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Style & Beauty

These Vintage Hollywood Photos Will Convince You To Get A Pantsuit

Actresses like Marlene Dietrich and Katharine Hepburn dared to break style rules when they rocked pantsuits.

The pantsuit might be a red carpet style staple ― for both men and women ― these days, but that wasn’t always the case.

In fact, pants in general weren’t really seen as socially acceptable garb for women until the 20th century, and even then they were only meant to be worn for certain occasions or activities, such as cycling.

In the 1920s and ’30s, however, actresses like Katharine Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich challenged the norm and adopted the pantsuit for themselves. As Alexandra Mondalek pointed out in an article on Yahoo, Dietrich and Hepburn’s decisions to wear pantsuits so openly was considered daring. Even today when women wear pantsuits, it’s almost always seen as a style statement.

But if it weren’t for the Old Hollywood style rule breakers like Dietrich, Hepburn and a few others, we might not be seeing stars like Emma Stone and Leslie Jones confidently rocking pantsuits at major red carpet events.

Below, check out some great vintage photos of Hollywood stars who sure knew how to wear the pants:

Marlene Dietrich
Bettmann via Getty Images
Dietrich strolls along Hollywood Street in a gray man's suit with turtleneck sweater in this undated photo, circa 1933.
Katharine Hepburn
Alfred Eisenstaedt via Getty Images
An undated portrait of actress Katharine Hepburn wearing a suit, with a cigarette in her hand.
Bette Davis
Loomis Dean via Getty Images
Bette Davis and her third husband, William Grant Sherry, pushing the airplane "Now Voyager," circa 1947.
Greta Garbo
Bettmann via Getty Images
Greta Garbo wears a suit in this undated photo.
Jean Harlow
Donaldson Collection via Getty Images
Actress Jean Harlow in a scene from the 1936 movie "Libeled Lady."
Myrna Loy
John Kobal Foundation via Getty Images
Loy wears a man's suit and hat for a publicity photograph before the release of "The Thin Man," in April 1934.
Marlene Dietrich
Eugene Robert Richee via Getty Images
Dietrich dresses as the tuxedo clad Amy Jolly in the 1930 film "Morocco."
Ruby Keeler
John Springer Collection via Getty Images
The actress and dancer wears a suit in this undated photo.
Norma Shearer
John Springer Collection via Getty Images
Shearer photographed in a suit on the beach by her home in an undated photo.
Ginger Rogers
Bettmann via Getty Images
Rogers models a suit in this 1933 photo.
Meg Mundy
John Rawlings via Getty Images
Mundy wears a red wool slack suit emblazoned with eagle figure, with white shirt and white turban, surrounded by mythological constellation illustrations in Vogue, 1940.
Katharine Hepburn
Bettmann via Getty Images
Hepburn wears a suit for a press conference in 1952.
Lucille Ball
Bettmann via Getty Images
Ball (seen here with Desi Arnaz) wears a suit in this undated photo taken during for an anniversary party in the 1950s.
Jean Harlow
Keystone-France via Getty Images
Harlow seen wearing a suit sometime in the 1930s.
Katharine Hepburn
Bettmann via Getty Images
Hepburn wears a suit on the ice rink at Madison Square Garden in this photo from 1936.
Judy Garland
C. Maher via Getty Images
Garland wears a heavily embellished suit in this photo from 1968.
Hedy Lamarr
Toni Frissell via Getty Images
Lamarr poses in a suit for Vogue, 1938.
Benita Hume
Alexander Paal via Getty Images
Hume (with second husband Ronald Coleman) wears a pantsuit with a short sleeved jacket, standing in the garden of their Brentwood, California home in 1940.