The earliest women's suits were riding habits which appeared from the 1660s, worn both for horseback riding, travel and the everyday. Much later in the 19th century, skirt suits started to appear on a broader scale, and in the first half of the 20th century, the skirted suit became a top fashion for women in the city, in the form of dressmaker suits and the more formal cocktail suits. The trouser suit was first introduced around 1910 with cross dressing style icons like Vesta Tilley and Hetty King – and popularised in the 1960s through Yves Saint Laurent’s pioneering androgynous suit Le Smoking. The working woman’s skirted suit uniform (or “power suit”) a la Melanie Griffith in Working Girl evolved in the 1970s and 1980s. Today, women wear suits not just in the office or the odd formal occasion, but make full use of the versatility and sartorial-lifting credentials of the co-ord.
As for most womenswear, the women’s suit comes in a vaster array of colours, patterns, silhouettes and materials than the men’s suit. The most common material for men’s ensemble, wool, is also found in the womenswear equivalent, be they two- or three-piece, single- or double-breasted. For women, however, the choice extends beyond the men’s-nodding trouser suit in classic black, stripes or herringbone to skirt suits and dress suits in all sorts of exquisite fabrics and eccentric patterns – allowing for stress-free, sartorially savvy looks for any occasion.
OfV says: Whether you’re a hyper-feminine Jackie O or a dapper Dietrich, invest in a carefully curated selection of vintage women’s suits that mirror your style and purpose. Open for Vintage hosts designs from some of the most prominent women’s suitmakers in fashion history including Giorgio Armani, Jil Sander and Yves Saint Laurent with their classic black, nude and pinstripe numbers; alongside decade-defining designers like Biba and rare vintage statement gems in bold prints. Elevate a classic black vintage women’s suit with a pair of luxurious patent brogues or team a bolder patterned vintage women’s suit with barely-there stilettos. Summer suiting it? Make one of Chanel’s immortal contrast collar nautical vintage skirt suits your vintage wedding suit, or give your office line-up a seasonal update with a vintage trouser suit with cropped bottoms.
At Open for Vintage, we consider everyone as a collector with a desire to possess beautiful things with a story worth living on. Our curated edit of unique and contemporary vintage and pre-owned fashion pieces are hand-picked for their individuality, relevance, and of course, style appeal.