2009 marks the return of a classic, return to the classics, or indeed, when never before have classics been so classic. The working woman’s wardrobe, it would seem, has been updated in a typhoon of structured, tailored, damn good-quality design. Gone should be the days of a sea of the same suit assailing our boardrooms, as should be the mantra “but i can’t do fashion at my work…” as the market is flooded with interesting new takes on what was uniform of the office-slave. Pride of place goes to our old favourite, the skirt suit, which is updated with tucks, sweeps and flummoxes as the very form is manipulated to have 21st edge.
Take this creation by the one and only Michael Kors. In the all hallowed of classic classics, black, we have some very sharp and sexy shoulder action going on. And while it’s here been sexed up with bare flesh below, with a sharp white shirt, a suit like this would breathe light and life into even the most conservative workplace wardrobe, and would remain an interesting and nonetheless staple in the closet for years to come. Belt on top optional is oh so very now, darling.
So that was sharp and powerful. at Louis Vuitton we see the demure twist of power dressing, With rounded shoulders and ruffles for those who are pretty at heart, the urban grey is a great pallette for keeping a suit, or for that matter any buy, going through summer to winter, as it sets of monochrome and colour in equally good measure. Bunny ears optional, although frankly, quite tempting.
Dresses are a fabulous alternative, and with the new emphasis on a sharp silhouette, they are now smarter than ever. This one by Pringle is both modern and minimal in the shift-like shape, with an office-appropriate hem length, but the fantasy ruche detail on front makes it a quiet statement. The beauty of a great dress is they are like a whole outfit in one price-tag, and can be accessorised for different season and mood changes. Keep tones cool with blacks, dark to light greys, and brown tones. Add colour with blouses and accessories, as in investing in something for work, you need versatility and durability.
Then there’s the coats, the coats! Fantastic, orgasmic creation wit sumptuous swathes of thick fabric that can dress up even the simplest blouse ‘n’ skirt ensemble. This Miu Miu lovely has a wide, structured, draping neckline that creates a sort of twist on the sharp shoulder power dressing flavour of the month, making shoulders point inward and upwards, rather than up and out a la Balmain, etc.
Sharp and tailored seems to be the best way forward for serious fashion credentials in the all-serious work environment, especially with shoulder accents, the ultimate in power dressing, but stick to the subtler forms if in doubt, as the 80s may just prove, along with workwear, a fickle friend. And it isn’t clear whether all this really is as investment-worthy as we’re told or if it’s just what the fashionista’s mind thinks of when it imagines bankers and the type who make investments regularly.