As a young-ish woman trying to navigate the modern world, I’ve found inspiration in the way strong women embody power. The power suit, or something equivalent to it, has appealed so significantly to me over the last few months; there’s a certain je ne sais quoi about it that pulls me towards those tailored pants and well-fitted blazers.
The first time I put a power suit on, it felt like my insecurities and inadequacies melted right away; it was as though I’d gained the confidence of a mediocre white man on the Internet in mere seconds. That feeling is one I hope every woman can experience at least for a moment in her lifetime.
Before sharing my recommendations with you, though, I wanted to explore the evolution of the power suit and the strong connotations associated with it. Bear with me for a little bit, and you, too, will find value in its powerful place in history!
A Brief History of Culture and Fashion:
Across history, there are several links between clothing and the identification of social positioning and power structures. In more modern times, this has been embodied in the form of the pantsuit; conventionally donned by the working class man.
Not only are suits associated with power, but also, the person wearing the suit embodies that power. Maybe they stand up a little taller or are more assertive in meetings, for example. This isn’t a new phenomenon at all! It is tied to something called the semiotics of fashion.
The semiotics of fashion can be summed up as the study of those links between clothing and social as well as cultural standing; it is how we derive meaning and associate certain significance with various types of dress.
Fashion systems are not static; its elements evolve parallel to substantial social and cultural moments. The iconic looks of the 1970s were symbolic of anti-establishment culture that developed out of political and social discontent. It was an act of rebellion against the hyper-feminized fashions of 1950s post-war America.
As a result of the explosive activism of second wave feminism in the 60s and 70s, women were returning to the workplace and asserting their rightful positions. Despite the many strides women had made at the time, patriarchal structures still dominated — enter: the notorious 80s executive woman, shattering stereotypes and breaking the glass ceiling.
The 80s power suits, with their giant shoulder pads and cinched waists, took offices everywhere by storm. Could it have been that the exaggerated shoulder look was meant to mimic conventionally masculine physiology? Or could it have been a result of the marriage of a reclamation of traditional “stuffy” men’s suits and a fashion moment that Madonna and Grace Jones helped to mainstream?
Not Your Average Boss Lady Attire:
Express your #bosslady vibes in any one of these power suits! Find the one that makes you feel like the magical queen you are and rock that suit fearlessly and more importantly, powerfully!
Your classic tailored suit aka. Your new bff is here to slay!
Turn heads in this “Green Premium Suit”; it’s an ode to the 80s without being outdated!
This Asymmetric Blue Suit breathes a fresh take on your basic blazer!
Smashing the Patriarchy and Beyond
Why I believe so strongly in the life changing magic of a power suit is because I believe that women have so much potential to unlock; in most cases, women are underrepresented, and unheard.
The art of making a change begins at the individual level; empowering yourself and manifesting confidence can spark a chain reaction with the women you surround yourself with. Take up the space you deserve, let your voice be amplified and break through the clutter that is the patriarchal system.