Power Dressing

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Have you ever dressed like you mean business? Let’s look back at the roots of the term “power dressing”. The phrase was originally coined in the late 70’s in America and by the 80’s, everyone was wearing this “smart” style of dress. Imagine tailored jackets, shoulder pads (oh, the dreadfulness!), dresses whipped in at the waist and skirts that stopped on the knee. If it is easier, just think of Melanie Griffith in Working Girl, aspiring to be Coco Chanel. For those who are old enough to remember the 1980’s in all its Dynasty/Duran Duran- inspired glory, the power dressing entails color so brash it necessitates the wearing of sunglasses and viscose-knit dresses. However, while all these elements have been re-visited throughout the designer collections in the past decade, the notion of projecting power through dress today is, of course, a little more complicated than that.

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Those who are still in love with the 80’s are surely not disappointed by Balmain’s re-working of signatures from that notorious era. Marc Jacobs was, at one point, pushing a proudly triangular silhouette and a palette worthy of vintage Versace. Leggings seem to continue to be another Eighties favorite that we revive from time to time. Additionally, if you remember, McQueen also contributed to power dressing- standing in 7 feet tall in platform- soled boots, and wearing elaborately conceived tailoring and make-up, his models represented a fractured, fierce view of a feminine ideal that is (quite intentionally!) almost impossible to live up to. Wear if you dare!

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Finally, there is no place for “light-as-a-feather” footwear in a power-driven world. The heroine of today marches through life in boots (thigh, knee, calf or ankle high, vertiginous or flat, biker or army style). Prada’s waders look fetching in tweed and only a fool would mess with a woman wearing them!

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