The jacket with padded shoulders: is power dressing back?

After Coco Chanel, with the creation of the homonymous jacket and Yves Saint Laurent that makes women wear the typically male tuxedo, is the American essayist John Y. Molloy who in his 1975 book, Dress for Success talks about power dressing.

In a highly sexist society, women would have to dress like men in order to be successful. Thus the fashion of jackets with padded shoulders was born in the ’80s, when women began to approach the positions of power until then of male domination.

In politics it is Margaret Thatcher (the famous iron lady) the first to accept the suggestions of the essayist. Do you remember her impeccable suits?

In 2018 the jackets with  padded shoulders have a different, purely aesthetic connotation, the edges replace the roundness. It is no longer a power dressing, it is no longer just about jackets, but even the clothes have important shoulders and the fabrics no longer recall the masculine fabrics, but are carefully chosen in the women’s wardrobe.

How to match the 80s jacket

The easiest pairing with the 80s jacket is with the pencil skirt and pants.

What I show you is in virgin wool, with padded shoulders and waist belt to highlight the importance of the shoulders. It is part of the summer collection by Phillip Lim. In blue pinstriped fabric, it stimulated me to match with the striped pencil skirt by Stella Jean.

In the Autumn version it can be worn with sandals, in Winter, if the sandals seem too much, you can wear boots, moccasins, décolleté or sling back. Decide on the type of shoes according to the length of the skirt.

The other possible combination is with pants, from leather to blue jeans all the variables are possible. I will show you my choice in one of the next outfit.

If you want to give an elegant look to the outfit you can choose a clutch bag or a handbag that is so bon ton style.

Above the jacket you can wear an oversize coat, a raincoat or a cape.

To respond to our friend Cinzia who asked me not only how to make the pairings, but on what occasions to wear outfits, the jacket with padded shoulder can be worn to: go to an exhibition, for an aperitif, a dinner out, at the theater, at an inauguration.

If you wear it with jeans and sneakers it is also perfect for a visit to a wonderful city, for shopping, for a walk with friends, for a pizza.













Rita Palazzi
Written by