Fashion: The smart money is on easy dressing

Darling jacket and trousers in soft pink from Fenn Wright Manson.
Darling jacket and trousers in soft pink from Fenn Wright Manson.
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Tailoring goes effortless for spring and summer, with fluid lines and elegant, simple shapes. Fashion Editor Stephanie Smith has tips on what to buy and how to get the look rightap.

Why make life harder and more uncomfortable than it needs to be?

Hayley Hasselhoff art directs and styles the Navabi collection s/s 18 collection available at navabi.co.uk. Trousers are �103.99, jacket �319.99.

Hayley Hasselhoff art directs and styles the Navabi collection s/s 18 collection available at navabi.co.uk. Trousers are �103.99, jacket �319.99.

In a modern world characterised by the politics of single-mindedness, a lack of unity and an “us first” mentality towards global relationships, fashion is reacting by taking it easy, in a professional kind of way.

So it is that tailoring for spring embraces effortlessness, with soft shapes and fluid lines bringing us smart dressing that looks and feel easy and elegant. This is insouciance that means business, no nonsense and yet carefully considered.

As is often the case with fashion, and with life, nothing is ever simple. We have pared-back lines and strong shapes, and yet detail is everything, with subtle twists and artful play made with cut and fabric, all breathing fresh life into tailored looks and suiting.

There’s a cool and slouchy borrowed-from-the-boys approach to much tailoring with softly sharp trousers and matching blazers layered with crisp but roomy shirts. Add a ruffle at a collar or sleeve if you want to add a more feminine touch – cross-trend dressing and anything that reflects gender fluidity is highly of the moment.

Polka dot London jacket, �199; trousers, �140. At Jigsaw.

Polka dot London jacket, �199; trousers, �140. At Jigsaw.

Pyjama dressing and athleisure have both brought influence to bear on office and business wear, which gives us trouser options for starters. Go loose and languid with silky wide-legs, or opt for a slimline but still soft and loose pair, perhaps with drawstring or easy gathers at the waist. Layer a breezy long shirt over and add a camel trench coat and flat loafers for a look that works for travel, meetings and a day at the desk.

If you want or feel the need to add definition and shape, belt at the waist, but keep the rest of the outfit minimal and relaxed.

Half tucking your shirt is an elegantly on-trend way to key into the easy, half-done trend, but be prepared for queries from less fashion-savvy colleagues and, of course, parents.

Collarless shirts are another chic option for introducing a clean, no-fuss appeal to tailored looks.

Double-breasted jacket, �129, shirt, �39.50, trousers, �79, Autograph at M&S.

Double-breasted jacket, �129, shirt, �39.50, trousers, �79, Autograph at M&S.

In terms of colour, ice-cream hues were seen at Victoria Beckham and Chanel linked with tailoring, and give a sweet and feminine edge to tweeds and woven linen fabrics. Fringing on hemlines adds interest and a classic elegance with casual overtones. Pastel, tweedy suits in pink and pale blue are given new life by teaming with flat loafers, pumps and trainers, which can easily be swapped for heels when the occasion requires.

Don’t allow terms such as “mannishness” and “gender fluidity” let you think that this is fashion only for those with pencil-slim, athletic and straight-up-and-d0wn figure shapes.

This is tailoring that works equally well with curves and can prove flattering and liberating, with its unstructured, skimming yet strong and purposeful silhouettes.

Curve model Hayley Hasselhoff (daughter of David) has art-directed and styled a spring/summer ‘18 shoot starring herself for Navabi, bringing modern, glamorous, Californian lightness to timeless, elegant Italian tailoring.

Autograph jacket, �79, Marks & Spencer. Trousers to come.

Autograph jacket, �79, Marks & Spencer. Trousers to come.

Petites especially should look out for natty, chic, slim and cropped matching jacket and trouser suits with all-over patterning from polka dots to florals. Keep the look simple and current with flat shoes, including sliders as we move to the spring.

Nothing should be either too overdone or too underdone, so a loose tuck here, an unbutton there, will help achieve the required degree of effortlessness. Never under-estimate the quiet power of casually smart and easy elegance,

Fenn Wight Manson Natalie coat, was �249, now �199.20; wrap skirt, was �109, now �87.20. At John Lewis.

Fenn Wight Manson Natalie coat, was �249, now �199.20; wrap skirt, was �109, now �87.20. At John Lewis.

Backless bow loafer, �18, coming to Dorothy Perkins.

Backless bow loafer, �18, coming to Dorothy Perkins.

Fenn Wright Manson Darling tailored jacket, �179; trousers, �99. At FennWrightManson.com and John Lewis.

Fenn Wright Manson Darling tailored jacket, �179; trousers, �99. At FennWrightManson.com and John Lewis.

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