Dressing Up - Embracing Femininity
Posted on November 20 2015
Are dresses displacing suits? Are suits losing market share? It would certainly seem that a transition is taking place.
Women have relied on suits, and particularly trouser suits, since the 1990s when the androgynous look first took hold.
This coincided with women becoming a more regular feature in the office and workplace particularly in roles that were previously dominated by men.
As they climbed the ladder women needed to discover their ‘workwear identity’. The main challenge was to look the part without looking like they cared too much. Not easy. The option for many was to almost literally dress like a man – the female equivalent of emasculation.
There were also other factors at play. In particular, there were few womenswear brands that catered to a professional woman’s wardrobe.
A suit can be empowering (and we’ll talk about that next time) but if it makes too frequent an appearance it can also lead to women feeling as though their femininity is being somewhat moderated. And ironically, it is when a woman feels at her most feminine that she feels most empowered. Enter the dress.
Women are more fortunate now in that there is a rising number of fashion labels that focus exclusively on a professional, working wardrobe. There are also many achieving and well-dressed role models from whom they can take inspiration, such as Christine Lagarde, Sheryl Sandberg, the Duchess of Cambridge and Victoria Beckham, among others.