Women's Workwear in 1989: Big Blazers, Bright Colors and Pantsuits Galore

Madeleine Janz

September 10, 2019

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The end of the '80s and the beginning of the '90s saw a shift in women's roles from homemaker to career woman. The Federal Reserve data shows that the percentage of women in the workforce grew by around 10 percentage points from 1980 to 1990. This massive cultural shift created a moment in pop culture where the "working woman" was a valuable audience to market to. The film 9 to 5, female news anchors and brand new professional clothing for women increased the visibility of these career women of the '80s and '90s.

As WITI celebrates its 30th anniversary with rollback pricing, let's take a look at what women 30 years ago wore to work, and either shake our heads in wonder or take some inspiration from their bold, unapologetic looks.

On any random day 30 years ago you could find yourself in the office wearing something like...

A huge brown blazer:

An all blue matching set:

A dark green blazer paired with none other than a mustard top:

A cropped, yet voluminous checkered jacket:

An all-gray monochromatic pantsuit:

But don't forget the identical pantsuit, just in blue:

This huge polo and blazer combo:

A pleated skirt for when you're feeling especially dressy:

And when it's time to leave the office do not forget your bright red cape, or your huge black hat:

Or your multiple huge coats to get you home on a brisk day:

And last, but definitely not least, have your party dress on hand for those after work events:

Join WITI now for 30 years ago pricing. Sale ends soon!

Opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of WITI.

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Founded in 1989, WITI (Women in Technology International) is committed to empowering innovators, inspiring future generations and building inclusive cultures, worldwide. WITI is redefining the way women and men collaborate to drive innovation and business growth and is helping corporate partners create and foster gender inclusive cultures. A leading authority of women in technology and business, WITI has been advocating and recognizing women's contributions in the industry for more than 30 years.

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