Day suit, ca. 1954
Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel (French, 18831971)
Gift of Mrs. Stephane Groueff, 1976 (1976.370.2a–c)
This suit dates from the period of Chanel's comeback, her return to clothing design after World War II. The updated Chanel suit featured a boxy jacket with prominent gold-colored buttons and a straight skirt made from tweed wool in shades of blue, gray, and black. A matching jersey blouse with overlapping tab detailing at the neck and waist completes the look. In later seasons, Chanel continued to manipulate this design, making changes that would lead to the quintessential Chanel suit of the 1960s. She eliminated the collar and pocket flaps seen here, and replaced the standard dress weights sewn into the hem of the jacket with gold-toned chain to ensure the garment hung properly from the shoulders of the wearer.