Ask Angie: CAN a pink pantsuit become the new cocktail dress?

In Angie's spring summer inspiration board she pinned certain outfit with the comment, "This shocking pink suit could be the new cocktail dress. Love it so much."

That, along with today's post on masculinity threshold, set the wheels to turning. 

As you know, I did not feel like myself in the cobalt and black cocktail dress that I showed you the other day. It fits, it looks good -- but I don't feel fab in it. Perhaps it's just too "strong" for me, too bold and dramatic. Or dramatic in the wrong way. Or perhaps it's too feminine/ bombshell. I need a dose of masculinity or at least androgyny. 

Some of you may recall that last year I got, from my consignment store, a fuchsia silk pantsuit. 

It cost me less than $20 for all three pieces. I wore the top quite a lot, the jacket a few times, and the pants only once, to take Anna up on her suggestion that I copy a ManRepeller outfit on New Year's Eve. 

Now I am wondering, can this suit be my new cocktail dress? 

Showing it here a bunch of ways for your thoughts. 

1-4: The suit with the J Crew tuxedo shirt, pants as is. Note: the pants are high waisted, but with the boxy shirt sort of pulled out a bit, that's not as evident (I think). 

5/6 : Showing the pants brought up to different lengths -- cropped more, and shorts. If I were to shorten, what length would work? I am a terrible judge of this. 

7: With the Rag and Bone tux shirt. 

8: With a silky cami instead of a shirt. This one is too low on the chest, but I could buy a silky crew-neck T. 

9: With a light-coloured cami -- again -- could replace with a silky white or ivory tee. 

10-12 Inspiration pics. 

I've tried various accessories, too, just to play around. I could buy different shoes and bags if these clutches (my mother's) are deemed not modern enough. 

What think you? Is this do-able, somehow? Could I make it work? What would I need to do to make it fly? 

P.S. I feel much more like myself in this suit. 

P.S.S. I also have a few other "shopping my closet" options that I can show you. Just wanted to put this out there because if the pants need alteration, I should take them soon. They are lined. 
This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Krista replied 7 years ago
    I love it and I love the idea of you wearing it to the Gala! I like #8 best.  
  • deb replied 7 years ago
    Not Angie, but I think this works beautifully. I like it best with the tuxedo shirt, #1.
  • MsMary replied 7 years ago
    LOVE IT! My favorite is #1 also!
  • Rambling Ann replied 7 years ago
    Please try your obi as cummerbund! I love this. Do you have a gold tank or silk tee? The suit is beautiful and you look happy. Wear it!
  • Nicole D replied 7 years ago
    You look ravishing.  I would not shorten.  Like the idea of a metallic with it, although already pretty shiny. Set a trend!
  • Kristin SF replied 7 years ago
    LOVE IT! This is IT!!! I literally gasped out loud when I looked at the first pic.

    My favorite is #1, it's just so chic and perfect. How awesome that this has been in your closet all along!

    ETA: You will most certainly stand out in this beautiful color and style. No one else will be at the gala in anything remotely similar, I am betting!
  • JulieJohn replied 7 years ago
    Suz, YES! You look so gorgeous, especially loving #1. Please wear this to your gala, and never look back. My eyes thank you.
  • Bagaline replied 7 years ago
    How lovely you look in that suit! I agree with Krista that No.8 is the best and the pants length is perfect. However, I feel that the contrast with black cami and shoes is a bit too stark: what about dark blue/navy? 
  • Sona replied 7 years ago
    big fan of # 8. perfect masculine/feminine juxtaposition. This is much more Suz-esque.
  • Angie replied 7 years ago
    YES!!!! Clever, Suz!!!

    I vote a little longer than #5 but shorter than #1. (I have poison eye for the length of pants in #1 so bear that in mind, although it is trending :)).

    My further suggestion: You need light footwear. Leave out all the black - in the arm candy too. 

