1980s Power Dressing

Moschino and Dynasty 1980s power dressing collage

Bright colors. Polka dots. Kitschy phrases. Flowers. Mixed prints.
Moschino 1980s style power dressing jacket

Moschino 1980s style power suit

These fun looks are not what you would normally imagine powerhouse women wearing when they entered the 1980s boardrooms dressed to impress. However, designer Jeremy Scott at Moschino offered a fresh spin on 1980s era power dressing for the modern woman in his Resort 2021 collection. 

Moschino 1980s pant suit polka dots

Moschino Resort 2021 pink dress

As women were entering the 9 to 5 workforce into previously male dominated offices and roles during the 1970s and 1980s, fashion supported women’s transition by providing suits and silhouettes that communicated authority and power. With designers like Ralph Lauren and Georgio Armami at the forefront of this wardrobe shift, a woman could select a suit to support her role as a professional equal, rather than emphasize her feminine or nurturing qualities.

Dynasty 1980s glamorous women's fashion

By the late 1980s shows like “Dynasty” gave women a new model of power dressing. Big hair and big shoulders were all the rage, with plenty of glitz and glamour. And so the more modest forms of power dressing embodied by the likes of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher with pinstripes, tweeds and conservative colors were infused with new options that included pops of color, polka dots and bows. 

Dynasty 1980s fashion style blue dress

Moschino 1980s style power suit polka dots blue

Dynasty 1980s fashion print shirt

Moschino 1980s style power suit chanel style
The Moschino suits speak to this more glamorous and fun era of 1980s power suits and power dressing. The suits and dresses combine traditional elements of power dressing like blazers, tailored dresses and blouses with feminine bows, prints and colors. 

Moschino orange polka dot wear to work dress

Heather Locklear Dynasty animal print style
But the surprises come in the mixing of prints like yellow polka dots juxtaposed with orange polka dots of a different size or the mix of blue, green and white polka dot prints. This is a bit like Heather Locklear’s character in “Dynasty” with her mixing of various animal prints. What first appears to be a clashing of prints is actually what makes the style statement. 

Moschino pink suit in Chanel style

If the mixing of prints feels like too much, you can embrace a loud print in your accessories. That's the technique seen with the pink suit above. There is the splash of a polka dot handbag with a more conservative suit in the style of Chanel. 

Dynasty 1980s power suit

With lots of gold chain details, heavy Moschino necklaces and dangling hoop earrings, the shimmering metals quickly bring to mind the heavy metal ornamentation of the wealthy ladies on “Dynasty.” 

Moschino little blank dress resort 2021

Whether you’re ready to dress for success in a playful printed pant suit or keep it chic in a little black dress, the options for modern power dressing are endless--with or without a splash of 1980s flair.  

Dynasty 1980s glamorous gold fashion

Runway photos: Photographed by Giampaolo Sgura for Moschino via Vogue

Dynasty photos: ABC/Photofest via Wonderwall