Hillary Clinton

In the 1980s, a power woman would wear a “tailored skirt, suit with shoulder pads, in grey, blue or navy, accessorized with ‘token female garb such as bows and discreet jewelry.” She would wear something very “Hillary Clinton-esque.” Clinton is rarely recognized for her fashion forwardness.

But let’s look at some more fashion from women in politics. Tuck your political leanings in your pocket for a moment.

Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi Signs Unemployment Extension BIll
Sarah Palin
EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SARAH PALIN, I LEARNED FROM SIR ERNEST SHACKLETON

Condoleeza Rice
Condoleezza Rice at Google-316

Politics, being a traditionally male dominated field is also loosening up. When we look at our friends Nancy, Sarah and Condi, we see that women’s fashion, even in a traditional, conservative, masculine oriented field, old norms don’t hold true.

While I agree that dress does help construct the “enterprising self” I’m not sure how much this translates to our world in tech. For those working in design studios and developer led companies, flip flops and pumps mean the same thing. Hoodies are jackets, tshirts are blouses and a leggings work just as well as a pencil skirt.

How does power dressing fit into our field? Do we still dress for the jobs we want? Is the way we “signal that a woman was taking her job seriously and was interested in going further” by doing good work? I argue yes.

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