Born in the second half of the 1970s and developed in the 1980s, power dressing is a fashion style that enables women to establish their authority in a professional and political environment traditionally dominated by men.
The term power dressing relates to a fashion style typical of the business and politics environment of the 1970s and 1980s. Today the expression power dressing is no more commonly used, but the style is still very popular. Power dressing arose in the United States in the second half of the 1970s. Power dressing could be analyzed through visual sociology which studies how fashion operates in the relationship between social system and the negotiation of power. The concept of power dressing was brought to popularity by John T. Molloy’s manuals Dress for success (1975) and Women: dress for success (1980), which suggest a gender specific professional dress code. Molloy’s manuals addressed a new kind of female workers entering in a typical masculine environment recommending them a "uniform" that would have helped them to acquire authority, respect and power at work.