    So perhaps invest in the footwear and you are set!! xo
  • catgirl replied 7 years ago
    I am a huge yes here.  It's femme-drogynous dressing at its best (and yes, I made that word up!)...
  • K. Period. replied 7 years ago
    Gorgeous! I love it!  I vote shorten them to about 3 inches above your side ankle bone. 
  • Suz replied 7 years ago
    Oh! Thank you! I am so glad this seems do-able!! 

    Okay. Tomorrow I may ask advice again about the pants length, Angie. I am so clueless on this. Also, it's a bit tricky to get them pulled up to begin with, since they're tapered and lined. 

    I will happily leave out the black/ dark. What colour shoes? White? Metallic silver or gold? The SE sandals (silver and nude)? 

    For a top, should it be a silky light coloured T? Or the tux shirt? 

  • Deborah replied 7 years ago

    Yes! I have been waiting for this suit to come out to play.

  • Angie replied 7 years ago
    Edited: I meant INVEST in the footwear. Sorry, Suz :(

    I'd pin 4 inches above the ankle bone first, and look at the proportions. In the photo below, my pants are cropped 8 inches above the top of my ankle bone - I just popped them on to measure so it's accurate! I wore my tux shirt - which is the same as your tux shirt - with the suit to an event a few weeks ago actually. I added heeled black and white pointy toe spectator oxfords because it wasn't a formal event. 

    You need dressy shoes! White, silver, gold, pewter all get my thumbs up. I just bought these light gold pumps and love them. I went shopping with a client yesterday and wore them for the first time. I had happy feet! Perhaps they are an option for you too:
  • Neelie replied 7 years ago
    I like the dark top underneath, (#8) reads dressier to me, and I like the pants length as is.  Shorter seems to much less dressy.  Beautiful pants suit! 
  • Transcona Shannon replied 7 years ago
    Suz - I loved this suit when you first showcased it, every single piece. And I love it even MORE as you have styled it here. Although all incarnations work beautifully, the simplicity and strength of #4 just WOWS me. Switch the shoes to white pumps (maybe check out the same ones Angie bought as they seem very comfy for her) and you will looking even more STUNNING.

    I must tell you - I'm so incredibly impressed with how you go on your gut reaction to certain things. The dress is great technically but you don't feel great in it 'cause it's not you so you just get on with the business of putting together YOUR outfit. Totally admirable :)
  • Sarah A replied 7 years ago
    Yes! A pink pantsuit can of course be the new cocktail dress!

    I love this for your gala! And I loved it when you first posted it last year too! I vote the white tux shirt, pant length closer to #5 and the gold heels Angie linked! (I wore gold heels for my wedding though so I might be biased... :) )
  • Caro in Oz replied 7 years ago
    YES YES - YLF. This is my kind of evening wear (sorry for shouting).
  • Mona replied 7 years ago
    Totally smashing!!!! i am so excited to see you in this pink suit again. I loved it when you got it and hoped to see you in it more often. You have got some great suggestions from other fabbers about accessories and I am sure with the new footwear, you will be one of the best dressed  and most stylish person attending that gala.
  • Ariadne replied 7 years ago
    I am purposely not reading the other comments before replying, so as to give my uninfluenced opinion, which, MUCH to my surprise, is... 

    ...a resounding YES!  I just about passed out when I got to numbers 7 and 8.  Suz, this is IT!  It's vibrant, on-trend yet timeless, androgynous, strong, and SO VERY COOL.  If you wear this to the gala you're going to leave a wake of fainting writers at your feet.  

    I can't wait to see what you decide re: alteration because I'm useless about that.

    ETA: HA!  Seems like it's a consensus.  Time to shop for shoes with all the money you just saved (oh how I wish I could go to Holt Renfrew with you to look..!)
  • unfrumped replied 7 years ago
    Wow. How brilliant is this.

    I like the white tux shirt for you, but you could swing a silky T as well--but agree go with a light color. Is there any concern you would be too warm in the shirt + jacket? Because you need the jacket on to carry the deal, I think. That would not be a problem for me, as I freeze at evening indoor events.

