Gone are the days when pantsuits were strictly meant for the office. The new pantsuit is ever so versatile that you can incorporate it right into your wedding wear. There are so many trendy options available now for every size, height and frame that it’s a winner look for everyone. The pantsuit for women isn’t really just for politics anymore!
The new silhouette is relaxed yet statement setting, matching separates or solid embellished pieces: you decide!
Before we go on to inspirational looks for the shadi pantsuit, let’s get into a little history of the pantsuit:
In the 1920’s Coco Chanel was the first designer to liberate women from the restrictive feel of a corset by designing the very first ‘power suit’. This new outfit quickly became all the rage in Paris and consisted of a knitted wool cardigan paired with a matching skirt. The suit was usually accessorized with a long string of pearls, and came to be known as the “woman’s new uniform.”
In the 1930’s Despite the public’s disapproval of androgynous women, the German actress Marlene Dietrich adopted the menswear garment as one of her signature looks. Dietrich wore a tuxedo by renowned costume designer Travis Banton for her Oscar-winning role in Morocco.
In the 1940’s Katherine Hepburn became a fashion icon after donning a man’s suit in her film Women of the Year. She showed all men that women could rock a man’s suit and look classy as hell while doing so.
It’s crazy to even imagine that for centuries women in trousers were unfathomable to the common man. And all that finally changed:
In the 1960’s with the rise of feminism, designers such as Foale & Tuffin in London and Luba Marks in the US decided to call out the patriarchy on the idea that only men could wear comfortable clothing that let you move a little, and started making trousers suits for the modern woman of the 60s. Needless to say, it wasn’t long after this that YSL came along and changed the game for good, by bringing his ‘Le Smoking’ to the world which took gender bending to a whole new level, with the cut of the pantsuit mimicking a man’s tuxedo. In true Yves Saint Laurent style, Le Smoking was an incredibly gutsy fashion statement, so much so that many restaurants banned them. In fact, the American socialite Nan Kempner was turned away from Le Côte Basque in New York for wearing her YSL tuxedo on reaction to which, she famously took matters into her own hands and striped off the pants and dined in the suit jacket alone.
In the 1980’s despite the critics, women continued to embrace the pantsuit. From 1980 to 1987, annual sales of women’s suits rose by almost 6 million units, a $600 million gain for that sector of the fashion industry. A great contributor to this growth was the power suit trend. Pushed by fashion houses like Giorgio Armani, power suits updated pantsuits with broad shoulder pads, bigger lapels, and sharper cuts that emulated a man’s silhouette. These big shouldered jackets and pants disguised a woman’s figure and took the focus off her gender, thus creating a feeling of authority.
In the 1990s the pantsuit was in dire need of a makeover and then came Helmut Lang and Jil Sander (and later Hedi Slimane), who stripped the wardrobe staple down to its barest architecture for a lean and mean modern look that was the very essence of cool. And for the next 10 years, the only way to look fashionable was to wear a suit. Then, poof! Pantsuits suffered the fashion equivalent of a military coup, toppled in one season by the dress.
But, inevitably, fashion’s pendulum always swings back. Fall 2010, and the designers pushed tailoring out front and center. Leading the charge were Bottega Veneta, Givenchy, and Akris. Even some of the young guns, like Joseph Altuzarra and Alexander Wang, made a convincing case for its revival.
And then happened the Grammy’s 2015, and Rihanna was seen making waves in her Maison Margiela oversized and slouchy pantsuit. Her gender-bender look was the talk of the town and one message was clear: the powersuit was back and here to stay.
Since then, over and again European designers have sent scores of pantsuits down the runway and the trend has now even transcended into eastern wear especially wedding couture. With the abundance in variety, the key is to find the perfect flattering cut for your own body type. Like if you’re short and petite then steer away from oversized versions or if you’re a bit on the bulky side then go for solid-colored matching separates in dark tones.
Still not convinced? Let’s show you some real inspiration straight from the runway!
The cropped jacket pantsuit:
Brocade pants and an embellished cropped blazer jacket, what’s not to love about it? Designed by Kamiar Rokni, this is love at first sight.
The matching blazer and pants in brocade:
Another very popular wedding wear pantsuit was this one by Maheen Ghani Taseer. With cut-work embellished boot pants and a matching brocade blazer, this was one super stylish suit!
The cape jacket pantsuit:
Not the bling bling and over the top wedding wear sort? Maybe you can check out the cape jacket suit by Ayesha Somaya. It’s minimalistic and statement setting and that beautiful emerald color is divine.
The heavily embellished pantsuit:
One of my absolute favorites was this full-embellished pantsuit from Karma’s collection shown at PSFW. It’s so chic and oh so beautiful!
The velvet belted-wrap jacket pantsuit:
The most recent version of the pantsuit on the eastern wear front is the one by Elan. Classic and oozing elegance, Elan’s pantsuit is a relaxed wrap jacket paired with trousers both made in plush velvet. The colour variations are so stunning, that it’s hard to pick just one.
So what’s the wait for? Go ahead and give pantsuits a chance this Shadi season and you won’t regret! I Promise.