How To Take Your Classic Black Suit From Drab to FAB

How To Update Your Pantsuit

There is nothing that makes you look longer, taller, and more powerful than a well-tailored, black pantsuit! Luckily, most of us have a suit in our closet that we can pull out in a pinch…Whether it’s a matching blazer and pants or separates that work well together. But I prefer to take my basics up a notch with modern twists. I’m sharing how to wear a black pantsuit so that it’s modern and chic. These are simple tweaks you can make to elevate your black suits next time you need a boost of confidence in that pantsuit! And don’t forget, pantsuits aren’t just for the office…many women wear them to events and even weddings now too.

If you’re looking for office and WFH outfits, make sure you check out this post.

Classic Black Suit for women

Classic Black Suit Updates

Tips For A Modern Pantsuit

  • Swap the silhouette of your blazer. Instead of a traditional blazer, try a boyfriend or cropped blazer.
  • Swap the silhouette of your pants. Instead of tapered pants, try a flared, bootcut, wide, or straight-leg style.
  • Show your personality with what you wear under your blazer. Instead of going with a basic black or white blouse, try a print or bold color.
  • Textures can elevate a pantsuit instantly. Try to add texture with materials like satin, silk, cashmere, cable knit, ribbed, etc. to make it look even more stylish.
  • Try something trendy. Many women over 40 shy away from trying new trends. But with a new take on suiting hitting the runway every season, trying out the newest suiting trend is one of the simplest ways to update your classic pantsuit. Examples of current suiting trends are vests, neckties, cardigans, and extra layering.
  • Add feminine details like Peter Pan collared shirts or bow blouses to modernize your pantsuit.
  • Belt it! Adding a waist belt not only helps to create that smaller cinched waist, it’s a cool, modern styling trick.

Keep scrolling to see how I’ve updated my pantsuit for a more modern look…using these tips!


Classic Black Suit outfits for women


Modern Pantsuit Look

Following the tips I laid out above, I swapped a traditional blazer for a boyfriend blazer. This Mango blazer has a longer hemline and a more relaxed fit, making it more casual. Underneath, I’m wearing a gorgeous, printed ba&sh blouse. I love the neutral black and white print and high neckline. This look is from a few years ago so I linked similar options above for any pieces that are sold out.

I tried out the layered suiting trend with a fun, check print, black and white cardigan over my blouse. The contrast of the check print on the cardigan and the polka dot print on the blouse gives the look an interesting fashion-forward twist. Even though these are two different prints, they work together because they’re in the same color family. Plus, this layering technique is great if you work in a really cold office!

On my bottom half, I’m wearing Spanx wide-leg pants that are so wonderful…Just trust me on this one. They are super chic but feel like you’re wearing workout leggings! (For real. They’re the best.) They’re super high-waisted, make you feel secure (but are still comfortable), and the wide leg makes them even more flattering. On my feet, I’m wearing a classic pair of black, pointed-toe pumps but you could also wear booties, slingbacks, loafers, flats, mules, etc.

By the way, if you need tips on how to mix prints, check out this post.

What To Wear With Pantsuit

Based on the tips I shared above, there are SO many different options to wear with your pantsuit or any suit you’re rocking. Here are a few simple options to add to your suit to change things up a little and get outside of your comfort zone…

Printed blouse or sweater
Colorful blouse or sweater
A turtleneck
Printed cardigan or lady jacket
Pumps (for the office)
Strappy heels (for date night or an event)
Sneakers (to dress it down)
A subtly patterned blazer (like a dark gray check or pinstripe)

Which of these tips are you going to try out next time you wear a pantsuit? Please share in the comments below!

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Join the Conversation

8 thoughts on “How To Take Your Classic Black Suit From Drab to FAB

  1. If you switch out your black suit jacket for a different black jacket (ex. Black Boyfriend Jacket) then your material & black color may differ. How do you work around that?

    1. We actually cover that over in this blog! The key is to make it obvious that they are different fabrics. When you try to get them close enough to match, but they aren’t quite the same, that is when it looks off. But when it’s a different fabric in the same color, or a different shade of that color, it will look intentional and chic. ~Team Busbee

  2. I ordered a pair of the Spanx black pants since you raved about them so much. Can’t wait to see how they look with my black blazer. I love how your clutch and sweater match.

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