Norwegian Fashion Experts Declares: “Power Dressing” Is Dead

Power dressing declared dead Siv og KristinLeader of the Progress Party, Siv Jensen to the left, and Minister of Education, Kristin Halvorsen (Socialist Left Party)

Last week it was decided: Norway is getting a new government. After eight ‘socialist’ years, it is time for the conservatives to run the country. Three of the four parties are run by women: Erna Solberg (Conservatives), Trine Skei Grande (Liberal Party) and Siv Jensen (Progress Party). Politically we won’t notice the changes in a long time, but Norwegian fashion experts have one instant demand: No ‘Power Dressing’!

Experts believe that today’s female leaders should have a more exciting job wardrobe if they want to be seen as modern and confident.

Leave the Black Suit at HomePower dressing declared dead ledereFrom left to right: Elisabeth Grieg, CEO of Grieg International, CEO of Telenor Group, Hilde Tonne and Minister of Education Kristin Halvorsen is often seen in black formal suits. 

– The dark, formal suit was declared dead already in 2012, and it is quite clear that we are heading into something entirely new, says color expert Dagny Thurmann-Hoelseth to NRK.

So-called “power dressing” was introduced in the 1970’s by powerful women who dressed up in conservative outfits to gain more authority at work, i.e. Margareth Thatcher.

During the 1990’s, the trend changed into so-called “corporate dressing” which is characterized by dark and formal outfits, but with slightly better fit.

– We see that there is a new generation of female leaders who are confident in their role and not afraid to show what they stand for, she continues.

Insignificant Colors

According Thurmann-Hoelseth black, gray and beige are insignificant colors that should be avoided. In addition, she believes black clothes convey a completely wrong message when it comes to modern management style.

– Black symbolizes authoritarian leadership. This is an outdated way to manage a company or a country. Today’s leaders should be outgoing, friendly and encourage new talents, she says.

Michelle Obama gets a lot of credit for having inspired women into a more feminine and colorful leadership style. The U.S. first lady is often seen in colors like yellow, green or red in both private and official contexts.

New IdentityPower dressing Gro og Margareth dagbladet

1986: Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland is welcoming UK Prime Minister Margareth Thatcher from the roof of the Government building in Oslo.

Norwegian female politicians are known for “power dressing” with former Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland as role model. Only a minority of politicians and senior managers are experimenting with style or has a separate identity through their clothing.

Experts believe that it is time for a new identity among Norwegian leaders, and that their characteristics and ideals should be more visible.


Important rules:

Avoid black, gray and beige colors. The first two are dismissive colors, while beige is insignificant.

Choose colorful clothes, but keep a formal and classic shape.

A-shaped incision and pencil skirts are classics, but avoid “cute” dresses.

Some communities have stricter dress codes than others. Push the boundaries, but do not lose balance.


Text modified by: Anette Broteng Christiansen, ThorNews

Source: NRK

Photos from top: NRK, Dagbladet

Categories: Culture, Design

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