You’ve got the perfect floral dress, monochromatic top and striped pants for spring. Now it’s time to add a little androgyny to your wardrobe with one of this season’s top fashion trends: the short suit, seen on the runways at Victoria Beckham, Roland Mouret, Michael Kors and more. We know matching a tailored jacket with a pair of shorts can be daunting, but with these expert fashion tips from Toronto stylist Sansyrae St. Martin, we guarantee that you’ll master this spring trend in no time.

Slideshow: Top 20 WHITE suits from the Spring 2013 runways

Runway trend inspiration: Fendi, Jil Sander, Carolina Herrera, Michael Kors, Badgley Mischka, Helmut Lang, Victoria Beckham, Chadwick Bell, Rebecca Minkoff, Roland Mouret

Celebrity trend inspiration: From the runway to the red carpet, the stars are embracing the short suit trend this season in a big way. Celebrities who’ve donned the short suit include Kristen Stewart, Amanda Seyfried, Solange Knowles and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Fashion tip #1: How to choose the best short suit for your body

Because the short suit has a unique silhouette, it’s essential to choose the right design, shape and accessories for your body type. "Short suits always look great on leggy women,” explains stylist Sansyrae St. Martin. "It’s a great way to show off that best feature.” However, women with a longer torso and shorter legs should avoid the short suit because it will emphasize the length of your back and minimize the extent of your legs, making you appear shorter than desired.

Slideshow: 4 ways to wear STRIPES for Spring 2013

Find out more on pairing a short suit with your body shape on the next page…


If you have an hourglass body type: St. Martin suggests choosing a short suit that has a longer jacket to cover your curves rather than cut your body off at the hip. The longer the jacket is, the more flattering the suit will be.

If you have a tall and athletic body type:
Look for shorts with cuffs or pleats to add interest to your lower half−a fabulous way to highlight a slim, sporty build. Pick a jacket that sits at the small of your back to even out your profile and show off your muscular physique. Mix with a pretty bracelet or pumps for an ultra feminine look.

Slideshow: 30 spring HEELS to lust over

If you have a petite frame: Choose a cropped jacket with simple, straight shorts and no embellishments. Plain, linear shorts will have an elongating effect on your legs to stretch out your stature and make you look taller. Plus, the shorter jacket will add a geometric feel to the suit, giving you a few more angles to work with.

Fashion tip #2: How to wear the short suit for daytime

The key to wearing the short suit to work is creating a look that is conservative and respectable in your field. “Make sure that your shorts are not too short. Use the old school girl method−your shorts should not be shorter than where your fingertips fall at your side,” says Sansyrae. Pair it with a turtleneck, or a collared shirt buttoned to the top with a pretty necklace. Avoid wearing mega high heels to maintain a professional appearance.

Slideshow: 10 stylish ways to freshen up your OFFICE wardrobe

Jazz up your modest short suit with a more stylish accessory such as a pretty hair band to draw attention to your face, or even a traditional silk scarf for a chic finish. To make the short suit more casual, add a knit hat and ankle booties, the perfect combination for a spring shopping spree or for attending a few shows at Toronto Fashion Week.

Fashion tip #3: How to wear the short suit for evening

If you’re hoping to change your office short suit into a trendy piece of evening wear, it can be done with ease. “Tweeds and wooly textures are more appropriate for day, where silks and glossy fabrics are best suited for evening,” St. Martin points out. How do you actually transition from day to night? Wear a pretty camisole under a button-down shirt to work. When you’re ready to head out, leave the shirt at your desk and throw on some extra high heels or boots matched with a gorgeous statement necklace, earrings or a ring.

The number one lesson? Wear the suit with confidence—and don’t ever sell yourself short, sartorially or otherwise.

Read More

Spring 2013 fashion trend lesson: How to wear florals this season

Get the look: Punchy patterns for spring
Spring fashion trend lesson: 4 ways to wear the mod look

Get the look: Pretty spring clutches