Women’s fashion has come a long way since the days of shoulder pads and statement permed hair – thankfully! But along with the evolution of fashion, female empowerment has progressed and developed hand-in-hand with feminine style.
When you say ‘power dressing’ often it conjures up thoughts of masculine pinstriped suits, dark colours and starchy cuts – in fact Coco Chanel was touted as creating the first female suit, however the style and cut was still heavily reminiscent of the male version.
In 1977, John T Malloy, known as being the fashion guru of the time, was the man behind ‘The Women’s Dress For Success Book’. However, instead of being a positive reflection of women of the era – the book heavily focussed on how women and minority cultures could not ‘look like’ or ‘fit in’ with the heavily white and male dominated workplace and therefore they shouldn’t bother!
Similarly women were also being told not to dress in a way that would draw attention or make them look unkempt. Therefore bold patterns, floral fabrics, jumpers and shapeless dresses were ruled out, as was anything that would be eye-catching or attention-grabbing.
So women were being told that they had no place within the male corporate environment but also, at the same time, being told that they had to dress in an discreet and low-key way which only served to make females further invisible.
It is no surprise that women’s identity became lost. Women had no place.
Wanting to be heard and taken seriously, women tried to imitate the male sense of style through heavy tailoring and monochrome colouring but, as a result, lost their idea of femininity and individuality.
By 1985 Donna Karan introduced her own version of power dressing for women and made it quintessentially feminine! Soft shouldered suits, cashmere fabrics and supple knits, silky wrap-around skirts and form-fitting body suits. More free flowing, feminine yet still fierce!
It was this landmark change in fashion that sparked the confidence within the female workforce to dress how women felt like they should dress without listening to the male corporate world or taking the lead from guidebooks penned by men!
Now in 2018, power dressing is not all about the suit or pinstripes! Now women wear what they want to wear. Not because they want to communicate a certain position within a company or within society, but because women have a passion and thirst for the beauty of clothing, fashion and identity.
No longer needing an outfit to portray a certain image– women have replaced that with knowing they have strength, stature and a right to be! Women now use fashion to feed their inner spirit, inner sense of worth and their inner right to be powerful and formidable females.