THE BLOG
02/01/2018 11:19 GMT | Updated 02/01/2018 11:19 GMT

Gender Equality In Clothing? Let’s Start With Women’s Suits

New Year, new you; that’s how the saying goes, right?

Now, I’m not normally one for cliches like this, but the start of a new year is a good opportunity to give your look a bit of refresh, at least.

So I was tempted to push myself and start dressing more to my tastes, rather than my usual ‘whatever’s clean’ approach.

And I did my research; I read blog posts on how to change up my style, I gathered Pinterest images of people whose style I admire, and I had a wardrobe clearout ready for my new duds.

I also looked for my next style goal and, inspired by The Great British Bake Off, and the fact that I’ve been in love with Sue Perkins since her Light Lunch days, I began the search for a new suit!

And I promptly hit a wall.

Let me explain what I mean; when you type ‘men’s suits’ into a popular search engine, you get something like this as your first result;

http://www.next.co.uk

Don’t they look good? Very suit-like - exactly what I’m after. All in one place too, how convenient!

So, let’s try ‘women’s suits’ in the exact same search engine;

http://www.boohoo.com

Um, what?!

How on earth can that be considered the same as the first query?

Both of these images are from the first organic result in the search engine results, so it’s the result that is supposed to best match my search query - ‘women’s suits’.

These are not women’s suits.

How is this fair? I’m looking for the equivalent to a suit tailored to the male physique, not a completely different outfit all together.

I acknowledge that, generally speaking, women’s bodies and men’s bodies have some physical differences in terms of build, but not so much that the simple concept of a suit can only fit on one type of body, and not the other.

I was, safe to say, rather peeved at this discovery.

Now, I’ll admit, there were some results in my search that did offer something akin to a suit, namely the occasional jacket and trouser combo. But that was it. I scoured through every organic result on the first two pages of results and not one single website offered the whole package; trousers, shirt, waistcoat and jacket.

Instead of ready made suit packages for me to buy in one quick, easy step, as with the men’s results, I had to spend more time hunting around pages labelled ‘coordinates’ or ‘tailoring’. I had to piece together a suit from different categories, hoping all the while that each item will match the previous in terms of shade, texture, fit, etc..

I quickly got tired of this, as I don’t enjoy clothes shopping at the best of times, so I turned to the ever-flowing source of knowledge, Facebook, for help;

facebook.com

So, this isn’t news to other women? It’s just assumed that if you want a suit, you’ll have to put in some serious legwork to get what you want.

I was gobsmacked by these responses; why do we just accept this?

I understand that no one’s body is a one-size-fits-all, and you may need to have a bit more variety in terms of sizes when buying a suit, but this is ridiculous.

I have a fair bit of knowledge when it comes to online shops and how they work, so I know for a fact that you can easily set up a product page so that a customer can choose a size 12 jacket, a size 10 shirt, and size 14 trousers, for example, all in the same order.

It’s not that hard!

So why hasn’t someone done it yet?

John Lewis gained a lot of positive attention back in September 2017 with their move to remove gender categories for their children’s clothing, so it’s not like doing something similar for women’s suits would be completely out of question.

I can’t be the only woman out there that wants to be able to buy a full three-piece suit in one place, without having to DIY it?

Tell me I’m wrong.