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Why 2018 Was Blake Lively’s Year Of Suits

What did 2018 do for your wardrobe? For Blake Lively, the answer’s simple: it brought suits.

Scores of them. (Savile) Rows of them, if you will. Blake wore black suits (Givenchy). She wore white suits (Ralph & Russo). She wore neon suits (Versace!). She wore three-piece suits (Ralph Lauren). She wore velvet suits (Brunello Cucinelli). She wore checked suits (Roland Mouret). She wore suits with swinging, show tune-ringing canes, Fred Astaire-style – and yes, she did the jazz hands to go with them. Sometimes, she wore four different suits in a single day.

Had Lively finally honed that most of elusive of fashion tenets: “personal style”? Was she experiencing the same Big Suit Energy as Lady Gaga when she put on her oversized Marc Jacobs two-piece several weeks ago and told a Hollywood audience: “In this suit, I felt the truth of who I am well up in my gut”? Had she decided she could no longer be bothered to shave her legs?

Yes, maybe, no – there was another reason. Lively is currently promoting her new movie, A Simple Favor. And what could be simpler than a spot of method acting on the red carpet? In Paul Feig’s crime thriller (he of Ghostbusters, Bridesmaids, The Peanuts Movie fame) Lively plays the fashion PR maestro Emily Nelson. She wears three-piece suits, Victorian jewelry and red-soled Louboutins every day, it transpires. “I modeled my entire character’s look after Paul,” she told E! Entertainment, in October, when she turned up at Ralph Lauren’s 50th anniversary show in a three-piece and cane that bore remarkable resemblance to the one the director was wearing. So why not promote the film in the very same get-up?

Introducing: Blake Lively’s season of suits. 19 of them, in under two months. Ralph Lauren features heavily – as it does in the film. A Simple Favor’s costume designer, Renée Ehrlich Kalfus, capitalized on Lively’s relationship with the house to dig into its menswear suiting archives. Vintage and archival, one-off Ralph Lauren three-pieces dominate Lively’s screen time, alongside six-inch Christian Louboutin shoes (the designer is a close friend of Lively’s).

Lively famously doesn’t enlist the services of a stylist. In an interview with WWD earlier this year, she joked that the decision was taken “probably because I have control issues and a big ego.” Instead, she hits shift-command-four like the best of them. “The hard part is going through all the fashion shows and screen-shotting all the looks you like and calling them in. I have an assistant who helps in calling in the looks. But a lot of it is, I have relationships with the designers,” she said.

The internet has been largely divided over Lively’s tailoring odyssey. When the blogger behind Red Carpet Fashion Awards gently chided on Instagram, “It’s suit number 1,356 for Blake Lively’s promotion of A Simple Favor. This time custom pink Ralph Lauren Collection”, the actress responded: “Would you note a man wearing lots of suits during a promo tour? So why can’t a woman? Just sayinnnn. No double standards ladies.”

Still, 19 suits in as many days is cause for celebration. As Hillary Clinton, 2017’s biggest pant suit advocate, wrote in her recently published memoir What Happened, sometimes it pays to take your cues from Nancy Drew. She “would often do her detective work in sensible trousers.” Here, a smorgasbord of Blake Lively’s tailoring triumphs.

Now Read: 20 Fashion-Forward Ways to Wear a Power Suit

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