Don’t Men Wear Pantsuits?
When we introduced this blog, we informed our readers that we will occasionally depart from the law and legal developments to inject our personal views on the intersection of fashion and culture. This post is purely personal commentary on fashion and culture. Enjoy, and don’t hesitate to comment, -Deanna
At the risk of injecting a little politics, let’s talk about “the pantsuit.” I do my best to avoid Bill O’Reilly. I never like what he has to say, or even hearing his voice. He recently popped up when I was channel surfing, and a comment that he made regarding Hilary Rodham Clinton got my attention. O’Reilly was sure (he is always sure) that Clinton is buying truckloads of “pantsuits” in preparation for a campaign. I started thinking about the frequent, at least mildly derogative reference to Clinton’s “pantsuits.” I have purchased more than a few suits, some with pants, yet I’ve never set out to buy “a pantsuit.” Why, from the prospective of a professional woman, is it just a suit … maybe a suit with a skirt or a suit with pants, or maybe both, but just a suit? Guys wear suits with pants, and we just call them “suits.” But when a woman has political ambition she is called out for wearing a “pantsuit”?
I could repeat something profound about “the Other” that Simone de Beauvior figured out years ago. While that would resonate with some, it would provoke a long conversation with others about a wide range of issues and years from now we would still have to listen to someone deride Clinton’s pantsuits. Instead, let’s start a very specific conversation in hopes of moving the needle. Next time you see a guy in a suit, and assuming he’s not ridiculously uptight, or Pharrell, compliment him on his “pantsuit.” Or, next time you hear someone make a flip remark about Clinton’s pantsuits, ask how many suits with pants they own and if they refer to any of their own clothing as a “pantsuit.” Maybe, one suit wearing male and female at a time, we can eliminate this silly word from our lexicon.
P.S. As if the Vivenne Westwood hat was not enough, Pharrell’s shortsuit made him a hero of anyone, myself included, who likes to see people having fun with what they wear.