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Pantsuits are here to stay. Between 1990 and 1995, pantsuit sales in the United States grew 167% and this year, retailers report another banner year. Generally speaking, women in their 20s and early 30s are the majority of business pant wearers. So what makes such attire so popular? Well, they are a no-brainer when it comes to putting together a polished outfit. And yes, they are more comfortable than wearing skirts.

The History Of The Pantsuit: Putting the pantsuit on the map as an acceptable women's fashion was designer Coco Chanel in the 1920's. At that time, only the rich could afford such a luxury.

In the 1950's the pantsuit was a popular choice among actress Katharine Hepburn. This pants pioneer was told that slacks were not allowed in the lobby of Claridges Hotel in London. From then on, she made it a point of using the servants' entrance at all times.

In the 1970's Yves Saint Laurent introduced its version of the pantsuit. At that time, socialite Nan Kempner was told by the maitre d' of Manhattan's fancy French restaurant de jour that her attire was not acceptable.

You've Come A Long Way Baby: In the 90's pantsuits are not only acceptable at restaurants but have also become quite popular at the workplace.

So how do you choose the best suit for your figure type? This year there are more styles than ever to choose from. Before you set foot in the store, take a look at what suit style is most flattering for you.

The Lily (Top Heavy): If this describes you, wear jackets that are long and narrow combined with tapered pants. What you want to stay away from are double breasted jackets with wide lapels.

The Tulip (Bottom Heavy): If you have this body type, it's a good idea to wear a long, double breasted jacket. Vertical stripes (pinstripes which are all the rage this season) will give you the appearance of a longer, leaner look. The Tulip shape should avoid slacks that have cuffs.

The Orchid (Short Waistline): On this figure type, suits with single breasted jackets are best for you. Even though belted jackets are quite popular this year, the Orchid should stay away from them.

The Rose (Curvy): If this is you, belted jackets and coat length jackets will enhance your body type. But remember not to purchase jackets with big pockets since this style will make you appear more hippie. Also avoid pleated pants.

The Hottest Suit: The belted jacket of course. Designed with a military influence. This style is created to give a long, lean silhouette. Don't forget that gray is the hot color of the season followed by the neutrals of camel and black.

The Other Alternative: Separates
· They are more comfortable than tailored suits because they are less restrictive.
· They are more cost-effective than buying one expensive suit because they can be mixed and matched with each other or with items that are already in your wardrobe.

What To Buy
· Buy a basic jacket in a neutral color. The cut should be either short and fitted or long and unstructured, depending on your body type.
· Look for a pair of trouser pants, coupled with a richly colored blouse or a flat jersey shirt. For a more traditional look, choose slacks that have a straight leg. Pants with a wide leg tend to me a lot more trendier.
· For women who want to show off their style but still need to look conservative, try fitted jackets, trousers and pants.
· For women who work in a less conservative setting, most designer lines offer separates with slightly more pizzazz.