Suits offer freedom and power—and controversy. So after 2016 and Hillary Clinton with her pantsuit, it’s hard to ignore the new case for power dressing.
The earliest women’s suits were riding habits, which consisted of a tailored coat or jacket and matching skirt from the 1660s. Practical and sturdy, riding habits were worn not only on horseback, but also for travel and other daytime pursuits. Jacket-and-skirt ensembles not intended for riding appeared in the later 19th century. Both riding habits and walking suits reflected the skirt and sleeve styles of the day.
In 1870s’ decade actress Sarah Bernhardt scandalized Paris by wearing a custom-made trouser suit, which she called her “boy’s clothes”. She continued to blur gender roles when she played Hamlet in 1899.
In the first half of the twentieth century, the skirted suit became the common daytime city costume for women, in the workplace and out; dressmaker suits featured softer fabrics and “feminine” details, and cocktail suits were worn for semi-formal occasions in mid-century.
1914- Coco Chanel saved the womenhood with her first suit.
In 1942 Katharine Hepburn showed us that a man’s suit could actually be quite feminine. The slouchier the better for this gorgeous tomboy. Her film Woman of the Yearmade the suit iconic and a wardrobe staple for working women.
Under the influence of Dress for Success, a working woman’s uniform of skirted suit, tailored shirt, and floppy tie evolved in the 1970s and 1980s. Pantsuits(women’s suits with Eastern style trousers) were introduced by designer André Courrèges in 1964 but were only gradually accepted as formal business attire.
1980’s was the start of the Power-Suit era. We came into the decade of power clothes in the 80s. Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, and Anne Klein all embraced the power-suit in their designs.
And some say that 2012 was the death of that era. The power suit “has had a total demise,” says Bridget Brennan, chief executive of Female Factor, a Chicago-based consulting firm that advises clients on marketing to women. Brennan thinks this is happening because women are more comfortable in their own skins and are owning how they dress..
This means, that Power-Suits are history, present and future. Power-Suits have changed in a way, of thinking maybe. Women don’t need to show their identity through clothes, but, they definitely are showing what they are made of…