The Power Suit

     Let’s go back to the late 70's and early 80's when women started to enter the corporate workplace in mass quantity. These business-minded women attended meetings and events and from this, the power suit started to pop up everywhere.  It was usually a long jacket with padded shoulders, a straight skirt and some kind of floppy bow attached to a shapeless blouse.  Speaking of shapeless, the suit most of us were wearing was also pretty baggy.  The 1980's power suit was designed to ignore a women's shape so it didn't hinder her mobility as she worked her way up the corporate ladder.  

     Fashion Journalist Teri Agins writes the popular Ask Teri column for the Wall Street Journal and she remembers the power suit well. She says that was "the look" when she started at the paper in 1984. 

     The elegant pantsuits of Giorgio Armani and Calvin Klein made the power suit and it's knockoffs...popular for several years.  But as women gained a more secure foothold in executive suites, things began to change. Agins says by the 90's, women began to hang up their broad-shouldered jackets to favor the softer, more luxurious fabrics used by designers like Donna Karan.

     Karan's upscale clothes used a lot of cashmere and suede, accessorized with buttery leather and reptile skins.  This, Agins says, was a different kind of power look, and it got attention: "It reeked of money, it suggested exclusivity," she says.  It was sexy, but not vulgar: "It was something women could wear in a boardroom and still be respected." 

     And then, we became casual.  Casual to a point where we started asking how do we dress for success in a casual office.  

     Fast forward to 2018 where women's suits have a huge presence on the Spring runways. Suits and jackets have become an essential part of our wardrobe.

     Coco & Cyd Coco & Cyd created their 2018 collection to meet the professional women’s needs by simplifying her morning.  Easy styles, quiet presence - - where fashion and comfort come together.

Thank you so much for joining us today! 

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Quote to take with you for the week:

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Content Credit:

Karen Grigsby Bates of NPR/WNYC Radio

Heard on The Morning Edition Oct. 20, 2014

Gail KhanComment