The Workings of a Chanel Suit

For more features on work, be sure to attend the launch of our latest issue, and get your copy of "The Work Issue." The Launch Party is this Saturday, December 7th, at 7 p.m. at the Study Hall Lounge on South U! Gabrielle Chanel, better known as Coco Chanel, intricately created art and magic through each and every one of her revolutionary designs, from clothes to accessories. Her masterpieces captured the quintessential characteristics of sophistication and style into the distant past, the immediate present, and will live on into the un-seeable future, because of the timelessness that radiates off of every fiber that constructs them. The House of Chanel has dressed every signature look and style from luxurious evening wear down to elegant workwear

In fact, Chanel revolutionized women’s work-wear with her conception of the suit. An ageless fashion, the Chanel suit is one of a kind, modern, easy to wear, as well as easily glamorized by each individual woman who wears it. A suit is not just a garment of clothing, but something unique. Since its creation over ninety years ago, the Chanel suit is a symbol of empowerment of the modern woman--a symbol of her individual style, a reflection of her home and way of life. Not just sewn together, but meticulously constructed, the Chanel suit is fitted with fine lines, trimming and couture sleeves, as well as a jacket to pair. While composed of a few pieces, the suit allows for millions of combinations and adjustments, from color to fit, down to patterns and accessories, all to reflect the confidence and style of the modern woman in it.


Chanel never wished to create a line of clothing that conformed to the “feminine ways” of the time. She embraced pants and disliked lace, corsets, trains and all other extravagantly uncomfortable aspects that were deemed necessary for a woman to be masked under. Instead, she gave women the freedom of their bodies back.

During her time in Paris, she was immediately inspired by high society and in particular, men’s clothing. Wearing a suit gave a man a certain authority and sophistication; why couldn’t this be true for women as well?

Her clothes are often simplistic and elegant, devoid of any sort of excess or extravagance. The simplicity allows the suit to be fit for any occasion on any day and for any era in time, while also allowing formalization and personalization through accessories. In this way of constructing simply fine clothing, Mademoiselle Chanel became the very first stylist of the time.

Each suit is signature of her tastes and likes. She loved tweed, which is a very present fabric in her styles. She did not create clothing for the world, but she did it for herself. Thus, her designs are a reflection of herself and of her perfectionist qualities.

Her suits achieved balance and formed to a woman’s body because she believed that clothing should form to the person, providing not only ease, but comfort. Chanel suits became known for their artistic style and perfection both inside and out. The lining on the inside is a testament to this, branded with Chanel and constructed just as the outside of the suit. Chanel also became the first designer to weigh their designs. Each piece (from the buttons to the chains) is designed to incorporate jewelry into the clothing itself--a characteristic that Karl Lagerfeld still holds true to the brand today.

In a fast paced modern world, there are thousands of clothing companies producing versions of the same outfit, season after season. However, despite many attempts at imitation, there is nothing that looks and feels more like a Chanel suit, than a Chanel suit. Chanel has created an empire based on high quality classic looks, creating opportunities for women to express their independence in a way that is sure to always work.