The Tight-Ass Suit

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Suit by Lee Bender at Bus Stop. Belt by Chris Trill. Shoes from Midas.

“Start squaring your shoulders, tightening your belt and walking on four-inch heels…”

A phenomenal editorial which feels very ahead of its time. This is really the birth of ‘Power Dressing’, from February 1979. There’s a curious juxtaposition of old and new, the old telephone and boudoir chair in the final photo suggest the origins of these suits in the Forties while the clunky ‘mobile phone’ is the signpost to the unknown future. Pre-Eighties and pre-Thatcher (just) – even pre-Miss Peelpants (also, just!) – there’s something quite charming about the modest silhouette here – which is really rather hard to equate with the horrors which were to come. These feel more in line with the New Romantic and Goth garments from the 1980s which I feel passionate about and choose to collect (like Sarah Whitworth, Symphony of Shadows etc), than with Yuppies and Dynasty, although you can just as equally see their genesis here.

Photographed by Christa Peters. Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Cosmpolitan, February 1979.

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Suit by Wallis. Silk camisole by Tatters. Shoes from Pancaldi.

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Jute tweed suit by Strawberry Studio. Bag by Butler and Wilson. Shoes from Russell & Bromley.

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Cotton cord suit by Howie Diffusion. Camisole from Tatters. Belt by Courtney Reed. Shoes from Pancaldi.

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Three piece suit by Daily Blue. Shirt by Riva. Purse and shoes by Pancaldi.

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Suit by Stephen Marks. Shirt by Pamela Frances. Belt by Courtney Reed. Shoes from Pancaldi.

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Wool crepe suit by Jaeger. Shoes by Pancaldi.

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Suit with the wiest shoulders and narrowest skirt by Strawberry Studio. Suede shoes by Sacha.


4 Comments on “The Tight-Ass Suit”

  1. Fascinating. A little glimpse at the possibility of a slightly mellower ’80s that wasn’t to be…

  2. Yeah, we can see how that trend caught on … NOT.

  3. Catherine says:

    the clothes are a really great. But i cant get over the models and their huge smiles – another early clue to the 80s modeling styles, which are as most 80’s things, best left there.

  4. ak says:

    Wha?? I love all of these skirt suits in these pics! LOL seriously I do! The dark haired model looks partly like Gia and partly like Bianca Jagger.


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