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Women in suits: a bad idea?

post #1 of 95
Thread Starter 
So I've been seeing women in suits a lot lately, having to go to court more than I used to (my job). And IMHO the look just doesn't work for most women. And here's why, I believe: The traditional Western suit was designed to accentuate the male secondary sexual characteristics. Namely, broad shoulders & narrow hips. Most of the women I see in suits wear single-vented jackets that, without exception, gape open to reveal their less-than-svelte buttocks. Furthermore, the jackets do not drape well over women's hips or breasts. The "V" shape that suits give a person does not flatter a woman's natural curves. I seems that only women who are in excellent (and somewhat masculine) shape look at all good in a suit. All the models you see looking ok in suits are stick-thin. I'm just wondering what alternative there is for women in a business environment. It seems strange that they'd be forced to wear clothing that was designed for the male shape.
post #2 of 95
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantsuit#History Welcome to 1920. Next week we will take about an amazing new invention called a radio. If the woman you know are wearing ill fitting clothes they'll wear ill fitting clothes no matter what they wear.
post #3 of 95
Thread Starter 
Please post a photo of an average-sized, non-skinny woman, say size 10-12, looking good in a suit. (The average size for women in the US is actually 14.) I rest my case.
post #4 of 95
I've seen plenty of women look just fine in a suit. What you think doesn't look good doesn't mean others think the same. Opinion and all.
post #5 of 95
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWraith View Post
I've seen plenty of women look just fine in a suit. What you think doesn't look good doesn't mean others think the same. Opinion and all.
Then you should have no problem finding a pic of an average-sized woman who you think looks good in a suit, one in which the suit doesn't drape oddly over her hips or breasts or other curves. Go for it. Do you disagree that suits are meant to accentuate breadth of shoulders and narrowness of hips? I think you guys are disagreeing just to disagree. My argument is unassailable. To reiterate, it goes like this: 1) Suits have historically been designed to accentuate male characteristics* 2) Women, by and large, don't have these characteristics 3) Therefore, suits that accentuate these characteristics won't look good on average-shaped women. I don't see how that can be argued with. Please enlighten me, in a rational way. * "For example, in men's dress, the male suit does not just accentuate male bodily features, but adds 'masculinity' to the body." From Joanne Entwistle's The fashioned body: fashion, dress, and modern social theory
post #6 of 95
post #7 of 95
I think women look great in suits if the shoulders aren't too built up. The only caveat is that they look better out of the suit. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
giggity
As for a size 14, it's not the suit that's the issue. 14 isn't big, but it isn't fit either.
post #8 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flartchy View Post
Please post a photo of an average-sized, non-skinny woman, say size 10-12, looking good in a suit. (The average size for women in the US is actually 14.)
I'd post of picture of my wife in her Zara suit but she'd kill me If a women doesn't have 'svelte buttocks' then she's not going to look great in most items of clothing. Additionally, I like the fact that a women's blouse/jacket doesn't 'drape' around her chest..they are meant to accentuate the bust.
post #9 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flartchy View Post
Please post a photo of an average-sized, non-skinny woman, say size 10-12, looking good in a suit.

That would be me, but you would have to pay dearly for the priviledge.
post #10 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flartchy View Post
Then you should have no problem finding a pic of an average-sized woman who you think looks good in a suit, one in which the suit doesn't drape oddly over her hips or breasts or other curves. Go for it.

I don't walk around the city with a camera taking pics of strange women

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flartchy
I think you guys are disagreeing just to disagree. My argument is unassailable.

Opinion is not fact.

Quote:
Originally Posted by _PG_
If a women doesn't have 'svelte buttocks' then she's not going to look great in most items of clothing.

Additionally, I like the fact that a women's blouse/jacket doesn't 'drape' around her chest..they meant to accentuate the bust.

+1 agreed, well said.
post #11 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flartchy View Post
Then you should have no problem finding a pic of an average-sized woman who you think looks good in a suit, one in which the suit doesn't drape oddly over her hips or breasts or other curves. Go for it.

Do you disagree that suits are meant to accentuate breadth of shoulders and narrowness of hips?

I think you guys are disagreeing just to disagree. My argument is unassailable. To reiterate, it goes like this:

1) Suits have historically been designed to accentuate male characteristics*
2) Women, by and large, don't have these characteristics
3) Therefore, suits that accentuate these characteristics won't look good on average-shaped women.

I don't see how that can be argued with. Please enlighten me, in a rational way.

There are quite a lot of guys who have oddly shaped bodies. They would look ridiculous in your idea of "average" shaped suits.

On a forum that is all about Fit, you are saying that a woman suit would look ridiculous because it is not fitted to their general shape. The same would be true for males as well.

A woman suit is not the same as a man's suit, even if it is a pant suit. Their shoulder and waist are different. So are their quarters.

If what you mean that average women look ridiculous in men's suit then yes. That argument is unassailable. But if you meant that women look ridiculous in any suit - even a fitted women's suit, then that position is rather odd.
post #12 of 95
Some nice examples in this thread: http://www.styleforum.net/showthread.php?t=230725
post #13 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flartchy View Post
1) Suits have historically been designed to accentuate male characteristics*
2) Women, by and large, don't have these characteristics
3) Therefore, suits that accentuate these characteristics won't look good on average-shaped women.

Suits historically have been designed to accentuate male characteristics. That does not mean a "suit" style jacket cannot be cut to accentuate the curves of a woman. The cloth is what the worker makes of it. Fashionable women are not wearing pantsuits that look like they're straight from Kiton or Hickey Freeman. They are wearing something that is a "suit" in name only.

I think women usually look about the same in a nice pantsuit as they do in a blouse and skirt. What I find attractive in some pantsuits:

super slim fit for the jacket with almost no padding
lots of waist suppression for the coke bottle shape
cute blouse or something inside
almost hugging through the top half of the pants before opening into those flowing bell bottoms.
stilettos to help the umm... walk...
post #14 of 95
I disagree with your argument. I've seen women look damn good in a suit, and at the very least a "blazer" or whatever the women's sportcoat equivalent might be called. Both women and men can look good or bad in a suit. Whether they do or not depends entirely on the clothes they purchase. Just like men can wear a suit that doesn't flatter him, so can (most) women. Despite all of this, women look a lot better in a dress.
post #15 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesX View Post
If what you mean that average women look ridiculous in men's suit then yes. That argument is unassailable. But if you meant that women look ridiculous in any suit - even a fitted women's suit, then that position is rather odd.

I agree! The one thing is obvious but the latter is just ridiculous
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