would have thought that fashion-chided Hillary Clinton
would be considered such a trendsetter this year with
the Democratic presidential candidateís predilection
eight years with a fashionable first lady wearing
fit-and-flare dresses, traditional feminine silhouettes
appear to be taking a back seat to pantsuits and other
clothing akin to the masculine contour. And there are
plenty of signs of the trend everywhere from the catwalk
to the red carpet.
Jones dazzled at the Emmys when she wore a custom blue
jumpsuit by Annapolis-native designer Christian Siriano.
Trump, wife of GOP presidential contender Donald Trump,
wowed in her much-discussed Gucci pussy-bow silk crepe
de shine shirt and pants ensemble at the second
the runways, pants have been popular among haute
designers such as BCBG, Vivienne Westwood, Karen Walker
and Narciso Rodriguez. Pinstripe suiting with low
plunging necklines was popular with Calvin Klein, Tibi
and Max Mara.
trend also popped up recently in bridal fashion. In
October, Badgley Mischka showed palazzo pants paired
with a sleeveless beaded top. And Ivy and Astor showed a
silk wide-leg pantsuit in part to attract the growing
same-sex marriage market.
locally, female politicians and the fashion-conscious
alike are embracing the trend, which has been called at
once empowering, flattering and gender-bending.
attire for women is a fashion-forward trend that blurs
the line that distinguishes the sexes," said Sally
Di Marco, associate professor and fashion design program
coordinator at Stevenson University School of Design.
"In addition to giving us freedom of movement and
comfort, the pantsuit is a symbol of strength, mirroring
the menís traditional power suit."
Washington, senior style editor at Brit + Co, the San
Francisco-based womenís lifestyle company, echoed this
are owning options," she said. "Women are not
conforming to gender roles in many different
isnít the first time that this country has seen
politics, fashion and popular culture intersect,
according to Washington.
saw this happening in the í70s with bell bottoms,
culottes and jumpsuits as well with womenís lib and
womenís rights with Gloria Steinem," she said.
"I think the reason why you are seeing more pants
in the marketplace and more pants on women in power is
really because people are owning their choices. They are
using every platform to further their message ó and
that includes fashion.
Hillary Clinton, who is known as the pantsuit queen,
there was a time where that was seen as a negative, but
now she and pop culture in general have really embraced
the pantsuit and Hillary in the pantsuit,"
women have turned to certain designers when it comes to
pantsuits, according to Washington.
the 1970s and í80s it was Donna Karanís "Seven
Easy Pieces," which consisted of a black bodysuit,
tights, a skirt, a pair of trousers, a tailored jacket,
a white shirt and a cashmere sweater.
created a suit specifically for women that played with
our curves but was still put together and was still
business-appropriate," Washington said. "It
didnít look like it was borrowed from the boys. It was
a lot softer and a lot more wearable."
Calvin Klein and D.C.-based Nina McLemore have also been
go-tos for womenís suits.
and Elizabeth Warren love those Nina McLemore
suits," Washington said. "The materials are
Armani level. And sheís really aware of a womenís
body and small details that are important to a woman of
power. She still has strong shoulders in her jackets,
but they are rounded so that you donít have that
distinct shoulder-pad silhouette. She also shortens and
creates a bracelet-like sleeve ó because a lot of
women were rolling up their sleeves."
attributes the recent popularity in nontraditional
silhouettes to the presence of more women fashion
designers such as Stella McCartney, Tanya Taylor,
Miuccia Prada at Prada, Bouchra Jarrar at Lanvin and
are more women in charge of these major brands,"
she said. "The way women live is being reflected in
the fashion. Female designers are embracing pants and
trend has also found its way into the wardrobes of women
in professions other than politics.
are seeing a growth in pantsuits, tuxedo suits for
women, two-piece options, and less-conforming dress
options. The market is finally acknowledging that women
want to feel a certain way when they dress. And it isnít
always through the framework of a male gaze ó how a
man is going to see them," Washington said.
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Pivec, owner of Panache, a designer womenís boutique
in Lutherville, Md.ís Green Spring Station, said she
canít keep jumpsuits on the racks.
Nicole Miller jumpsuits have been on fire," Pivec
said. "They have been the most beautiful of the
has also sold out of Yoanna Barachi jumpsuits, which
have also been among the seasonís best, she said.
designers really fit to the body," she explained.
"With a pantsuit and a jumpsuit, thatís what you
fit of the garment is the key, according to Pivec.
you put on a jumpsuit or pantsuit, it has to be tailored
to the bottom," she said. "It looks
says she likes to incorporate jumpsuits into her weekend
grew up in the í70s. I still remember a Snoopy
jumpsuit I used to wear as a kid. The grown-up versions
are a lot of fun," she said. "They are
stylish, comfortable and easy to accessorize."
Paige, founder and creative director of Baltimore-based
Cover Paige Creative, an interior design, event
production and marketing agency, has been a lifelong fan
of pants and jumpsuits.
been wearing them, ever since I was a toddler," she
said. "For me, itís such an easy transition
outfit. I can wear it to business meetings and then
drinks with friends."
season, Paige said, sheís been encouraged to wear
jumpsuits by stylist Rachel Zoe. Paige has purchased
jumpsuits at Nordstrom, Target and H&M.
love seeing a woman in pants or a power suit," said
Paige, who was wearing a deep V-neck black jumpsuit with
gold tassel necklace and metallic gold BCBG sandals
while having drinks after work recently at Cava Mezze in
Harbor East. "For me, itís another way of showing
power and femininity combined. We donít have to be so
Mulherin, a Baltimore-based jewelry designer, says she
owns about 20 jumpsuits.
started wearing them two years ago," she said.
"I was seeing the same dresses all over the place,
so I started wearing a deep-V, tight-in-the-waist
jumpsuit with wide leg pants. Itís the most flattering
silhouette for my body. Recently I started doing more
monochromatic looks. A jumpsuit makes it super easy. You
just put them on and go."
likes the statement jumpsuits and pants make.
think it is a great way for a business woman to dress up
and be taken seriously," she said. "Itís not
too girly. Itís powerful. You have to be very
confident to wear them."
thinks that carries over to pantsuits.
think Hillary Clinton looks confident," Mulherin
said. "I like her monochromatic looks. Hillaryís