The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article claiming that the reign of the power suit is over and that “the latest fashion collections reflect a new power look for women.” Such styles include “peplums, pleats, darts, draping and shawl collars” in past hues. The article cited the influence of the First Lady, an ex-big law firm lawyer, and other female “trailblazers” who contributed to the demise of the traditional, boxy power suit.
Commenting from the legal industry’s perspective – arguably the most conservatively-dressed segment – Above the Law opined that women, specifically women attorneys, should still err on the side of conservatism, and save the “colorful suits and dresses” for casual Fridays only and that women have to “earn their right to dress the way they want to.”
The power suit, I feel, is modeled after the male concept of what is appropriate for the office. It’s just a man’s suit modified for the female body. We don’t make male chefs – the kitchen being a traditional female space – modify their garb to match feminine ideals, right? For corporate women who are sartorially inclined, I think incorporating “feminine” elements into the traditional power suit should be okay, I don’t think we should feel compelled to consign our pastel blouses or Manolo Blahniks for just casual Fridays and honestly, I am annoyed at women who perpetuate this male standard. Isn’t part of the “liberation” of having women in power positions the ability to deconstruct standards imposed by men?
I, for one, am a huge fan of Michelle Obama and would wear any of her outfits to the office. Stay tuned for outfit posts.