Power dressing: The 1980s Gordon Gekko style is dead but power dressing isn’t

15 May 2017

When Wall Street hit theatres back in 1987, the world became infatuated with Gordon Gekko. The financial tycoon went down in history as one of Michael Douglas’ most electrifying performances. Gekko inspired a generation of young bankers and traders to aim high, but perhaps Gordon Gekko’s biggest effect on men worldwide was his style. His signature fashion was the epitome of 1980s power dressing.

Men with power, money, and respect channeled all those qualities into over-the-top workwear. One of Gekko’s most famous signatures was his blue dress shirt with the white contrast collar, wore with suspenders and a thick patterned tie. ‘80s power dressing also revolved around aggressively pinstriped suits; everything about the look was draped in excess. Though, like the decadent spending of the 80s, this version of power dressing has since disappeared.

Michael Douglas power dressing

Now, men are still dressing for success, but power dressing no longer carries a cheesy connotation. You can still command a presence when you enter the boardroom, you just don't need the loudest suit on the block. Twenty years after Gordon Gekko entered global consciousness, power dressing today is about subtlety.

Pinstripes are still acceptable
Contrary to popular belief, you can still wear pinstripes. The modern version is more refined than its gaudy predecessor. The stripes are thinner and lighter like they were drawn with chalk. They’re understated and calming. The modern pinstripe suit offers more versatility and adds a slimming touch. You’ll turn heads but because you look refined.

Take notes in style
Sometimes style isn’t about what’s on your back. A true gentleman can be distinguished by his writing instrument and notebook. Don’t grab a pen from the stationery cupboard; invest in a quality writing instrument.

These days, power dressing isn’t about being recognised in a crazy suit from a mile away. It’s about pulling together looks in which every detail has been considered. The sum of the parts makes a greater statement.

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