The New Meaning of Power Dressing



Post-pandemic normality has opened a new front for office wear. Comfort takes over to redefine the concept of power dressing.


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The alarm goes off at 8.55, you have five minutes until the first meeting starts, but who cares, no one’s going to know if you change from waist up. Maybe turning on the camera isn’t even required. Just in case you wash your face and put on a white shirt to make it look you’ve been up for more than five minutes and are ready for the meeting.

The main advantage of working at home has been to be able to do it in pyjamas, with an old T-shirt and without worrying about wrinkles or stains. The dreaded Zoom meetings remind us, slightly, of what it was like to dress up. Even though we used to try to look decent in front of the camera, suits and pristine shirts seem to be a thing of the past, perhaps forever.


The concept of power dressing entails the process of women’s inclusion in the labour market. During the second half of the 70s women began to access positions of power in the workplace. We already know that fashion is, to a large extent, a product of social change, so in the face of this change, fashion also had something to say. Power dressing is still one of the means used by women to adapt to a world made by men and for men.

The term was understood as the style women used as they made new achievements, getting their place in higher education and better jobs. Until then, both spaces were designed exclusively for men. That’s why power dressing was inspired by the working style of men in an attempt to mirror the confidence and success attributed to the power figures of the time.



The big question is, how is power dressing going to look like after the pandemic? We’ve spent more than a year jumping from one lockdown to another, forcing businesses to work from home. We traded pants for joggers and heels for slippers so, how will we re-adapt to put on real clothes? Fashion psychologist Shakaila Forbes – Bell says it’s time to rediscover the joy of dressing up again. However, the approach won’t be the same.


“With lockdowns forcing us to stay indoors, the lack of social feedback put the focus on how clothes made us feel rather than their aesthetic value.”- Shakaila Forbes Bell




Comfort will define the clothes we wear to the office from now on. According to Helen Lambert, the CEO of The Style Pulse people will wear clothing they’re able to move freely in but with more structure, durability and having sustainability in mind. Comfortable dresses and laid – back button – ups as a replacement of the chic loungewear and ties and suit jackets. Looser silhouettes, wide – leg jeans, cardigans and sweatpants will start to take over. “Comfort has remained an important fixture in our wardrobe and that’s something many will find hard to relinquish anytime soon”, says Forbes Bell.

Designers have been working to meet the desires of consumers. Their collections reflect one of the biggest changes brought by the pandemic: shifting form seasonal fashion to durable pieces with a great emphasis on sustainability. Consumers prefer investing in timeless garments that allow them to create a capsule wardrobe. Thus, the line between what we wear in and out of the office will become more and more blurry.


The blazer – denim combination has been a popular choice by many luxury brands like Celine, Saint Laurent and Khaite, so it has many votes to become the next workplace uniform, especially from this fall onwards. The mix is polished and chic but far from being uncomfortable or extremely formal.  

The runway has spoken; versatility seems to be the key. Pants that can be worn on your bike, but also in the office. Garments will me more multifunctional than ever in order to keep up with the new pace of life. Glamorous tailoring will find a new place in evening events, so don’t worry you can save the suit and heels for a night out!


 +  Words: Ane Briones, Luxiders Magazine 

Journalism graduate | Basque Country based writer

IG: @anebriones