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STYLE Suitable Attire

For spring, the traditional suit takes on a kinder, gentler look, with softer fabrics and colors.
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YOU KNOW OU KNOW THE TYPE. RARELY CONtroversial, often unexciting, prone to suffer the kind of identity crisis unique to the uncharismatic. Never really in and never really out, it is traditionally more comfortable in a man’s world. It is the Bob Dole of fashion.

We are talking, of course, about the suit.

Women’s fashion designers have never known how to wrestle this invention of man from its rightful owner. Meanwhile, fashion trends-the ripped blue jeans, the shrunken midriffs-are allowed to set the tone for a season. Classics like the suit are left standing in the background making fashion statements through subtle changes. From season to season, lapels narrow, pants widen; jackets nip at the waist, skirts dance above and below the knee. But the suit rarely finds itself among the fashion newsmakers.

Until now.

This year, suits for spring emerge as part of the season’s new minimalistic approach to dressing. Softer and gentler-in color, fabric, silhouette-the newest offerings bear little resemblance to the suits of fall. Gone are the form-fitting, classically tailored, often mens-wear-inspired styles of seasons past.

Which, like spring itself, suits us fine.

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