dreess, Veronica Beard, $650, at Neiman Marcus;
fur trimmed leather biker jacket; Iro, $1,725 at
Shop 65. Pyrite rockstar lariat, $670; rocker
baroque earring, $730; both at Joie DiGiovanni, at
best of 1930s glamour — body-conscious, A-line sheaths
and collarless jackets — are joining the coolest of
1970s disco chic (think belted trenches and printed
tunics) to create a millennial style that’s as dressy
as it is sporty.
doesn’t that perfectly define the modern woman?
for a schoolteacher or CEO, the boss-lady wardrobe
requires a level of professionalism that extends beyond
the leggings-tunic-blazer-and-boot combo.
fall, she’s investing in better-quality pieces: Her
dresses and skirts are longer and stop just below the
calf. She’s moved away from chunky cardigans to
fine-knit sweaters and blouses that feature cute bows at
remain slim-fit but not skinny. Shoes, neither stiletto
nor flat, are thicker and walkable. Mauve is a key
pastel for this winter, but the bulk of her wardrobe’s
palette will go dark. Look for navy blue and burgundy’s
gallant return. And, when it’s appropriate, it will
get topped off with a blazer. Or pulled together with a
professionals are graduating from law school, completing
residencies, and finishing up graduate degrees,"
said Nataliya Yermolenko, assistant buyer for women’s
clothing at Boyds Philadelphia. "They are trying to
enter the workforce and want to be taken seriously.
Maybe even appear a little older."
doesn’t mean women have abandoned comfort. Au
contraire, ma soeur. Elements of athleisure, especially
easy-to-wear tunics and dresses fashioned from viscose
stretch, are a part of the season’s more sophisticated
difference is that previously at local events, you were
cooler if you looked like you didn’t try," said
Maureen Doron, owner of Skirt in Rittenhouse and Bryn
Mawr. "Now, when going to work, a cocktail party,
or a charity, we are going to see people put more of an
effort into really looking great."
it be that glamour is on the comeback?
too early to tell.
thing’s for sure. No matter what social ills define a
decade — unemployment, racism, poverty, the kind of
sexism that makes glass ceilings more like concrete
clouds — we often romanticize women’s fashion of the
day. Fashion’s most glamorous decade was widely
considered the ’30s — even though everybody was
broke. How could that be? The glamour came from the
simplicity of the looks: a sheath that melted into the
body, textured accessories, and deep lips.
now, decades after the Great Depression, ’30s fashion
has found its way back.
fact, for many years, we’ve been drawing solely on
strong looks that defined past decades; virtually no new
silhouettes have been created since the mid-’90s.
example, women’s wear in 2013 was heavily, if not
wholly, inspired by the mixed media — velvet and silk,
florals and stripes — of the 1920s. That was followed
by a serious nod to all things ‘60s mod, like
colorblocking, moto jackets, and skinny pants, in 2014.
Boho and fringe trended in the past year as we were all
about early ’70s style. It all made for interesting,
Pinterest-driven fashion times.
last September’s spring 2016 runways, designers like
Peter Som, Diane von Furstenberg, Christian Siriano, and
Derek Lam began to integrate more sophisticated looks
featuring plush shrugs, trench coats over longer
dresses, and jeans and trousers with slight
bell-bottoms. On Wednesday, Tom Ford staged a New York
Fashion Week dinner party during which models hit the
runway in midi-length leather skirts, sumptuous
animal-print swing coats, and dresses fashioned from
this fall’s trends, we have two decades equally
are both decades that feature softer silhouettes and a
certain purity of line," said Clare Sauro, fashion
historian at Drexel University and director of the
school’s 14,000-piece costume collection. The
silhouette of a 1930s Claire McCardell dress, for
example, is very similar to a 1970s Halston.
Sauro added, it’s not just the drape of the dresses
that connects the ’30s to the ’70s. The women of the
interbellum generation — born between 1900 and 1913
and entering adulthood by the 1930s — and early baby
boomers, in their 20s for most of the ’70s, had a lot
boyish flappers, 1930s young women were settling into
their wardrobes sans the Roaring Twenties glitz. Wives
with husbands whose jobs were casualties of the Great
Depression were now working outside the home, and basing
their sartorial spunk off Hollywood’s power women,
from Joan Crawford to Bette Davis.
during Twiggy’s thin heyday in the ’60s, young women
of the ’70s had filled in, too — and, having been in
the workforce for some time, they wanted more respect.
Legal secretary Iris Rivera refused to make coffee for
her bosses in 1977 (and lost her job), but the firing
launched a secretary coffee protest. The next year, Mary
E. Clark became the first woman to become a general in
the U.S. Army. The influence of Pam Grier’s Foxy Brown
and Charlie’s Angel Farrah Fawcett filled wardrobes
with leather trenches and bell-bottoms.
feminine ideal was more assertive," Sauro said.
"The sweet girl next door of the 1920s and the …
1960s grew up."
other words, the young women of the ’30s and ’70s
decided it was time to dress like a boss.
might say the millennial woman is coming into her own,
too. Her body ideal is more Beyoncé than bony. She’s
learned from Sheryl Sandberg how to lean in, and, in
July, she discovered it was possible for a woman to be
nominated by a major political party to run for
as she gains confidence, it’s important for her
wardrobe to reflect that. She’s getting fewer
throwaway H&M T-shirts and more statement pieces,
like a $250 Rebecca Minkoff sheath, while she pays rent
and her school loans and keeps her ClassPass current.
you have less, you spend a little more wisely,"
Yermolenko said. "Instead of buying 15 party
dresses, my customer is getting just what she needs. She
is starting to respect fashion more."