Sorry, Sweatsuits — You've Just Been Replaced By The 3-Piece Outfit Trend
Forget what you heard about the trends of the 1990s and early aughts making a comeback. Despite their resurgence, fashion is actually going through a renaissance.
Designers have seemingly gone back to the drawing board, taking more traditional looks and modernizing them to meet the next generation's MO. Items that have been highly genderized in the past now have a gender-neutral spin, and we're revisiting the idea of what exactly a capsule wardrobe means (hint: it's not always button-downs and trousers). Amidst these new wardrobe essentials will be an updated take on the three-piece suit, reimagining this pairing in a way where logistics aren't so black and white.
If 2020 was the year of the updated co-ord, 2021 is the year of the updated three-piece set. While this phrasing usually makes us think of suit jackets and vests styled with pants or a skirt, the modern version is more or less up to the individual's interpretation. Whichever matching set you feel your best (and most comfortable) in, works, from a sweatsuit with a coordinated coat to a pre-planned outfit that includes a cardigan, skirt, and hat. To quote Grease, "rules are, there ain't no rules."
Three-piece sets peppered the Fall 2021 runway, but unlike prior Fall 2020 collections from brands like Burberry, Louis Vuitton, and Marc Jacobs, which showcased more tailored, conservative fits, the refurbished look is anything but traditional.
One of the most obvious ways designers challenged the status quo is through components of the set. Rosetta Getty, for example, produced a three-piece leather combination that included a brown asymmetrical jacket and pair of pants, then topped things off with a coordinating longline blazer. Technically, it's still the matchy-matchy look we've grown love, but the additional item makes it feel fresh.
Designers also weren't afraid to play around with bold prints. While typical three-piece suits tend to be monochromatic or decorated with a pinstripe design, Anna Sui and Alice and Olivia's sets featured statement-making hues and in-your-face patterns. The latter mixed black, red, and white gingham, while the former used a combination of eye-popping shapes in green, purple, and shades of deep pink.
The good news is, this coordinating trend can still be just as comfy as your old sweatsuit. In fact, if you simply add a matching jacket to said old sweatsuit, you've essentially nailed the look. Plus, while there are pre-made three-piece sets out there, your outfit doesn't have to match perfectly. In fact, Prabal Gurung's take was more focused on color scheme, including a blazer with a ribbed henley shirt underneath, textured bottoms, and an athletic peacoat.
One major thing to highlight about this new matching set is that coats are now a big part of the equation. On Michael Kors' runway, there were a variety of outerwear options that appeared both cute and functional. They matched the skirts and dresses underneath them, but still looked warm enough for a snowstorm.
Now, you might be thinking, the runway is one thing, but how is this new phenomenon translating to real life? Celebrities have been hopping on the trend, too, and their versions are slightly more attainable. Shay Mitchell, for example, took the trend tropical with a green three-piece set decorated with a white floral pattern.
Kendall Jenner hit the tennis court in a very cute cardigan, bralette, and pleated skirt from Alo Yoga (and accessorized with matching sunnies).
Khloe Kardashian also designed pieces for Good American that, when combined, could create a cohesive, three-piece set.
The new three-piece set is what you make it — classic, comfortable, professional, or off-duty — and there are plenty of picks to shop. Check out some of our favorites, below.
Boohoo 3 Piece Crop Culotte & Duster Two-Piece Set
Shop now: $24 (Originally $60); boohoo.com
Free People Axel Short Set
Shop now: $349; freepeople.com
EB Denim Jacket, Bustier, and Skirt
Shop now: $275 for the bustier; revolve.com. $230 for the skirt; revolve.com. $430 for the jacket; revolve.com
Missguided Gray Cardigan Wide Leg and Bralette 3 Piece Co Ord Set
Shop now: $30 (Originally $76); missguidedus.com
Maeve Gingham Three-Piece Short Set
Shop now: $90 (Originally $138); anthropologie.com
Fashion to Figure Nika Linned Blazer, Ribbed Bra Top, and Bike Shorts
Shop now: $30 for the brat top; fashiontofigure.com. $50 for the bike shorts; fashiontofigure.com. $80 for the blazer; fashiontofigure.com
Reformation Janice Set
Shop now: $198; thereformation.com
Saylor Tiggy Set
Shop now: $297; revolve.com
Shein 3pcs Waffle Knit Cami Top & Knot Pants & Robe PJ Set
Shop now: $24; shein.com
Nasty Gal On The Move 3-Pc Lounge Set
Shop now: $31 (Originally $61); nastygal.com
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