Why are women's pantsuits hitting back ?

If you’re desperately looking for THE dress for a chic September wedding, stop right here!  What you need in 2019, for every social event, is a suit…a pants suit!  The red carpet group is wearing only that.  Actresses, singers, models, influencers, and royals…have adopted it for premiers/fashion shows/official visits/award ceremonies (recap here).  The American representative AOC (Alexandria Ocasio Cortez), youngest women to be elected to Congress and media darling of the moment, even took the oath of office in a white pantsuit!

Wait, are we talking about the iconic wardrobe of the 80’s working girl?  Who, adrift in a hostile environment with an unbreakable glass ceiling above her head, tried, with a lot of padding, to prove that she was good enough for the job?  The same!  Except that since then, everything has changed. Yesterday, we borrowed from the panoply of dominant males, we insinuated ourselves into the mold.  We accepted the rules of the game.  These disguises were more coercive than liberating. During the 2016 presidential elections in the US, we still reproached Hillary Clinton her “rainbow pantsuits” in fuchsia, turquoise or buttercup yellow…

Hillary’s campaign outfits were, all the same, visionary:  today , the "Pantone pantsuits" are everywhere, on the trendy designers' podiums and in the fast-fashion.  Even young girls dream of owning one, in neon green or in Gen Z yellow.  Or in Prince of Wales, with side tape on the pant.  Or flowered.  They wear them with their Air Force Ones and a “bralette”.  They would be astonished if you told them that they were dressed “a la garçonne”.  In the era of millennial pink for all and the “Collusion” line (unisex) at Asos, the pantsuit is truly generational, the new #genderfluid or #genderneutral clothes are a big hit!

And for the thirty something’s, who wear them again in the office, pantsuits are clearly tagged as “neo-feminists” outfits!  There’s no ambiguity this time.  More fashion, less formatted (flared pants, belted kimono jacket?  Everything is possible), they no longer try to blend in.  Exit “power dressing”, enter “empowerment”!  It’s become the credo of a whole group of female designers newly specialized in just that.  At Admise Paris , it’s all about mix and match suits : “A uniform to live every opportunity, in life and at work. (...) Through your testimonies, we share every oral thesis, every pleading, every marriage (...) .Each of your victories is also a little ours…” . You can find the same language at 17h10, another young label for women who are “inspiring, independent, positive, professional, invincible”!

That’s enough, we get it.  Worn with a ruffled collar Victorian blouse, the pants suit is the perfect armor for the post #metoo epoch.  And for evening, you can wear it straight to the theater or the restaurant, because, well, powerful women have better things to do than go home and change.  The weekend, you can tone it down with a white T-shirt, fanny pack and sneakers.  For Uncle Jack’s award ceremony you can upgrade with high heels and a clutch bag.  Neat?  But we’re a bit dubious.  Like every other time they’ve try to sell us “effortless chic”.  We’re not too sure that this “new indispensable” will be the best friend of the woman who is anything but slim as a reed.  We find it less friendly to our silhouette than the jumpsuit, unless of course you find the perfect one.  Not too tight (Angela Merkel look), not too bright and oversized (Bozo the Clown look).  Are we too going to start frenetically looking for one?  It’s possible.  We may be invincible women, but sometimes we’re just little gullible things as well…

Photo: DA/DA Diane Ducasse, another Parisian label dedicated to pantsuits