Pant Suit Nation: Fashion Wants To Dress Up Your Morning Commute

Michael Kors, Proenza Schouler and Gabriela Hearst lead the way

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It's turning out to be a season of workwear.

It began at the men's shows, where brands ranging from Balenciaga to Martine Rose all showed very directional takes on commuter dressing complete with boxy shoulder padded tailoring, stiff button downs and khakis.

And, the idea has carried right over to the women's shows in New York. Though here it's less conceptual, less of a conversation-starting piece, and more about appealing, wearable clothes to make you feel a little more powerful in your everyday life.

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In what was its last New York Fashion Week show (the brand will take its collections to Paris from July onward), Proenza Schouler touched on the idea with cool, clever takes on 9-to-5 staples: oversized work jackets and coats and matching trousers, all spliced with large zippers and a sporty logo. And, all in the commuter colour palette of choice, black and grey.

And, all in the commuter colour palette of choice, black and grey.

Michael Kors, meanwhile, gave his working woman a Nineties silhouette in slouchy, mannish tailoring that made a nice counterpoint to his trademark jet set, fur-lined glamour (though the collection had plenty of that too.)

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A Nineties take on workwear is trending this week. Phillip Lim showed hints of the idea in his colourful, slouchy trouser suits that came in bright pink and blue, with a belted high waist.

And anyone looking to buy into the double-breasted blazer, trending this week, need look no further than Gabriela Hearst's excellent options.

As proven by Kors, Hearst and Proenza Schouler, the career coat — sleek, tailored, often-belted, outerwear that says and means business — continues to be a thing this week. Practically every look at The Row, for example, featured one.

This is serious fashion for serious times. After several seasons in which our work and off-duty wear became completely blended (raise your hand if you wore track suit bottoms to the office), this is a definite shift in mood.

The new emphasis on polished, commuter dressing cuts a stark contrast to the more casual sport and street wear we've all grown attached to. But fashion has never been one to sit still for one long.

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