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Women's Work Wardrobes Through the Decades

Nealeigh Mitchell | Excelle

November 11, 2010



1980s Style


Women’s increasing power in the workplace reflected in their wardrobe. And what better way to show they were equals of men in the office but to “power dress”. And that meant shoulder pads, shoulder pads, shoulder pads. Thank you, Dynasty and Dallas. The widely popular soap operas influenced women’s workplace styles and firmly established shoulder pads as the go-to accessory of the decade. Wool, cotton, and silk returned to popularity and replaces synthetic fabrics of the 70s.

Women’s suits remained highly tailored and tended to look a bit masculine. The somewhat harsh lines were softened with floppy scarves and silk bows tied at the neck. Costume jewelry and chunky gold earring were all the rage and were tastefully paired with skirt sets. Patterned tights and pantyhose, feathered hats and clutch handbags added glitz and glam to an everyday ensemble.



1990s Style →


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