THERE was a time when we looked upon our menfolk with envy as they climbed into a suit and were ready in record time for any formal event while us girls struggled with tights, fake tan and bronzer to offset our trusty LBD and pale Irish skin tone.
Thankfully, a level playing field is beginning to emerge, courtesy of some A-list women now opting for suits and tuxedos for their red carpet turns.
Indeed this pre-Christmas trend can only be good news for any social animals determined to brave the cold snap this festive season.
As always, Victoria Beckham is ahead of the fashion pack and she recently turned heads at the press night of the Spice Girls musical Viva Forever! in ankle-skimming charcoal trousers and a burgundy, military-style coat.
Cameron Diaz looked like she meant business at the after-party for the Django Unchained screening in a sharp black tux with a tapered leg, white T-shirt and killer heels.
Meanwhile new mum Uma Thurman attended several pre-Christmas screenings looking svelte in various black suits -- her skinny black trousers teamed with knee- length, belted coat and high- neck blouse was a modern-day take on the actress's cult Pulp Fiction look.
Trendsetter Olivia Palermo, actress Olivia Wilde and star of HBO hit Girls Zosia Mamet have also debuted variations of the look. Like Thurman, Mamet also teamed her black trousers with a high-neck, Victorian-style white blouse -- another trend to watch.
The fashion rules of engagement are simple: black and white are the key colours, if you want to add colour then choose deep, rich ones; small, feminine handbags keep the look red carpet/evening; killer heels are a must, while jewellery should be tasteful.