THE POWER OF THE SUIT
25 Sep 2023
It's no secret that clothes have the power to change how you feel, and that goes doubly so for suits. This season, at SABA, we celebrate the power of the suit by looking at the tumultuous history of women in suits, how our clothes impact the way we feel, and the impact of an outfit on those around us. SABA’s new season suiting is composed of beautifully refined pieces that transcend trend and endure style shifts. The modern-day suit has come a long way, and is today imbued with both a rich history and a proven ability to influence our sense of self.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF WOMEN IN SUITS
Though there had been rumbling of pantsuits, and occasional spikes in interest through history, Yves Saint Laurent can be credited with popularising suits for women. In 1966, he designed the famous Le Smoking tuxedo suit, advertising it with bright lipstick and high heels. Shortly afterwards, New York socialite Nan Kempner donned her Le Smoking suit when visiting the fashionable restaurant La Cote Basque. The restaurant declared that a women’s suit no more belonged in their establishment than a swimming suit. So Kempner stripped off her pants and entered wearing only the suit jacket, claiming it was a mini-dress.
As the 1970s unfolded, many women grew weary of control over their clothing choices and actions. By 1972, their calls for greater liberty in attire were resounding. Revlon introduced the fragrance Charlie in 1973, accompanied by an advertising campaign showcasing women clad in Ralph Lauren pantsuits. The advertisement claimed that “You can do anything you want to do, without any criticism being directed at you. If you want to wear pantsuits at the office instead of a skirt, fine."
Over fifty years later, SABA’s Tia Suit is a workwear essential. A classic black suit, elegantly tailored and crafted from a bestselling European fabrication, it’s hard to imagine restaurateurs turning away Tia. In fact, this suit was designed to go from desk to dinner.
The halo effect, and how others feel about our clothes
Everyone has heard the saying dress for the job you want, not the job you have, but in fact that idiom is rooted in science. Recent studies indicate that when we meet someone new, we construct our first impression of them in under one second based on how they look. If we like the way someone looks, we imbue them with positive characteristics without knowing anything else about them. From there, we seek traits that reinforce our initial judgment. This is called the Halo Effect, and once generated, it can be hard to change.
From the new collection, the Dharma Stitch Detail Blazer, a button-down blazer with superior wear-ability, crafted from a bestselling Japanese fabrication, is a suit guaranteed to leave an impression.
ENCLOTHED COGNITION, AND HOW WE FEEL ABOUT OUR CLOTHES
Not only do the clothes we wear daily reflect the way we want others to perceive us and how we see ourselves, clothes can also influence our own cognitive abilities.
In fact, according to a recent study, the “power tie” is a real thing. Researchers found that participants who wore formal business attire while completing a series of cognitive tests felt significantly more in control of the situation than their underdressed peers.
The Social Psychological and Personality Science study found that those who dressed in formal clothing could think faster and had more creative ideas. Researchers have also found that wearing specific articles of clothing influenced the wearer's psychology and performance. The researchers concluded that clothes have a symbolic meaning. When we wear an article of clothing with a specific meaning, these clothes can influence our psychological state. It's called "enclothed cognition."
Properly tailored, well-fitting clothes and premium fabrications have the power to alter our mood and improve the way we feel. SABA’s new season collection celebrates expertly tailored pieces like the Celeste Jacket. This piece is Australian designed and crafted from premium Woolmark-certified merino wool that is both durable and thermo-regulating. Pair with the Celeste Wool Pant Suit.
There’s no doubt that suits can change how you feel. From humble beginnings as a controversial political statement to a symbol of the empowered modern woman, SABA’s contributions to suiting are inspired by a sophisticated way of life. We believe that our refined, considered suiting has the power to improve the way we work and empower the way we live.
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