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Hillary Clinton wearing a pantsuit as she is sworn in as Senator.

A pantsuit or pant suit, also known as a trouser suit outside the United States, is a woman's suit of clothing consisting of trousers and a matching or coordinating coat or jacket.

Formerly, the prevailing fashion for women included some form of coat, but paired with a skirt or dress—hence the name pantsuit.


The pantsuit was introduced in the 1920s, when a small number of women adopted a masculine style, including pantsuits, hats, and even canes and monocles.

André Courrèges introduced long trousers for women as a fashion item in the late 1960s, and over the next 40 years pantsuits gradually became acceptable business wear for women. In 1966, designer Yves Saint-Laurent introduced his Le Smoking, an evening pantsuit for women that mimicked a man's tuxedo.[1]

Pantsuits were often deprecated as inappropriately masculine clothing for women. For example, until the 1990s, women were not permitted to wear pantsuits in the United States Senate.[2]


Proponents name several advantages, including comfort, modesty and reducing the need for pantyhose.

Prominent pantsuit adopters[edit]


  1. ^ Alexander, Hilary. "Smoke Without Fire." The Telegraph (Dec. 12, 2005).
  2. ^ Robin Givhan (20 July 2007) "Hillary Clinton's Tentative Dip Into New Neckline Territory" Washington Post

External links[edit]