This season’s must-have is the LWS (that’s a Little White Suit…)
17th September 2019

Eat your heart out, John Travolta! Forget an LBD – meet the glamorous gang who prove this season’s must-have is the LWS (that’s a Little White Suit…)

  • White Suit is this season’s alternative to Little Black Dress: flattering for all sizes 
  • They’re endlessly versatile and fill the wearer with an instant burst of va-va-voom
  • Those sporting them include Laura Dern and Line Of Duty actress Vicky McClure 

That’s brave,’ a mum at the school gates said to me recently. It wasn’t quite the reaction I was hoping for when I dressed that morning but, I suppose, it was understandable.

What was I wearing to provoke such a direct response, you might wonder.

My Little White Suit, of course.

You could think I’ve gone mad to even consider wearing such a thing on the school run, but while admittedly I’ve raised eyebrows for wearing white — I’ve never been able to ditch my Liz Hurley-esque predilection for white jeans — for me the Little White Suit is this season’s alternative to the Little Black Dress: flattering for all sizes, endlessly versatile and, vitally, filling the wearer with an instant burst of va-va-voom.

Left: Model Gigi Hadid in a Stella McCartney blazer (£1,250) and trousers (£495). Right: Singer Leona Lewis wears an Ong-Oaj Pairam suit (£2,400)

Left: Gwyneth Paltrow offsets a Magda Butrym blazer (£1,065) and trousers (£593) with a navy coat. Right: Actress Felicity Jones sports a Ruh blazer (£356) and trousers (£158)

Left: Posh Spice matches a £1,450 suit from her own collection with black shoes and clutch bag. Right: Vicky McClure dressed to kill entirely in Victoria Beckham (£2,942)

Karen Lynn Gorney and John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. Pictured, a promotional image for the film

I’m not alone. Celebrities of all ages and shapes agree with me. Everyone from Hollywood’s Laura Dern to our home-grown Line Of Duty superstar Vicky McClure has embraced the Little White Suit — or LWS. And it suits all skin tones, too.

So what’s making so many celebrities go for an LWS? Perhaps most obviously, for attention-seeking celebrities on the red carpet, the LWS says ‘look at me’ in a way a black suit never will. It’s also surprisingly easy to wear, making a statement without the need for accessories, big hair or fancy jewellery.

With an instantly co-ordinated top and bottom half, all the stress is taken out of dressing — and the end result is polished in an ‘I haven’t tried too hard’ way.

Generally, the LWS comes in two main styles: feminine, where the jacket is single-breasted and trousers skinny — Naomi Campbell and Vicky McClure have been seen in this style — and masculine, where the jacket is double-breasted and the trousers wide, a look favoured by Victoria Beckham.

Left: Actress Naomi wears an Armani blazer (£3,050) and trousers (£770). Right: Emily Mortimer in a YSL blazer (£2,220) and slacks (£1,205)

Left: Hollywood’s Laura Dern shows a hint of midriff in a Gabriela Hearst blazer (£1,695) and trousers (£985). Right: Joely Richardson in a Balmain blazer (£2,000) and trousers (£795)

Left: Liz Hurley looks a million dollars in this £4,000 ensemble. Right: Naomi Campbell rocks an Alexandre Vauthier suit (£3,000)

Posh is the latest celebrity to model an LWS, when she appeared at the recent GQ Awards, posing with husband David and son Brooklyn. Her LWS may have been intentionally chosen to complement the Beckham men’s black tuxedos, but she outshone them with her white double-breasted trouser suit (£1,450) from her own collection.

Perfectly highlighting her end-of-summer tan, and worn simply with black accessories, Victoria casually fastened her LWS with just one button, hinting at the fact she was wearing nothing underneath and easily stealing the limelight.

However, you don’t need to spend a packet to look good — mine was a High Street job, bought from two retailers, with the trousers coming from Reiss and the jacket from Massimo Dutti, around £300 in total.

And, while a black suit feels rather ‘officey’, an LWS feels fun and sexy, sophisticated and chic. Mine makes me feel confident for everything from birthday dinners to meetings.

At this time of year, when I’m more likely to have a post-holiday glow, I favour a crisp, true-white colour. Then, moving into autumn, when my skin is more likely to be tired, I plump for ecru, a creamy white with a softer feel. That said, I must admit that it’s not the most practical of outfits. Stains, obviously, show up easily. But, while it’s definitely not one for those days you know you’ll be cleaning the bathroom or cooking spaghetti Bolognese, be bold: an LWS can suit everyone.

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