The Short Suit: A Do or a Don't?

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The Short Suit: A Do or a Don't?
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We're seeing the short suit everywhere, but when do you really wear these "business on the top, party on the bottom" pantsuits? We'll take our cues from trendsetters like Michelle Williams and Rachel Bilson. Can we wear them to work? Are they black-tie appropriate? Find out how to put classic pieces together and pull them off as an outfit -- with shorts.

Subtly Sexy
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Subtly Sexy

Gwyneth Paltrow demonstrated that suits aren't just for the boardroom when she wore this Giorgio Armani short suit to the world premiere of "Iron Man 2.” The tailored fit enables Paltrow to show off some skin sans blouse without looking risque. The fit of the short suit balances the chic and subtly sexy look of this outfit. Black peep-toe booties and a black clutch toughen up the look by contrasting the shiny material of the suit, while diamond earrings and rings add a touch of femininity.

Metallic
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Metallic

Rachel Bilson wore a metallic, knee-grazing short suit to "Vogue" magazine's one-year anniversary party for 3.1 Phillip Lim's LA store, showing us that length matters when it comes to this ensemble. Layering a long jacket over long shorts is a modern and unique take on the short suit. The material and styling of the rolled sleeves and shorts makes this suit evening-ready with a casual air. Take style notes from Bilson's play with texture in this ensemble -- she pairs a sheer black blouse and an animal skin clutch for a unique look.

Novelty Jacket
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Novelty Jacket

Michelle Williams donned a demure navy suit with black details to the 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards. Williams' impeccably tailored, double-breasted jacket sports fine details, namely black lapels and over-sized buttons. She pairs the novelty jacket with short shorts and a white oxford blouse. The modesty of the jacket and blouse are made more modern with her thigh-grazing shorts. The subtly sexy ensemble is complete with a pair of peep-toe pumps adorned with large bows. Williams carries a novelty bag -- a "Catcher in the Rye" Olympia Le-Tan book clutch. Tres chic!

Black on Black
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Black on Black

Majandra Delfino wore high-waisted shorts with a long blazer to the Disney ABC Television Group's press tour in Beverly Hills. Take style notes from Delfino and experiment with layers by pairing high-waisted short shorts with a longer jacket. Classic suiting colors -- black and white -- make this outfit extremely versatile. Take this look from day to night with a bold clutch, a pair of pumps and an additional swipe of mascara.

Paired With a Pattern
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Paired With a Pattern

Poppy Delevigne mix-and-matched suit pieces when she attended The Hogan by Karl Lagerfeld Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2012 show at Paris Fashion Week. She paired black, high-waisted shorts with a crisp white blazer for a fresh take on the short suit trend. Her black and white patterned top plays with the color-scheme of the outfit, making it youthful and modern. Metallic statement accessories shine when paired with classic neutrals. Gain inspiration from Delevigne who makes winter booties fresh for spring by pairing them with a flowy blouse and shorts.

Business Casual
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Business Casual

Even though Charlize Theron doesn't work a typical 9-to-5 job, she looked office-ready in a short suit at the Melbourne Premiere of "North Country." The tailored fit of the suit and the classic pant-crease (not to mention the appropriate length of the shorts), make this suit appropriate for a business casual office. Theron pairs the suit with a sweater top in a flattering pale blue, adding a touch of color. Gold accessories add a subtle shine that livens up the slate-colored suit.

Electric Feel
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Electric Feel

Amanda Seyfried stepped onto the red carpet in a bold blue suit with black piping details at the UK premiere of "In Time." The ensemble combined smart and sexy with tailored lines and short hemlines. A black blouse buttoned to the throat added a touch of modesty to a sexy look that showcased her long, lean legs. Seyfried shows that a statement-making suit is a subtly glam alternative to the typical red carpet gown.

Tailored
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Tailored

Wes Gordon showcased this impeccably tailored suit during New York Fashion Week. This suit could go straight from the runway to the office with the moderately modest length of the shorts and the tailored fit. The pastel pink piping details are on-trend and add a pop of color to the neutral gray suit. A bow tie neck blouse plays up the feminine pink details of the suit. Bright yellow accessories liven up the neutral color scheme and add to the modern-retro ensemble.

Bermuda Shorts
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Bermuda Shorts

Wes Gordon's runway featured a Bermuda short suit at New York Fashion Week. With knee-grazing shorts and a modest jacket, this suit is work appropriate without being stuffy. Feminine details -- namely a cinched waist, bold-colored pumps and a modern take on the traditional suit jacket -- allow this suit to be subtly sexy while retaining the professionalism expected of a suit.

Floral
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Floral

Balmain's runway featured this avant garde take on the short suit at Paris Fashion Week. Three of the hottest spring trends make a runway appearance in this look -- florals, metallic accents and short suits. To style a similar look, pair a floral blazer or jacket with a pair of high-waisted shorts and accessorize with large gold bangles. This look can be taken from day to night by swapping out boots for a pair of pumps.

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