Initially, women donned suits to imitate the attire worn by men in male-dominated work environments. However, in the current relaxed work environment, women are reshaping the suit to reflect their own unique feminine style.
Women have been donning menswear for work for many years. The current iteration of the women's pantsuit traces its roots back to the 1920s when increasing numbers of women began entering the workforce and occupying leadership positions in government. However, the 1980s are considered the pinnacle of the pantsuit era, with large shoulder-padded blazers being the must-have item for professional women. This was a period where more women were employed outside the home and their representation in management positions rose from 20% to 36%. During the seven-year period from 1980 to 1987, the yearly sales of women's suits rose by at least $600 million.
In recent years, the office atmosphere has become increasingly more casual for both men and women employees. Pioneering companies have observed the transformation in previously formal industries like law, consulting, and finance, as they adapt to the more relaxed attitude towards clothing in society by relaxing their dress codes. This shift has been driven by startups and technology companies that promote comfort by allowing employees to wear what they feel best in. The popularity of "athleisure" has made it acceptable to wear athletic wear, such as yoga pants and running tights, in a variety of settings including the workplace.
However, despite these changes, the women's suit remains a staple of fashion. Some of the most influential women today, such as Angela Merkel, Sheryl Sandberg, Arianna Huffington, and Indira Nooyi, regularly wear suits. Hillary Clinton has been associated with wearing pantsuits throughout her political career, inspiring her passionate supporters to cast their ballots while wearing suits in a show of solidarity. They fondly refer to themselves as "Pantsuit Nation."
Women continue to don suits at events such as VC pitch presentations, board meetings, and networking events, even as men at these events may opt for more casual attire like sneakers, hoodies, and unbuttoned collars. Despite claims of the death of the suit, it remains a popular garment.
To meet the growing demand, Tracy Studio has expanded its market globally to many countries with their feminine and modern choices of suits. Tracy Studio also focuses on offering high-quality, tailored suits for women at affordable prices.
THE ART OF POWER DRESSING
Suits have always been a symbol of power. Before women started wearing suits in the workplace, they were used by men to demonstrate their higher social status and elevated place in society.
The modern business suit can be traced back to the European royal courts of the 17th century. At that time, men wore trousers, long waistcoats, and cravats, which later evolved into the tailored suits worn by high-class men in the 18th century. These suits were made of lavish and costly materials, signaling that the wearer was of elevated social class and didn't have to engage in manual labor. Initially, these suits were worn by wealthy men who inherited their wealth or owned land, but as time went on, even men who wanted to project a respectable image started wearing suits.
The emergence of desk jobs during the industrial revolution led to the suit becoming the standard attire for men in offices and businesses. As women gradually entered the workplace, they also donned suits to demonstrate their professionalism and blend in with their male colleagues.
As the number of women in senior-level positions continues to grow, they are no longer bound by the traditional dress codes of the workplace. A staff, who used to work at J.P. Morgan, noticed that high-ranking women with impressive titles and salaries were choosing to wear more feminine attire, such as colorful or more form-fitting dresses, instead of sticking to the conventional suit. She explains that when women are starting out in their careers, they often choose to wear a suit to convey authority and professionalism, but as they become more established, they feel more confident and free to express their personal style.
Despite the lack of pressure to conform, many successful women still choose to wear suits. Why does the suit continue to hold such lasting appeal for women, even as men have deemed them too formal?
THE FUNCTIONALITY OF THE SUIT
For a significant number of women, wearing a suit is no longer a matter of making a statement, but simply the most functional attire for work.
Some fashion brands noticed that much of women's clothing was designed for decoration, rather than for wearability. They felt that items such as shift dresses and pencil skirts may make a woman look professional, but they restrict movement and require constant attention to maintain a polished appearance. They believe that workwear should eliminate distractions and allow women to focus on their work, but this is not always the case with traditional women's office attire.
The founders of fashion brands also saw the suit as an ideal outfit for office work due to its practicality. According to brand owners, pants allow for ease of movement, while the jacket offers warmth and multiple pockets for carrying items, something that is often lacking in traditional women's wear. The suit eliminates distractions and enables women to concentrate on their work, a key principle that the brand upholds.
So they set out to enhance the practicality of the suit for women in the modern workplace. They are utilizing technical fabrics such as wrinkle-resistant and stain-resistant polyester, and added innovative features like internal mesh pockets for phones, and a designated pocket for office keycards. These updates to the classic design aim to make the suit even more useful and efficient for women in the office.
Brand also have found that their clientele comes from various industries, including those with a relaxed dress code like tech and creative fields. Despite the focus on functionality, the suits are far from dull. In addition to classic black and blue, the brands offers bold colors such as hot pink and unique patterns. Hillary Clinton been seen wearing suits at several public events, including a Teen Vogue photo shoot. According to a brand owner, fashion brands are working to shift the perception of the suit as solely menswear and create suits specifically tailored to women's bodies and lifestyles.
DESIGNING THE PERFECT WOMAN’S SUIT
As more and more women take on careers and positions of power, there is a shift away from the need to hide femininity in the workplace. Women are now free to embrace their femininity and this is reflected in the design of women's suits. Some suit-makers are now creating suits that are not only functional but also stylish, fashionable, and sensual, as looking like a woman is no longer seen as a hindrance to one's job.
Tracy Studio is a very typical example for this trend when focusing on customization and tailored fits. The brand believes that women should have the same level of customization and attention to detail as men when it comes to suits, and aims to bring a stylish and fashionable approach to women's suits. With a range of colors and a commitment to a perfect fit, Tracy Studio is helping women to feel confident and stylish in their workwear.
The brand representatives share, Tracy Studio aims to cater to women who want to express their femininity and confidence through their wardrobe. By offering a range of suits in different colors, the brand hopes to provide options for women to express their individuality and style in the workplace. The focus on design is aimed at creating a modern and fashionable image, while still maintaining an air of professionalism and elegance.
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