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1989 woman's suit (1998.161)
suit 1998.165

During the 1980s the trouser suit was widely adopted by business women in order to project the serious, focused, determined and often masculine image which was seen to be crucial for success in Thatcherite Britain. In the long term, wearing masculine-style clothing in a male dominated commercial sector probably did help women to win a greater role in business, and certainly, today, female trouser suits are universally accepted in the urban environment, more commonly worn than skirts.

This striking double-breasted suit of striped brown and black wool sateen twill was designed by Jean Paul Gaultier in 1989, and belonged to Janet Street Porter, the media celebrity. Gaultier preference was that this jacket should be worn next to the skin, without a top or blouse below, thus deliberately encoding this outfit with a provocative comment on the usual dull professional suit which seems virtually unisex, and distancing his outfit from the typical male suit with shirt and waistcoat as pictured below.

Full item descriptions:

"trouser suit" [1998.161], Gaultier, Jean Paul
"lounge suit" [1998.165], Nutter, Tommy

Related Themes:

Suits for Men & Women