Saturday, May 18, 2013

Women at their most subversive

Yes, the glorious Cate Blanchett making it look so effortlessly chic.  And let me draw your attention to a few fine details that distinguish this suit from the vast array of women's suits:

a) It's not tight.  Really, why do men get to camoflauge their form while we are required by fashion (and the frankly misogynist retail business that thrives on undermining female confidence and power - I'll stop the rant before it really takes off) to reveal our butts (must do more lunges), our boobs (boob job or bra armor) and skin (my imperfect, neck, arms, knees etc.), and have it so constricted it makes sitting for an average 8 day tantamount to torture.   I love the loose fit - it's so sensuous to feel the fabric move and not be required to hold yourself just so.  Can you imagine what you could accomplish if you didn't worry about panty lines, pantyhose, keeping your legs tightly clamped when you're sitting on the subway?  In short, have the freedom to focus on the stuff that really matters.  Oh, so subversive.

b) Pairs with a simple shirt.  A classic shirt, not a t-shirt that fades and gets baggy, not a piece of lingerie, which frankly is and always was just ridiculous, and it does not require a scarf, necklace, or any other adornment - it looks perfectly right just as it is.  And I don't know about you, but a shirt lasts and lasts - it's economical.  Subversive again. 

c)  Works with lace-ups.  I saw a very attractive woman in the upper echelons of l'age wearing a very similar suit with a tweed-ish coat (mixing patterns in a very British manner) with a pair of brogues.  She was stunning.  I did a double-take and as usual couldn't get my phone out in time to snap the pic.  The Sartorialist I am not.  Back to the shoes, comfortable - yes, and just right with the men's styling.  And they last for more than just a season or two.  Ouch, subversive.

While the above shot was more of a red carpet pic, this one looks like real life.  Possibly more comfortable than the ubiquitous jeans - not trying too hard and yet displaying more than a whiff of personality. And the hair can be just as relaxed.  No blow drying, flat ironing, hair products - it takes no time.  Damn that's subversive.  (I am so in.)

Utterley feminine.  Pick the hair up and you've got an absolutely fabulous ensemble.  So, I'm waiting for the elevator the other day and as the door opens off strides a petite and not particularly svelt young woman in a subtle gray plaid suit with a gray tie and lace-ups.  I just about feel off my Hush Puppies.  She looked incredible.  Talk about subversive in a financial district where most young women are teetering around on 4" heels and short tight suits. 

Doesn't she look like Bowie?  Anyway, is this so threatening?  I think so. 

She's just too darn comfortable and confident - she might actually get on a board. 

Or she might just be accepted for all that she is and no one will ever know if she has a saggy butt or flabby skin on her arms.  Now that's subversive.

I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the Girls in Suits blog.  Check it out and submit your woman in suit photo. I will.


  1. Pant suits were being reintroduced this past fall....patterned ones from Prada especially. Do we have Hillary to thank? We should keep an eye on this fashion style for the next season as well. Thanks.

  2. I am so in, too. These women look so utterly confident that I wouldn't dare cross one. I was just thinking yesterday while in the midst of my daily grooming ritual how great men have it--shower, shave, great haircut, crisp shirt, great suit, polished shoes--they're DONE and they look fabulous. Women are still being held captive and it's our own fault.

  3. Maryl: Yes for all the verbal abuse she took on her pantsuits, Hilary may have the last laugh. I think she looks terrific these days - I love her hair.

    Debbie: I couldn't agree more - we've made things so complicated for ourselves and yet we lead such complicated lives, shouldn't we align our wardrobes with men. I do think about it quite seriously.