Thursday, August 4, 2016

Feminine Differential - Pantsuit

Hillary Clinton is seen wearing pantsuits

It is really hard to imagine a time when this was not a fashion staple.  The Pantsuit has become like the LBD (little black dress). Something that doesn't really go out of style and isn't necessarily too trendy.  It is versatile and can be wore for many occasions and in many different ways.  With that said, the pantsuit is not my favorite look. However I totally understand its convenient nature, especially if one does not have the most attractive of legs.  

I worked and lived in a  small southern town at a manufacturing facility in the early 70's.  My first job after Collage.  This was just as the pantsuit revolution was taking hold.  This was not a center of fashion forward thinking. Just as you entered the office and plant area there was a large information board that posted the number of "days since the last work accident" company announcements, and jobs postings.  To my surprise one morning there were two "fashion" photos posted.  One showing what would be acceptable pantsuit attire and one that showed what would not be acceptable. The pantsuit had arrived - there were rules.   

Thinking back, I am trying to get my head around a time when only skirts and dresses were the norm for office attire. This is likely a time before may of my blog readers.  Do you remember?

The reason I was thinking of this is the fact the Hillary Clinton is seen wearing pantsuits almost excursively.  I am sure there is a good reason.  I have a friend that told me one evening "You know, I like you better in pants".  I do know what she was really saying.  Message delivered.    

As I look at Hillary's pantsuits, I decided to do a little research.   Wikipedia under the heading Pantsuit is interesting:

A pantsuit or pant suit, also known as a trouser suit outside the United States, is a woman's suit of clothing consisting of trousers and a matching or coordinating coat or jacket.

Formerly, the prevailing fashion for women included some form of coat, but paired with a skirt or dress—hence the name pantsuit.
The pantsuit was introduced in the 1920s, when a small number of women adopted a masculine style, including pantsuits, hats, and even canes and monocles. However, the term, "trouser suit" had been used in Britain during the First World War, with reference to women working in heavy industry.

During the 1960s trouser suits for women became increasingly widespread. Designers such as Foale and Tuffin in London and Luba Marks in the United States were early promoters of trouser suits. In 1966 Yves Saint-Laurent introduced his Le Smoking, an evening pantsuit for women that mimicked a man's tuxedo.Whilst Saint-Laurent is often credited with introducing trouser suits, it was noted in 1968 that some of his pantsuits were very similar to designs that had already been offered by Luba Marks, and the London designer Ossie Clark had offered a trouser suit for women in 1964 that predated Saint Laurent's 'Le Smoking' design by two years. In Britain a social watershed was crossed in 1967 when Lady Chichester, wife of the navigator Sir Francis Chichester, wore a trouser suit when her husband was publicly knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

Pantsuits were often deprecated as inappropriately masculine clothing for women. For example, until 1993, women were not permitted to wear pantsuits (or pants of any kind) on the United States Senate floor. In 1993, Senators Barbara Mikulski and Carol Moseley Braun wore pants onto the floor in defiance of the rule, and female support staff followed soon after, with the rule being amended later that year by Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Martha Pope to allow women to wear pants on the floor so long as they also wore a jacket, thus allowing pantsuits, among other types of clothing. Hillary Clinton, who is well known for wearing pantsuits, once referred to her presidential campaign staff as "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits" (in her August 26, 2008 speech at the Democratic National Convention), a play on The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants .

So, do you wear Pantsuits?  



  1. I love pantsuits they are so versatile. I mainly wear pants and tops but I do wear dresses and skirts. I like that we have a choice to wear what we feel comfortable wearing.

  2. I've heard a rumor that pantsuits will become a symbol now.

  3. Not sure if what it will be a symbol of? What not to wear?