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Designer and Vintage Skirt Suits

It could be argued that vintage skirt suits have a very long and illustrious history.  When we look back in time, we think of dresses being the chief garment for women of the 18th and 19th centuries.  However, some of the most dashing examples of women’s dress from these centuries have included a beautifully tailored jacket and skirt and we just need to see the historically inspired collections of designers such as Vivienne Westwood to see the proof.  In the 20th century skirts suits have been worn in every form to every occasion from office to everyday, evening to wedding (Wearing a perfectly sculpted skirt suit can give you and instantly stylish outfit which is disarmingly formal and yet retains a feminine edge.  We only have to look to cinema to see the full effect of a perfectly placed skirt suit from Kim Novak in severe late 1950s grey in Vertigo to Alicia Silverstone in 1990s tartan kitsch in Clueless.  

Tailoring cloth to the female form is a true art form.  Designer skirt suits can enhance, distort, reveal and conceal while maintaining a balance and control.  Power suiting is something often attributed to the 1980s with designers such as Thierry Mugler, nipping in waists and boosting shoulders to the max.  However, these shapes find their true origin in the 1940s when suits were de riguer as day wear for women.  Designers such as Hardy Amies used wools and silks to create ultra-wearable and practical, yet elegant skirt suits for their town and country dwelling customers.  Vintage skirt suits of this period feature vampish shoulder structure, shaped waists and moulded hips with neat, cloth saving, skirts.  When Christian Dior launched his ‘New Look’ in 1947 and the iconic skirt suit photographed by the Seine, the departure from the 40s style is clear with ultra-feminine soft shoulders, corseted wasp waist and a full pleated midi length skirt.  So whether you are looking for high glamour or figure enhancing elegance, the 1940s and 1950s have plenty to offer.

Having spent the early years of her career in the 1920’s battling against the corseted Edwardian creations of the past, for Coco Chanel, these 1950s suits were a step back.  Chanel was all about making clothes wearable.  Her jackets had arms specifically set higher than average with narrower sleeves.  As she said: ‘A skirt is made for crossing the legs and an armhole for crossing the arms.’  We are fairly certain that deportment guides of the period would have disagreed with the former (ankles only ladies) and questioned the latter but it shows the no-nonsense and independent attitude Chanel applied to herself and her customer.  Her simple collarless skirt suits with contrast braid trims were designed primarily with comfort in mind and always look impeccable with their chain weighted hemlines.  Today the most iconic, imitated and popular items of clothing ever produced by the brand.  Really great tailoring never loses style so take a look at the Open for Vintage skirt suit collection to find fabulous vintage suits from every decade.


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Yves Saint Laurent 1980s Blue Wool Vintage Skirt Suit

YSL Blue Wool Blazer & Skirt Suit with Heart Buttons, 1980s

Thierry Mugler 1990s Black Satin Vintage Skirt Suit

Thierry Mugler Black Satin Jacquard Vintage Two Piece Skirt Suit, 1990s

Hermes Printed Silk Coat, Waistcoat and Maxi Skirt Ensemble - 21st Century

Hermes Printed Silk Coat, Waistcoat and Skirt Ensemble.

Genny Navy Blue vintage Blazer & Pencil Skirt Set

Genny Italian Vintage Navy Blue Suit Blazer & Pencil Skirt suit

Andrea Odicini 1980s Tweed Green Vintage Skirt Suit

Andrea Odicini Italian Vintage Green Tweed Suit Coat & Skirt Set

Versace Wool Medusa button 3 Piece ivory vintage Blazer Skirt Trousers Suit set

Versace Ivory Wool 3 Pieces Set Blazer Skirt Trousers Suit

Yves Saint Laurent 1970s Green Velvet Evening 3 Piece Set

An incredible and very rare Yves Saint Laurent evening set from the late 1970s, c. Russian Collection era.

Max Mara 1990s Green Wool Skirt Suit

Max Mara jacket and skirt, in pure wool green , jacket with buttons closure with two side pockets

Egon Von Furstenberg 1980s Red Skirt Suit

Vintage 1980s Egon Von Furstenberg suit with a red jacket and skirt made from warm cotton with gold-coloured buttons

Egon Von Furstenberg 1980s Black Wool Skirt Suit

Egon Von Furstenberg skirt suit with contrast scalloped white lapels and pocket fronts

Krizia 1980s Animal Series Leopard Print Brown Knitted Skirt Suit

Very rare vintage Krizia suit with a long knitted cardigan and matching knitted skirt

Gianfranco Ferre 1980s Baroque Print Beige Skirt and Top Set

Gianfranco Ferré jersey short sleeve skirt and blouse set

Fendi 365 1980s Blue Wool Skirt Suit

1980's Fendi 365 skirt and jacket suit with a diagonal button front and gathered drop waist skirt

Ungaro Emanuel 1980s Wool Blue and Green Check Skirt Suit

Emanuel Ungaro skirt suit with a long line collarless jacket with front patch pockets

Gai Mattiolo 1980s Wool Boucle Yellow and Blue Check Skirt Suit

Gai Mattiolo 1980s vintage suit of rare beauty, composed of a jacket and skirt with decorative buttons shaped as golden bows with swarovski stones

Thierry Mugler 1990s Slashed Shoulder Black Silk Skirt Suit

Vintage Mugler black silk skirt suit with open slashed shoulders

Thierry Mugler 1980s Drawn Thread Edge Black Skirt Suit

Thierry Mugler black skirt suit with a wide high collar and pointed jacket hem with a drawn thread detail along each edge.

Yves Saint Laurent Pink Jacket & Skirt Suit Set

Yves Saint Laurent jacket and skirt suit set in pink cotton from the Top Ford era.

Yves Saint Laurent 1990s Black Power Skirt Suit

An outstanding Yves Saint Laurent power skirt suit from circa 1990 featuring a shocking pink cropped jacket and a black pencil skirt.

Chanel Runway S/S 1994 Boucle Wool Hot Pink vintage Suit

Vintage Chanel Runway Hot Pink Boucle Wool Suit

Chanel 1990s Wool Velvet Collar & Cuffs black vintage skirt suit

Chanel 1990s Wool Velvet Collar & Cuffs black vintage skirt suit

Prada melange patterned monochrome vintage skirt suit

Prada melange patterned monochrome vintage skirt suit

Escada 1980s Paint Splash Micro Dot Print Multicolour Vintage Skirt Suit

Escada 1980s silk skirt and top ensemble with a long button top and pleated skirt.

Celine 1990s Cotton Striped Black and Yellow Vintage Skirt Suit

Vintage 1990s Céline striped yellow and black short sleeve button down shirt and wrap skirt suit.

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