    Angie's post today is perfectly aligned in all respects, because I think you are doing exactly the same thing with this outfit's options--what components give the right combo of masculine/feminine ( and lucky you, there will   be more than 1 fab combo; you may just have to go eeny meeny).

    I vote dressy pumps over sandals for that reason, since pointy closed-toe pumps scream lady (even if maybe "lady in bondage to footwear fashions"--sorry); and  I can seldom wear any and be comfortable, so not fair to recommend them, maybe. Angie's link to her pumps is super because they're kind of silver-gold, you know? They're blonde! Better than silver OR true gold. And more low-contrast with legs. I think that subtle metallic is fabber than a plain white pump, but white would not be a deal breaker, as I know shoes are hard to get in dressy + comfortable. So if your feet can't make peace with the pump, then a metallic sandal would be next, but very dressy and lady-like, I think. You cannot cross over to the crops & sandals look.

    I may have to take up fainting.
  • Parsley replied 7 years ago
    Suz, this is brilliant!
    My favorite is the low neckline of #8, maybe in a silvery top, because I think showing that little bit of skin is a feminine touch that keeps the masculine in check. Pretty shoes like the ones Angie showed will be another great feminine touch. I'd go as high a heel as you can stand!

    Now this is an outfit to be excited about! You're going to be STUNNING !!!
  • MNsara replied 7 years ago
    Suz - this is brilliant!  I didn't realize just how un-yourself you felt about the dress, but now, seeing you in these pics, I clearly see how much you DO feel yourself!

    I actually love the pulled up pants, and think Angie's recommendation will help you find that perfect sweet spot.  (Once found, you could consider seam tape sewn inside each of the four seams to 'ruche' them exactly.)
    My two faves were 5 and 8 - there was something about that dark tank that grounded the outfit and seemed more elegant -- to me.  Or maybe it was that the black tank balanced the dark footwear. . .

    How fun that you can switch you efforts into perfect footwear!  You'll get so much extra mileage out of the additional footwear than you'd get out of a gala dress (and especially one you have any qualms about!)  :-)

    Had to add that this will definitely be a bold style statement, outside the norm of cocktail dress, and how proud I am of you being confident of yourself and your style -- you go, girl!
  • kkards replied 7 years ago

    OMG! This suit is FAB!

  • replied 7 years ago

    I was going to suggest this the other day to you and I am sooooo glad you thought of it! I think the pants cropped a little will be perfect. This is more truly you!

  • Suz replied 7 years ago
    Wow, I am so thrilled that you all love this!! I felt really happy about it when I bought it, but it got mixed reviews then, and I know the pants length was a problem. I'm a teensy bit worried that Wonder Woman East may not be able to do this the right way -- they may need a bit of tapering once they are shortened. But we'll see. I'll discuss with her. 

    I love the shoes you linked to, Angie, and will probably order them. I might look for a slightly higher heeled one, too. And I'll look for a silky kind of tank as well. I might end up wearing the tux shirt, but I would like to have the option. 

    If I get gold shoes, will the gold clutch be okay? 

    Another question: should I have the jacket sleeves made 3/4 length? I will only ever wear them scrunched. They stay scrunched relatively well on their own, but it might simplify. I don't want to be fussing with my clothing at all. 

    Unfrumped, I am sure I'll be okay with the jacket on all night. There will be air conditioning. The event is being held in a wonderful old Art Deco room that has been restored to its former glamour. 

    Thank you everyone for weighing in on this. It is going to be a lot of fun to wear it. I know nobody else will have anything like this, which makes it so much more fun. 
  • Sheila replied 7 years ago

    Oh my goodness gracious! These pictures just made my day, you look simply amazing in that fabulous color! Love, love, love the shoes Angie is recommending to you and cannot wait to see the final outfit. Will definitely have to buy some smelling salts, as I can see a "faint" in my future!!!

