The Chanel suit

Coco Chanel was a designer who once famously said: “I don’t do fashion. I am fashion.”

The Chanel suit was a game-changer — not just for fashion but for women’s sartorial liberation.

Coco Chanel introduced her first two-piece set in the 1920s, inspired by menswear and sportswear, as well as the suits of her then lover, the Duke of Westminster.

Keen to free women from the restrictive corsets and long skirts of previous decades, Chanel crafted a slim skirt and collarless jacket made of tweed, a fabric then considered markedly unglamorous.

The suit was modern, slightly masculine in its cut, and ideal for the post-war woman making her first foray in the business world. Its popularity continued through the years, and featured across collections from the house of Chanel, including those by Karl Lagerfeld.

Some of the most influential women of all time wore the Chanel suit, too, from Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly to Princess Diana.

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