Jul 23, 2016

The Modern Woman and Power Dressing

When we hear the term power dressing, it often sparks images of women dressed for business. The term originates from the late 1970s and evolved during the 1980s as we saw many women entering more professional roles.

So with the style closely linked to women’s style within the business and political environment, what is power dressing today? Has it changed much?

With the second woman Prime Minister in the UK, Theresa May and another female candidate running for office in the United States, will women’s power translate in the way that they dress.

In the Margaret Thatcher era, in the 80s, we saw suiting with big shoulders which signified power and turned women’s work wear into something else with a masculine edge. What is interesting though, is we have been seeing the return of statement shoulders in many designer’s collections. So are they coming back into our work wear wardrobe?

Roots to power dressing can be found in none other than Coco Chanel’s Chanel suit, which was a revolutionary shift in how women were dressed back in the 20s. The suit allowed women to de-sexualize themselves in order to be taken seriously. And what is interesting about this, although fronted by Karl Lagerfeld now, the most recent Chanel show highlighted the women behind the couture operation. And what was on the catwalk? The classic Chanel suit morphed into new silhouettes. With you guessed it, the power shoulder.

Of course over the decades, the suit and power dressing trends have changed, but what will we be seeing in the coming seasons? Aside from designers, today’s icons include figures such as The Duchess of Cambridge and Emma Watson. Both manage to dress powerfully, with a feminine and trend driven edge, and we can definitely learn a bit from them.

But trend wise for this FW 16/17, here are a few things to incorporate into your work wear wardrobe.

1 – A serious trench coat. Trench coats with an edge can be seen on the Burberry, Gucci, Prada and Celine runways.

2- Ruffles. Details such as ruffles ass femininity back into a very masculine way of dressing. Look to Gucci for inspiration. Opt for a ruffled blouse of shirt to play it safe.

3 – Checks. Seen at Victoria Beckham this season. To add an updated twist on the check suit, do not be scared to mix the checks up, or pair with other prints or block colours.

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