  • Beth Ann replied 7 years ago
    Stunning, Suz!  Sometimes the answer is right under our nose!  I think gold clutch and shoes would be great (love the ones Angie linked to) --- matchy is in!  As for the sleeves --- I like the scrunch better, I think, but it is not worth it if you are fussing, I agree!

  • krishnidoux replied 7 years ago
    I vote keep it its actual length! Maybe you want to have it altered for a slimmer leg... if there is enough time. 

    And yay for light footwear!

    My favourite is with a cami. I don't think 8 is too low! But 9 is perfect. You could also try it with a lighter fushia or another ligther colour that could further change the whole vibe. 
  • Runcarla replied 7 years ago

    I don't believe it! Yes, the cobalt and black sheath is stunning, but this suit is so YOU! I wasn't around when you bought the suit, but I've seen the jacket, and this hot pink/ fuchsia colour is your SIGNATURE, to me.

    The colour keeps the suit high festive, but the actually quite conservative style reigns everything in. You will stand out from the crowd, but fit in...know what I mean?

    I do like the longer just above the ankle length, but I have a soft spot for that styling. It is al really quite fab. A gold or silver silky tank under the jacket, and gold or silver shoes, and matching bag. Love the brocade shoes...and I do think pale gold would be the better colour.

    You will rock the gala in this princely, but entirely feminine outfit.

    You ARE, Le Petit Prince!

  • Sarah A replied 7 years ago
    Yippee! I dont vote to 3/4 the sleeve but I did this recently to keep too wide sleeves scrunched and I love how it works.

    I just ran a needle and thread back and forth through the seam from about the mid upper arm until about an inch for the wrist then pulled up the slack and played with what worked. After I adjusted it I ran a double thread of embriodary floss the same place and tied it off. It stays up great and once snip and I can go back anytime. I did each of the 2 seams on the arms.
  • Thistle replied 7 years ago

    Late to the party, but I love #1. Angie's kshoe idea is perfect. Feminine but with a low enough heel your feet won't hate you. I think a gold clutch would go well. But I am matchy matchy like that. :)

  • pil replied 7 years ago
    I think I just fainted for the first time : )
  • Joy replied 7 years ago

    This is so exciting! Every other woman at the gala is going to be envious. I love the "blonde" heels In Angie' s link. You will be stunning. ( you are already stunning, but you know what I mean...)

  • carolbee replied 7 years ago

    Late to the party but had to chime in. Yes to the pink suit, not savvy enough to give an opinion about the pants length. If you want to try shorter sleeves on the jacket Sarah A's method sounds good (I'm going to try this out on the side seams of some too long tops!). I agree with the suggestions re a lighter colour/lower neck top, a silky or lacy tank or tee and lighter shoes for sure, the black is too dark. Good luck, looking forward to seeing the finished outfit.

  • Day Vies replied 7 years ago
    I think a suit can be a cocktail dress. The fabrication is spot on, the color is fun and you feel more yourself in this outfit. You have everything you need to make this your cocktail dress.
  • Karie replied 7 years ago
    Suz, I love this! I was wondering when I saw it on the orphans post if you were thinking of wearing it to the gala. The color looks stunning on you. I don't know much about PPL, but I like Angie's suggestions and would go with that. I also like the gold shoes Angie suggested.
  • MsMary replied 7 years ago
    Note to self:  Find an awesome fuschia silk pantsuit for upcoming law school reunion...
  • deb replied 7 years ago
    I vote for what Sarah A did with her sleeves. I would keep the pant as is. I like the length because it is current. 
  • Firecracker replied 7 years ago
    I love the suit! It's such a perfect solution for you. You look gorgeous in this glam adrogynous look! I actually was liking the pants length in 1, till I saw Angie's photo of her suit. If you got the pants to look like that, they'd be even better.
    But I was wondering, if you got a shiny heeled gladiator type sandal that disappeared under the pant leg (kind of a sandal-bootie), would the length in 1 work?
    I really like the tux blouse with the suit. A silky tee with some shine could work, too.
  • Liz A. replied 7 years ago
    Can the pants be slimmed to fit similar to Angie's?  That would be so fab!
  • annagybe replied 7 years ago
    I think once you tweak the legs it will be fantastic. And yes to gold shoes!
  • Ingunn replied 7 years ago

