Types of Women's Suits

The women’s suit is the foundation of the modern woman's wardrobe. Unlike jeans, dress slacks or basic dresses, no other garment can change from day to evening easier than a woman's suit.

A woman's suit has evolved from plain floor-length flocks to sophisticated pieces that reveal the wearer's professionalism and prestige. Whether you choose to wear a pantsuit for work or a skirted suit for special occasions, there is nothing more versatile or flattering than a crisply.

  • Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines a suit as an ensemble of two or more corresponding garments. The word suit derives from the French word "suite." The various styles of suits for women include business suits, special occasion suits, casual suits and after-five or formal suits.
  • Fabric choices and accessories determine the proper occasion and appropriateness of the suit.
  • Traditionally women's suiting is paired with tailored blouses made of cotton or silk.
  • There are two types of women's suits: the pantsuit and the skirted suit. Coco Chanel modernized the woman's skirted suit through her use of pencil skirts and boxy jackets.
  • As women joined the workforce and desired equality with their male counterparts, a more suitable option for work wear--the pantsuit--was born.
  • The modern pantsuit introduced by Andre Courage’s in the late 1960s gained worldwide acceptance with Yves Saint Laurent's "Le Smoking Jacket" and "Safari" pantsuits.
  • In comparison to a man's simple suit of trousers, vest and a simple jacket, a woman's suit presents many style options.
  • With a wide range of fabric choices, colors and design elements, a woman's suit can convert from business to dressy without additional costs or the need for tailoring.
  • Fabric options for women's suits include velvet, wool, crepe, silk, polyester, suede, leather and cotton.
Expert Insight:

Pantsuits were not embraced immediately by women as suitable items of dress. Prices for women's suits vary. A woman can expect to pay a low of $79 for a suit at an off-price retailer or in upwards of $10,000 for a basic Chanel suit.

A seamstress or tailor can construct a woman's suit for a price considerably lower than what you would expect to pay in a retail store. Women's suits are often constructed of fabrics that require dry cleaning.

The Men's Formal Wear

The most elegant celebrations call for the most formal wear. “White tie” on an invitation signifies the ultimate in traditional, conservative fashion.

No fooling around and no rock-star flashiness.

Gentlemen wear long, black, traditional dinner jackets with two tails, as gentlemen of distinction have done since the days of the wealthy Lollard in Tuxedo Park, New York.

A gentleman complements the jacket with a white vest instead of a cummerbund, along with a matching, white, pique stoop tie.

It is not out of the question for a gentleman to purchase new formal shoes for a white tie event. Shoes must be black, and they must be polished until they gleam under the ballroom lights.

When dancing with ladies, gentlemen should wear matching white gloves.

Diplomats and military officials may ornament their dinner jackets with small pins or medals that denote rank, distinctions, awards, or countries of origin.

An honored at a celebration may also opt to wear a medal on a sash over his vest.

Formal Fashion Guide: What to Wear When ?

Ladies at white tie events must always wear very long, very formal evening gowns.

If a lady is avoiding white or black at a wedding celebration, she can select deep, rich hues of violet or burgundy to add to the festive mood.

Ladies almost always wear long gloves to white tie events, which they should remove once seated for dinner.