Formerly, the prevailing fashion for women included some form of coat, but paired with a skirt or dress—hence the name pantsuit.
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.
Proponents name several advantages, including comfort and reducing the need for pantyhose. The most prominent advantage cited, however, is modesty: a woman wearing a pantsuit cannot be a victim of upskirt photography or accidentally expose herself by leaning over or sitting awkwardly.
Prominent adopters 
- Angela Merkel, the current Chancellor of Germany is widely known for wearing a number of trouser suits
- Hillary Clinton, who is well known for wearing pantsuits, once referred to her presidential campaign staff as "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits," a play on The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
- Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand
- Dana Scully, fictional Special Agent in The X-Files
- Juliet O'Hara, fictional detective in Psych
- Alexander, Hilary. "Smoke Without Fire." The Telegraph (Dec. 12, 2005).
- Robin Givhan (20 July 2007) "Hillary Clinton's Tentative Dip Into New Neckline Territory" Washington Post
- Courrèges' pantsuit, from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
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