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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


  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

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