger on it. 'It's not about accentuating or putting on masculine armour and broad shoulders. The new suits don't walk into the room before you, they move with you.'
Other fashion pundits are equally insistent that the new look really is . . . well, new. 'I just don't think the silhouette is the same for the Nineties suit,' says Elizabeth Walker, executive fashion and beauty editor for Marie Claire magazine. She will definitely not be attacking her old shoulder pads with a QuickUnPik. 'I have a perfectly wonderful Versace jacket that I just can't wear anymore, the shoulders are wrong, the whole shape is different now. It starts from the shoulders, goes in at the waist, there's more humour - it's an altogether more casual look.'
Retailers are equally keen to emphasise the exciting new qualities of this season's merchandise - and to scotch any last faint vestige of hope that your old suit might be revivable. 'The new suit bears no relation to the powerdressing suit of the Eighties,' says Debbie Beaumont-Howell, of Harrods' fashion floor, who expects to shift a good few of them. 'The customer welcomes a return to tailoring, certainly, but the emphasis now is on softness, a longer knee-length floaty skirt and no shoulder pads. We're looking at a wide spectrum of colours, from lovely, soft pastels to bright jewel shades - there's certainly no beige this season. The new suit is a far softer line and nothing like the structured style of the Eighties powerdressing look.'
New Suit buzz words are 'fluidity' and 'softness' - the technically minded may home in on high-cut arm holes, while shoulders are 'tiny, tiny, tiny' (Karl Lagerfeld). So now you know.
Caryn Franklin, style journalist and presenter of The Clothes Show, puts it rather differently. 'It's about making money by marketing a so-called new look and relegating the perfectly serviceable items we already have in our wardrobes to old news.' Franklin is one woman who isn't updating her wardrobe unnecessarily. 'Fashion journalists always make sweeping statements about styles of dress being in or out when really they all know the issue to be more complex. It's the way the fashion industry works, selling us clothes we don't really need.'
Life & Style blogs
The Interview release: President Obama hails Sony's decision to put out film on Christmas Day after all
Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
GTA 5: Christmas arrives in Los Santos as update brings snowball fights, festive jumpers and a homing missile launcher
'Tis the season!: Google celebrates Christmas Eve with second animated Doodle
Christmas 2014: Jesus was not born in a stable, says theologian
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
- 1 North Korean prison officers 'cooked prisoner's baby and fed it to their dogs', more horrific accounts from UN report reveal
- 2 Antonio Martin shooting: Mayor says there should be 'no comparison' to Ferguson
- 3 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 4 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
- 5 Isis 'did not shoot down coalition-led warplane' before capturing Jordanian pilot, says US
£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...
£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...
Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...