In Downton Abbey, a PBS TV series, there is an episode where Violet, the grandmother of the family, tells one of her granddaughters, “You are a woman who has a brain and reasonable ability… Stop wining and find something to do”. She meant take up sewing or gardening, however, her granddaughter became a journalist, which was not common in 1920. As the TV show progresses you see the daughters of Downton dress less extravagant and more practical. Soon women working became just as common as fashion that helped a woman fit into a mans world, leaving Feminine Fashion behind.
Fashion trends change when society changes. This past week was International Women’s Day. This day has been celebrated since a socialist political event took place in 1909. The day was called International Working Women’s Day. The social movement that allowed women to work is now celebrated every year on March 8th.
A friend and I went to a high end fashion boutique a few weeks ago. She commented saying, “The styles here are very masculine”. She is right. Many of our run-way styles have been shaped and molded to “The Power Suit” of the 60s-80s. The fashion includes, boxy, loose fitting clothing that create a powerful and fierce look on a woman ready for the world. However, I think this is changing. This suit was created during a time when the war took many of the woman’s men and woman became sole providers. This style and mindset did not leave and shaped the societal norms and fashion trends for the next century.
Now we are learning that we can be powerful and feminine. I think the lace, dresses, hats and shoes of the 19th century are gorgeous. I thought this eye opening quote from Psychology Today was interesting.
“The return to femininity has important sociological implications. Feminine fashion
was often used to “keep women in their proper place” in the kitchen, on a shelf or out of the boardroom. As women were given greater rights, privileges, freedom, and opportunities for success and independence their fashion choices shifted. Feminine fashion was rejected and women embraced “power” clothing, which translated into masculine items spearheaded by Donna Karan. The power suit, pant, stacked heel, and war paint makeup of the 80s prepared women for the concrete jungle. Times and the accompanying uniform have changed, we are able to be powerful and female. Feminine clothes do not deplete our strength but add to it, and that is evident in our trend selection.” -Psychology Today
The opposite of the Power Suit is not posing naked. Let’s stop throwing around the word “slut shaming” and stop complaining that we can’t take our shirts off and make something of ourselves that is not defined by our bodies. Yes, we have the freedom to do so, but does not mean we should. This will not help woman move forward from being belittled to being brought up with freedom and opportunities in the work force. There are women all over the world who still have no rights and do not have the money to buy clothes. Posing naked is not woman empowerment. The Power Suite was needed for respect, now we don’t need it. We can embrace our femininity and gain respect. We need to be proud of being women in a world where we have a place outside the kitchen. We need to stop wining and find something to do.
I keep saying this is the best time to be a female. I have been very encouraged, challenged and pushed as a female in the work place in all the best ways. There have been times that I have felt put down for being a female but the good out numbers the bad. I have the choice to stay home with my kids if I want to and the choice to be career focused. I have the freedom to be a powerful female. As we move forward into a time when we can be both powerful and feminine here are some great feminine fashion accessories: 1) this dress’ shape fans out right above the hip which creates a womanly flare to any look. Don’t be afraid of your curves. They are what makes you a woman.
2) Don’t be afraid to wear heels. Heels are helpful for dress occasions and adding a few inches where size lacks. Work on your walk. Holding your head up high when you walk shows confidence.
3) Wear lace. Before the WWI lace was very popular and was actually very expensive because it was all handmade. Now it is not as expensive and still adds a gorgeous feminine grace to your wardrobe.
Let’s celebrate being a woman by wearing clothes. We can be feminine and powerful without the power suit. Stop complaining and do something.
My two words are Feminine and Powerful
Photo by Me
Dress from Nordstrom Rack
Articles to check out: