With the recent anniversary of Princess Diana’s death, I was reminded (with the help of my social media feed) of her penchant for the boxy blazer. Diana’s diplomatic and impactful style was never far from the hardline tailoring of a double-breasted blazer, whether it was worn with capri pants for a plane ride, with a baseball cap at the races, with belted high waisted jeans for running errands, cropped and sharp for Royal engagements or big and masculine for less formal days.
The sharp-shouldered blazer has been a feature of the fashion landscape for decades, from the innovative Coco Chanel who revolutionised feminine style in the 1920s to Melanie Griffith in 1988’s Working Girl. The blazer is/was the go-to uniform for the political female big hitters such as Margaret Thatcher, Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama. It represents power dressing in its best sense. It’s as reliable as it is sartorially impacting and its ability to show control in both style and attitude has never waned over the years. It’s thought the blazer is an article of clothing that every woman should have in her wardrobe, acting as a piece of armour to demonstrate not only her authority but also her fearless nature.
I used to think of the power blazer as the most obvious trick in the book to look professional. That was until I worked my own blazer in to my closet. It was a Chloé crepe cropped blazer, with sharp lapels and even sharper edges, plus subtle padded shoulders. Most importantly, it’s white to lighten the mood and proves to eliminate the snooze factor as power dressing doesn’t always have to mean black.
When I wore it I noticed there was an immediate shift in my expectation of how it would feel and the sense of power it gave me. I wore it over t-shirts and jeans, paired it with maxi dresses and teamed it with slinky camisoles and tailored trousers. With every outing I stood taller and walked with authority. In fact, I’d say I feel my most authentic and assertive self while wearing this chic piece of tailoring. The blazer brought out my inner girl boss without having to try.
It’s also become a street style favourite, with fashion editors adorning wearing boxy silhouettes on the front rows of runways that are also populated with a variety of blazers each season. The rise in female celebrities who swap the ball gown for the two-piece suit on the red carpet is proof that women no longer want to adhere to what’s expected but to claim back their authority in the world. When Lady Gaga stepped out in fearless over-sized Marc Jacobs jacket and trousers in 2018, she meant business. “I wanted to take the power back,” she said during her Women In Hollywood acceptance speech.
This is not me saying I’ll give up my girlish style – trust me, no trend is tearing away my Loveshackfancy dresses – rather the blazer is a surefire way to broaden my shoulders with confidence.