The Post-Pandemic Grey Flannel Suit

What does the grey flannel suit look like post-pandemic?

It looks like this. Psst. Look to the right.
Some might say, “Directrice, that’s no suit. You’re wearing a sawed-off cocktail dress.”
I must disagree. I am wearing hard pants and in our current times, hard pants are an unambiguous signifier of business attire.
A grey flannel suit for our times; I am all business

Our Lady of Bad Ideas says What a great idea!
Technically, however, the naysayers are correct. I am wearing a sawed-off cocktail dress.
Isn’t it fun! The satin decollatage (reminiscent of Madonna dressed by Jean Paul Gaultier) and metallic-threaded wool, ruched and folded just so. I saw this dress on The RealReal and knew it was meant to be a third piece.

A third piece is that thing that elevates a simple top and bottom into an actual outfit. It can be a terrific scarf, a piece of statement jewelry, or an interesting layered top — vest, pinafore, apron, camisole.
Isn’t it a relief to know that you can actually fashion an interesting wardrobe around fairly basic tops and pants with just a half dozen third pieces?
Third piece trapped in the body of a too-short cocktail dress

I am providing a rare shot from behind, so that you can see how the wool fabric is gathered and knotted, revealing a little more of the satin camisole. The top itself is layered.
You can also take a moment congratulate me for resisting your entreaties to alter these pants, which used to be quite loose. Post-pandemic, they are snug; fortunately they include a little forgiving stretch fiber.
The rear; I saw my future and I waited for it

Come closer and take a better look.
Making this dress into a top was simple. It only required cutting off the majority of the skirt (which was too short to begin with) to create a peplum. What is a peplum, but a tiny, tiny skirt? There was also a strangely shaped underwire sewn into the bodice — small cup structure, u-shaped — that needed to be removed.
Modest alterations that theoretically could have been been done by me

Could have been, but were not
Fatima did them, with a lot of enthusiasm for the project; she understands me

And now an invasive telephoto lens shot for those who really want to see the details.
The Photographer labeled these photo files “Madonna Returns”

Top: Proenza Schouler from The RealReal (this dress shows up regularly on The RealReal, and is there right now in this grey wool and a blue satin with sequins — which is not right for work but could make a fun holiday top?); Talbots Perfect Shirt

9 thoughts on “The Post-Pandemic Grey Flannel Suit”

  1. The Photographer apologizes to the Directorate for taking a pic in which a bit of her blouse was peeking out from the peplum. During a shoot I’m thinking about exposure, angle, filter, lighting…everything but the clothes! But speaking of the clothes, the fabric in this top has a lovely pink sheen, almost like glitter. It’s most visible in the last photograph.

  2. Such a great ensemble! I would never look at a too-short cocktail dress and envision it as a peplum top. Thankfully, you did!

  3. I was getting worried several posts back about the slightly bohemian outfit that was worn to work. I should not have been concerned — it’s lovely to see pre-pandemic style with hard pants included!

  4. I’m still giggling over “Our Lady of Bad Ideas”.

    Your outfit is stunning – I love your suit idea with a corset or bustier 3rd piece. Thank you!

  5. I’m so happy when (early) Madonna manifests in Gen X fashion these days— there’s so much there to mine, and while one risked looking like a wannabe back in the day, her influences now are much easier to sample a la carte. Brava for rehabilitating the Gaultier bustier!


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