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The Power Suit: Women’s Fashion in the 1980s

Ahh, the ‘80s: the decade of flashy colors, statement necklaces, and, most importantly, the power suit. As women made strides towards equality in the workplace, the power suit provided the perfect visual representation of a woman’s newfound authority and confidence. It showed the world that women weren’t afraid to take charge and prove their worth. Take a step back in time, and explore the legacy of the power suit as Women’s Fashion in the 1980s.

1. Dressing the Part: The Introduction of the Power Suit

It looks like that movie trope of the corporate exec in a timeless power suit has more to it than we thought, when it comes to the wardrobe choice to match an influential job role.

The power suit is a sartorial statement that needs to come across as classic, yet current: the idea is to exude authority, yet stay fashion-forward.
For men, this means steering away from stripes and checks: nothing too bright or loud. The suit should feature a simple design in a light and dark colour palette.

Women can use a slightly bolder approach, if they chose. A pop of colour in the suit or the shirt can be a great way to bring in a sense of individuality whilst keeping a professional look.

Accessories count too: women should choose a quality leather handbag and pumps, whilst men should opt for leather shoes and a belt, both with a hint of colour.
Keeping the overall look sharp and crisp is key; for both genders, opting for minimal jewellery is best – no statement pieces, no trendy trinkets.

Overall, the power suit has become an essential part of the modern fashion vernacular, bringing with it a timeless and elegant style. With a few additional fashion touches, the power suit look is always ready to breathe new life in to the traditional corporate outfit.

2. Making a Statement: How Women Embraced the Power Suit Movement

In the early 1980s, the power suit became a political statement. Women had seen the ‘70s bring more liberal dress codes to the office and were ready to take things a step further. The power-suit movement displayed not only style, but a sense of business style for the modern woman.

  • The Cut: Power suits had a sharp and narrow silhouette, emphasizing the waist of the wearer. Buttons were marked and bold, right up to the lapels. Trousers were tapered and jackets were boxy and much shorter than before.
  • The Fabric: Many power suits were made from wool or some type of wool-blend. Some came with shoulder pads that made the wearer look even larger, although they also had the benefit of evening out any figure imperfections.
  • The Color: Typically, power suits featured muted colors such as navy blue, black, grey, or brown. However, designers used the power of color to make a statement and incorporated bolder colors, such as pink and red, to liven up their collections.

Women embraced the power-suit movement and used it as an opportunity to take control of their wardrobe. They offered a feminine yet authoritative look for the working woman and became incredibly popular. Designers played up the power of the new look by adorning the suits with their own “feminine” touches such as brightly colored neckties and bold statement jewelry pieces.

The modern power suit is a timeless wardrobe essential for the 21st century woman. Women are style icons, no matter their style may be, and nothing says power like the perfect power suit.

3. A Powerhouse from the Office to the Studio: The Impact of the 1980s Power Suit

The 1980s Power Suit was a revolutionary workwear wardrobe staple that made a massive impact in the working world. It was created as an antithetical response to the carefree fashions that dominated the 1970s. The two-piece suit consisting of a tailored blazer and pants was made with strong and durable fabrics that withstood wear and tear, and quickly became the traditional office uniform. As working women became a recognizable presence and the overall fashion landscape started gaining new forms of expression, the Power Suit began to be embraced by both men and women who wanted to make a bold statement at work.

The Power Suit was adopted by trendsetters, celebrities, politicians, and professional athletes, and it quickly began to evolve into a workwear wardrobe staple. From its coveted shoulder pads to its intense fabric textures, this professional uniform became an iconic symbol of power, success, and strength. The statement-making accessory became a staple of the ’80s, creating a distinctive silhouette and style that no other decade could replicate.

  • Versatility of Style – The Power Suit created a fresh style of modern dressing that could be adapted to fit any occasion. From the office to the nightclub, people dressed their suits to match their distinct personality and style.
  • A Powerful Image – The Power Suit created an image of success and power, and quickly became associated with wealth and status.
  • Role Model – A symbol of working women and their rise to success, the Power Suit quickly became an inspiration and a staple of cultural expression.

The 1980s Power Suit set the foundation for future generations of professional attire. No longer simply a fashion passing trend, the Power Suit became an integral part of the modern working wardrobe, inspiring confidence and power. From its iconic design to its statement-making personality, the Power Suit remains a revolutionary piece of clothing that continues to make an impact to this day.

4. Suiting Up: Bringing Out the Best and Daring in Women’s Fashion

Women’s fashion has come a long way, and it’s no longer constrained to only muted colors and basic silhouettes. From bold statements to subtle chic, there are plenty of options to suit all tastes. Here are four daring ways to bring out the best in your look:

  • Try a daring print on for size: Show-stopping patterns can bring out the daring side of your look. Find something that speaks to your personality and step out in style.
  • Indulge in monochrome dresses: Nothing adds drama quite like an all-black outfit teamed with a bold pop of color. It’s timeless and versatile.
  • Turn up the volume: Make your look stand out with statement-making fabrics like leather, satin, and faux fur.
  • Make it loud and proud: Going for bright colors can help you make a big impact. Or go for texture and team bold colors with softer fabrics like velvet or linen.

Finally, don’t forget to finish off your look with a killer pair of shoes. Different styles can flatter different figures—document your experiments and you’re sure to find the perfect match. With enough confidence and flare, you’ll be ready to make your fashion statement.

5. Paying Homage to the 80s: How the Power Suit is Resurfacing Today

The 80s were iconic and revolutionary in fashion. It gave us plenty of items that define power dressing today – think shoulder pads, crisp white shirts, and power suits. Whether you’re going for a dinner date or a business meeting, you can’t go wrong with the classic power suit.

So, how is the power suit resurfacing today? Well, many fashion enthusiasts are paying homage to the decade by recreating and reinventing 80s-inspired silhouettes. Now, men can rock modern blazers and jackets with bold shoulder lines, waist-defining proportions and colorful accents.

Women have a ton of options too. They can up the ante on power-dressing with tailored trousers, oversized waistcoats or fun accessories for a statement look. Even better, you can easily pair the must-have power suit pieces with some modern fashion staples.

  • Pair a blazer with a classic printed t-shirt or dress.
  • Choose bright colors for statement pieces like trousers and blazers.
  • Try pairing printed trousers with an open-collar shirt and a tailored blazer.
  • Experiment with bold stripes, statement pockets, and high leg trousers.

The power suit is a tried and true fashion favorite. No matter how you style it, you’ll be sure to turn heads and make a fashionable statement. So, go ahead and ditch the cliché and try a modern take on the classic power suit.

Fashion icons like Joan Collins and Dynasty sculpted the early eighties and their iconic power-suits will be remembered timelessly. We are now in the era of athleisure, as women discover how to curate strong yet comfortable fashions. The spirit of the 1980s power-suit will always be remembered with admiration as a defining moment of feminine modernity.


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