As an ordinary American—say, a football or MMA fan—you might be forgiven for thinking that women wearing fashionable suits was old news, sartorially speaking. Some celebrities, like Janelle Monae and Tilda Swinton, are rarely seen not rocking suits on the red carpet. Hillary Clinton voters declared themselves the “Pantsuit Nation” and recorded themselves wearing her signature outfit to the polls. And, most recently, during the Golden Globes ceremony Sunday, Kathryn Hahn and Octavia Spencer both wore suits for the evening’s festivities without much comment.
But, according to “Westworld” star Evan Rachel Wood, ladies across America still need encouragement to be brave enough to exchange one bit of expensive clothing for another. Wood, who chose a custom suit from Altuzarra for her red carpet appearance at the Golden Globes last Sunday, attributed a higher motivation to her fashion selection. “I wanted to make sure that young girls and women knew that [dresses] aren’t a requirement, and that you don’t have to wear one if you don’t want to,” the 29-year old actress said, to appreciative fanfare in the press.
Apparently, the coastal elite bubble is not only thick enough for its denizens to believe nonsense like the assertion that multi-millionaire Hollywood actors and actresses are “the most vilified segments in American society,” but also thick enough for Wood to believe that it takes courage for a woman to wear an exquisitely-tailored pair of pants to a fancy party in 2017.
As The Federalist senior writer Mary Katherine Ham wrote in Tuesday’s BRIGHT newsletter: “Is Hollywood now so out of touch they literally don’t know the rest of the country’s women wear pants? My great-grandmother was born in 1900 and I’m quite sure she wore pants long before Wood was born. Wood would be astounded, no doubt. ‘Was your great-grandmother a time traveler??!’”
With all this in mind, here are five women who would be relieved to know that Evan Rachel Wood’s bravery has finally allowed them to wear suits on the red carpet.
Back in the 1930s, when it was arguably actually transgressive for a woman to don menswear, German-born siren Marlene Dietrich caused a stir when she wore a tux to the 1932 premiere of her film “The Sign of the Cross.” Her suits became part of the singer-actress’ iconic style and inspired a “trouser craze” among American women.
Barbara Streisand not only wore pants on the red carpet in 1969, she anticipated the “naked dress” trend a few decades before it went mainstream (although she reportedly missed how see-through the look turned out to be in the dim lights of her dressing room).
Diana Ross chose to wear a lux satin take on the menswear classic, designed by Bob Mackie and Ray Aghayan, to accept her Oscar for “Lady Sings the Blues” in 1973.
Reprising her borrowed-from-the-boys look from “Annie Hall,” Diane Keaton donned this pinstriped suit, tie, and bowler hat for the Academy Awards in 2004.
Madonna wore this Ralph Lauren tuxedo and matching hat, complete with cane and Michael Jackson-esque glitzy glove, to the Grammy Awards in 2014, a full two years before Evan Rachel Wood broke the glass gown ceiling.