Glimpses from the Past: History & Evolution of Women in Suits

Women wearing Maroon Blazer Set with Patchwork from Entrepower India

“Women in suits are women who never give up on their pursuits.”

We have had our share of fashion disappointments over the years. But the biggest one to date, and the one that has our fashionista blood boiling, is the restrictions that patriarchy tries to impose on how we as women dress.

The past decades have seen more women wearing suits, thanks to the renaissance of gender equality. However, the journey of a woman proudly embracing a power suit as if it were her second skin is an inspiring tale to be narrated and heard. 

Let’s travel back in time (well, metaphorically, of course) and find out the history & evolution of women wearing suits. 

(Also Read : 6 Powerful Women’s Business Attires That You Can’t Skip On)


Who was the trendsetter of women’s suits 

The lady who broke hearts and stereotypes with the first ever notable appearance of a woman in a power suit is Sarah Bernhardt, who played the role of Hamlet in 1899. Considered to be an act of atrocity & scandal at a time when power suits were (according to the circulating rumours) “men’s clothes”, as women of an empowered generation, we must salute her for her fearlessness & valour. 

Women in Suits: A Saga of Empowerment

If you are a history buff and a natural fashionista, the next section on how fashion suits for ladies rose to take centre stage in women’s office fashion may amaze you. 

Read on to know the history & evolution of women wearing suits in detail!

A Timeline of Women Wearing Suits

The 1870s

The first known appearance of women wearing suits is of actress Sarah Bernhardt, who outraged all of Paris by wearing a customised female suit.

The New Dawn of 19th Century

Women in Europe wore customised jackets with long skirts for pursuits such as riding, archery, and strolling. Later, they were embraced as everyday wear, and by 1905, female coat suits became a trendy outfit choice amongst the ladies.


The appearance of women in suits became more widespread during the suffragette movement. Protests, parades, and rebellion necessitated more than just throwing off outdated 1800s beliefs; they demanded less restricting clothes, which led to the introduction of the female suit called the Suffragette Suit. 

What is the Suffragette Suit?

The power suit was invented in 1910 by the American Ladies Tailors' Association and included a split skirt that allowed wearers to take extended steps. In every way, the women's suit was designed to provide Freedom of Movement.


Coco Chanel created her debut women's suit, a fur-trimmed jacket and an ankle-length skirt.


The first woman to wear a suit to an official function was Eleanor Roosevelt. 


Vogue produced its first display with women wearing trousers.

The 1940s

Women in suits became more common when the female members of a Mexican-American community began tattering zoot suits to launch a powerful, rebellious notion. 

Second World War

There was a momentary decline in the popularity of women in suits as many had to take up more domestic roles during this period.

The 1960s

Women wearing suits gained the trend again, with an astonishing 40% of women joining the workforce.


Yves Saint Laurent launched the iconic “Le Smoking” female tuxedo. 

Did You Know?

A woman wearing Yves Saint Laurent's Le Smoking fashionable women's suit was barred from entering hotels and restaurants.


Bianca Pérez-Mora Macas wedded Mick Jagger in a white, Yves-St-Laurent-designed Le Smoking fashion suit for ladies that went down in bridal folklore. The 1970s also witnessed the inclusion of the Title IX education reform, which enabled school girls to wear pants. 

The 1980s

The proportion of women in the workforce had risen to more than 50%. Women in suits were starting to become a part of mundane life as more and more women adorned fashionable suits for ladies

Over the years, there has been an unparalleled surge in the number of women in business, politics, and sports.  Not unexpectedly, the fashionable women’s suit is gaining popularity in the fashion industry. Counteracting menswear, many women’s fashion houses have released and are continuing to release stylish power suits for empowered women.

(Also Read : Slay The Month With Style: Red Tie-Up Business Suit For Women!)

Are women’s suits a good business outfit for women  

Women’s pantsuits are one of the top picks for business women for office wear. Its classy, chic & comfy appearance makes you feel empowered and motivated to do better. There are different power suits for women for you to experiment with. We’ve hand-picked some best suit designs for women in India for you to try!

Tip: How to style a female suit?

Women in suits do not need to worry about their appearance. No matter the type of suit outfit for ladies, she will be able to harbour a show-stopper look every time!

Get fashionable suit designs for women in India 

There are various suit outfits for ladies available online. Rock the women in a suit look with these powerful outfits!

(Also Read : 5 Tips To Mix & Match Your Work Outfit)

Entrepower: The best place to find the perfect female suit 

Entrepower has a wide range of women’s pantsuits for you to try and experiment with. From tie-up suits to classic business suits, our collection probably has every outfit from your dream ladies’ suit name list. Browse through our exclusive female coat suits now to find the best suit designs for women in India

Find a suit that best suits you at 

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