I have drooled over Yves St. Laurent’s classic Le Smoking for years. What seems so simple – one tuxedo jacket and pair of pants – has the power to transform any woman into someone sexy, powerful and confident. The combination of menswear styling and tailoring meant for a woman’s body both rejects traditional gender norms and embraces female sensuality. So much in one garment – of course I want one.
The tuxedo, however, is a garment unfortunately more fraught with complications than just a little gender-bending. What can be seen as powerful can also be perceived as threatening – that playing with gender norms endangers the status quo. Robin Givhan has an excellent article in the Washington Post about the message a woman wearing a tuxedo conveys. Check it out here: A tuxedo on a woman: What is says and what it means.