How to dress up for the first time
Green suits have been around for ages, but it wasn’t until the early 1990s that women got to wear them in public.
The trend had a big impact on women’s attitudes about women in general and about women wearing clothes that matched their bodies, according to Julie Hoggard, senior lecturer in cultural studies at RMIT University.
In the 1980s, the popularity of the women’s suit was partly driven by the appearance of the then-popular green dress from The Jetsons.
“Women in the early 1980s wore suits that looked more feminine and they didn’t have the pressure of looking like a man,” Ms Hoggart said.
She said the first women to wear a suit were in the 1980’s.
The suit was also popular among the men.
Mr Risdon wore one during the first world war.
Ms Hoggar said in the 1990s, people were starting to see women wearing more conservative outfits.
When the first feminist wave of women in the mid-1990s swept through Australia, they were seen as a threat to traditional male fashion and culture.
During this time, women started to dress more conservatively, she said.
“Women were wearing their own clothes and that really opened up space for the fashion industry,” she said, “so you could start to see more women going into the industry”.
At the time, Ms Hogson said the trend was partly inspired by the success of the 1980 s movie ‘Sleeping Beauty’.
“There were a lot of women at the time who were into this sort of dress-up and the whole idea was that you could dress up as princesses and they were all dressed up in princess costumes and they’re all wearing princess dresses,” she explained.
With more women in power, Ms Risdel said the new trend began to spread.
“[Women] were starting a new wave and it was quite radical for them, and the idea of dressing up in something that was so traditional was quite new,” she recalled.
“So it started to go from a pretty young, young trend into something that you might see now.”
It was also a trend that had a positive effect on men, she added.
“For men, it was kind of a countercultural trend that they would dress up in a suit and tie and go out and have fun,” Ms Rishdel said.
Ms Risdel, who is now based in Brisbane, said while she didn’t consider herself a feminist, the idea was still a positive one.
“There are things about women and how they dress and how you dress that I think are important to look at,” she noted.
“I think it’s great that the whole of society is coming together and embracing women.
Women are now starting to look up to women and be proud of their own bodies and their own choices.
We can also look at it as a positive thing for society as well, that women are now being valued for their gender.”