    Suz, seing you in this gorgeous suit almost brought tears to my eyes of joy. This is a fabtastic outfit, and so very you! You look radiant, beautiful, gorgeous, and sooo cool. it really shows your personality in the very best way, I think. I second the idea of metal pumps or very dressy sandals, and I adore the tux shirt, but a shell in metal would be equally fab. The gold clutch is perfect. I love what Sarah did to keep the sleeves scrunched. I am on the fence in regards of pant length, as I think they work well as is, too. But of course, altering them like Angie's will be really fab as well. I salute thee, Prince Suz!

  • replied 7 years ago
    Ditto everything everyone else has said. I was one of the mixed (up) reviewers when you debuted this suit last year, but what a difference a few months make! Now I can see it's bright possibilities. Angie will get you sorted on the exact pants length and I second the blonde cross-hatch pumps. You will be stunning, yay!
  • Adelfa replied 7 years ago
    It's very inspiring to see this process. When I look at pictures I try to form my own opinion before I read others.  When I saw your blue dress, I thought, wow, I love that dress so much and want it for myself, and it looks perfect on her, but I'm not sure it really expresses Suz.  I was amazed to see that others including Angie had already said the same. And now you're finding something totally different that just makes you glow. It's just so fun to watch you try things that seem like a reach but that are really you.
  • rae replied 7 years ago
    Ooh, very cool. My vote is for slightly more cropped than #1 in regard to the length. For styling, I like the plain shells best by FAR. Leave off the brooch. The pink suit makes enough of a statement on its own, IMO. Simplicity looks more modern with it. 
  • ElleH replied 7 years ago
    Wow! I love it! I think with a silky tee would be best. I don't favour the length in pic 1 so shorten as advised by Angie. 
  • Eliza replied 7 years ago

    How did I miss these festivities yesterday? That outfit is show-stopping on you. I like it best with the jacket open. The color is magnificent and with light shoes, it will all be perfection. So Suz!

  • Zapotee replied 7 years ago

    I like it if you can straighten the pant length. I vote simple styling and funky shoes. I would stay clear of too conservative footwear and would not add anything shiny.
    perhaps a nude d orsay pump?

    ETA: or these in nude?

  • MNsara replied 7 years ago
    Late thought - I personally wouldn't sew up the sleeves to scrunch them.  I actually think the act of pushing up your sleeves periodically adds nonchalance to the elegance (I know that sounds weird, but it's sort of the difference between saying YOU decided to scrunch the sleeves - because you're so stylish - vs. they came that way).  Is it insouciance?

    I wouldn't see fussing with scrunched pant legs in the same way, though  ;-)  So if you raise/scrunch them, I'd make that fixed.

    I hope you're having fun sorting through the outfit ideas. . .!
  • replied 7 years ago
    I'm a bit late to this thread but, OH EM GEE! YLF! 
    Sorry didn't mean to shout but I LOVE IT!!
    I love the suggestions made already for lighter footwear and the correct pant length as guided by Angie. You are going to look great at the do and I'm so glad you listened to your inner voice.
  • Mia replied 7 years ago

    Ah, this is so modern and I love that it's a "find". Buy the best shoes you can afford (that are comfy enough) and be the belle of the ball. You have already "won" girl. Can't wait to see the final reveal.

  • ManidipaM replied 7 years ago

    I've always maintained that suit was awesome ::smug grin:: Suz, you shall be scintillating!

  • cciele replied 7 years ago
    This is absolutely fantastic Suz! What a great solution. You look radiant, smashing and confident. I could go either way as far as pant lengths go.
  • Lisa replied 7 years ago
    I think it's a fun outfit for a dressy occasion.  You are so clever.

You need to be logged in to comment