Historically speaking, suits offered women freedom, power and controversy. With so many inspiring women taking over the stage, it’s been hard to ignore the new case for power dressing.
When you think of the evolution of the power suit, chances are you might conjure up anything between Melanie Griffith’s Working Girl white bow ties and Diane Keaton’s Baby Boom shoulder armor. But power dressing has so many more variations than the caricature that’s become the ’80s executive woman.
Although shoulder pads and three-piece pinstripes are out of the picture, the power suit has evolved and shifted over the last century in surprising new ways.
Probably the first woman to ever wear a suit was actress Sarah Bernhardt, who 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.
The 19th century was the moment when European women started wearing tailored jackets with long skirts, called costumes, for activities such as riding, archery, and walking. Trendsetters adopted them for everyday wear, and by 1905, they were common suits for women. And, to top this, in 1914, Coco Chanel designed her first suit—a fur-trimmed jacket with a matching ankle-length skirt.
Across a century of shifting lapel sizes and trouser silhouettes ran one common thread: The evolution of the power suit mirrored the status of female emancipation and empowerment.
So while the suits our moms wore yesterday might make us slightly cringe, they have a rich, exciting history that deserves some exploration.
After the rise of the suit, back in the 20th and 21st century, the suit become is something that young professionals have spent a lot of time trying to escape. But, as it is, a powerful piece – it has returned to the fashion world; reborn and refined. What we love about it is that there’s so much more to the conservative two-piece that is standard for the executive women. We can now talk about neat, androgynous and statement-making suits.
When you think about suits, you can imagine straightforward, boxy, mannish and seriously edgy. Or maybe, a pursuit for female empowerment.
To sum up, a suit is a piece that every woman should own. But finding the right one for you isn’t always simple. Navitique creates custom made suits so you can stay away from cheap fabrics and poor fits.
And the best part is that you can wear them with a shirt, or a tee or tennis shoes. It’s really up to you, because the right trouser suit guarantees to make you look and feel like the business.