Through the Decades: Women’s Suits

This week, we are placing the spotlight on the various types of women’s suits.


Historically, women’s suits are known for representing power and freedom. Suits were a fashion statement as early back as the 1930s and 40s, when they consisted of a matching skirt and jacket with a blouse. Women were expected to wear suits, skirts, or dresses to business, school, or social events. The original

Following the general trends in women’s dress during this period, the skirts with women’s suits were very simple, without pleats or elaborate tailoring. They hung straight from the waist to a varying length from just below the knee to mid-calf. The matching jacket, however, was a much more versatile garment. In general jackets fit the body closely, and most had a cinched waist. The small waist was defined by a decorative belt or by tailoring that drew the jacket in sharply at the waist. Suits that flared at the hips accented the waist-line. Another prominent feature of women’s suits in the 1930s was wide shoulders. Shoulders were made to look broad and square with tailoring or padding. Necklines, most often cut in a deep V-shape, where the neckline plunged to the waist creating a V shape, to show off the blouse or neck ruff, could have lapels, or flaps on the front of a coat that fold back against the chest, similar to a man’s suit.

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As the social movement for women to gain full and equal rights grew more powerful in the 1960s, skirts and dresses were soon known as impractical and in came the trend of wearing pantsuits.

When younger women began wearing pantsuits, they were at first scornfully viewed by others. The suit was not immediately accepted as proper attire for any occasion. Even exclusive restaurants refused to seat women wearing even the most stylish of suits. Eventually, they accommodated to women wearing suits when they became more of a known and accepted fashion trend.


In the year 1964 André Courrèges, among other designers, introduced the slim pantsuit for women. This new fashion trend allowed more mobility and flexibility they lacked when wearing a dress or skirt in the workplace. suit3.jpgPantsuits were originally designed just as female versions of the traditional male suit. They featured solid colors or came in plaid or tweed. A wide range of materials were used to design the suit. Wool, suede, leather, twill, and velvet, to name only a few. Suits later became more traditionally feminine and brought on pastel colors or even lace. Jackets were varying lengths and were single or double-breasted. Pants came in various designs. Some pants were narrow, tapered, or even flared.

In the 1980s, what is known as the power suit (pictured below) became popular among corporate women. The power suit had shoulder pads, decorative buttons, and bright feminine colors. Later the trend spread beyond the office setting.


Women typically accessorized their suits with necklaces, pins, gloves, scarves or designer handbags.suit6

When visiting our store, you will find a great selection of women’s suits. Various designs, as well. Feel free to stop by and try them on!

Thanks for reading!


(All research from: ,

Categories: Features by SarahTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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