Once upon a time, there was a TV series called Dynasty. It was full of massively coiffed 80s bitches with upholstered shoulders who would say things like ‘get out of my house, you tramp!’ and ‘I’ve got news for you, Dominique Devereaux – Dex is mine, in the boardroom and the BEDROOM.’ Then they would smoke Sobranies and storm out, hitting their huge hair and even bigger shoulder pads against the doorframe.
Those were some good times, because these women knew the value of power dressing. Nobody is going to give you a job, a seat on a private jet or a diamond ring if you’re fannying about in an Urban Outfitters jumper with an owl on it. You need structure. You need sparkle. You need shitloads of Elnett. So if you’re sitting around eating a packet of chicken tikka Fridge Raiders, scratching your fleabites and wondering where life went wrong, it’s time to take a few style tips from the ladies at the top…
The best power dressers
Kris Jenner – AKA Mrs Kardashian – is a walking masterclass in power dressing. When she’s not driving her SUV into your face while barking on her Blackberry, she gives good glittery shoulder and tends to wear jewellery that doesn’t so much make a statement as yell ‘SHOW ME THE FUCKING MONEY, YOU WORM’. She also accessorizes her disturbing, naked ambition with aviators and a massive designer bag that costs more than a junior school. Then she pimps out her daughters for $$$$. Kerching!
Melanie Griffith in Working Girl
Bless her, big drunk Melanie, sliding off her stool into Harrison Ford’s crotch, while rocking the most heinous hairstyle and padded pastel shoulders this side of the Golden Girls. But the power dressing and the squiffy Marilyn Monroe impersonation worked, and in the end she scored herself a shitty little office with a pot plant and a lifetime of lonely evenings reading magazine articles about whether women can have it all. You COULD argue that before she got to the top, her life was great because she was boinking the young, nubile Alec Baldwin, but let’s not piss on her chips.
Nobody does power dressing like Saint Joan. She has hair like a mahogany wardrobe, fire engine red lips, and a penchant for punchy tailoring. Also, she will happily wear a floppy brimmed fedora to lunch and peer at you from under it, scheming to seduce your husband. Who cares if she’s 83? This woman has always kicked ass, never gets lippy on her teeth and gets what she wants. (Even if these days it’s probably a nice nap and an episode of Poirot at the nursing home).
If Bettie Page had had ambition beyond wearing a coconut bra and sticking her rack out for mucky calendars, she would be Dragon’s Den Hilary Devey. Hilary uses her stern fringe to great effect when she’s tearing some hopeful double glazing entrepreneurs a new one, and she takes shoulder pads to a new level – the level of the Staypuft Marshmallow Man. Hilary sits grandly in her power outfits, inspiring a new generation to take kick ass. Who cares if you look like Bargain Corner in DFS? Work it, girl!
Article by Lucy Sweet