The Return of Grown Up Fashion?

Earlier today, I ran across this article in the WSJ:

Designers Push Formal Elegance.Will Fashion Follow?
By CHERYL LU-LIEN TAN August 31, 2007

After years of successfully convincing women to break the rules of fashion by mixing casual and dressy clothes, this fall designers and retailers are reversing course. They are once again trying to sell the idea of carefully put-together ensembles, complete with tailored jackets, matching skirts and high-heeled pumps.

Stores from Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus to Banana Republic and Target are promoting this more formal look as a big trend this season. Bloomingdale’s is prominently displaying mannequins in matching outfits that include 1920s-style hats and gloves.
Une femme is quite happy to see this shift (though she will probably take a pass on the hats and gloves for the most part). After the last few years of Mix’N’Match eclectic, and designs more suited to the pre-pubescent set than grown women, the pendulum seems to be swinging back toward more tailored, coordinated looks. Again, from the article:

These polished and put-together looks have been a fashion fixture through the decades. In the 1960s, Jacqueline Kennedy inspired a nation of copycats who coveted her elegant Oleg Cassini suits, often paired with pillbox hats. Mod and hippie styles eventually edged this out, but the 1980s saw a resurgence of uniformity as power suits became a trend.

Since the late 1990s, fashion has been dominated by offbeat, tossed-together ensembles popularized, in part, by trend-setting celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker and shows such as “Sex and the City.” Designers, too, fueled the trend by showing these styles on runways, inspiring women to embrace the idea of breaking away from the formal dictates of fashion and taking pieces from various collections to create unique looks.

Trouble is, “creating unique looks” often takes more energy and focus, and for results that are at best, hit and miss.

Une femme agrees wholeheartedly! The good news is that you don’t have to pay designer prices to get in on this trend. Talbots has never strayed far from these classic looks, and picked up on the boxy jacket trend:

Tweed jacket and skirt (note the gloves and structured bag as well)

Une femme’s favorite, the pants suit.

Banana Republic is also getting on board, with outfits like this:

And for those who might still be wary of being too matchy-matchy, this ensemble still captures the coordinated look.
All original content property of

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States License.

Stay in touch.

Affiliate links in posts may generate commissions for See my complete disclosure policy here.


  1. Anonymous
    September 28, 2007 / 5:28 pm

    While hats and gloves have always seemed like useless accessories, as I get older I regret not living in the age of such things. Imagine how nice my skin would be if I had spent a life of wearing hats and gloves….instead, there is the botox option for my face and alas, nothing for my hands…

  2. September 28, 2007 / 8:51 pm

    Miss Janey is loving this trend. Really, what’s better than a suit for simplifying the “what to wear to work today?” dilemna.

    As for adding hats and gloves… in a hot minute.

  3. September 28, 2007 / 8:55 pm

    I might be persuaded on the gloves, but with my toddler-sized head, I don’t have much luck with hats. Love to look at ’em tho.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


We do not share personal information with third-parties nor do we store information we collect about your visit to this blog for use other than to analyze content performance through the use of cookies, which you can turn off at anytime by modifying your Internet browser’s settings. We are not responsible for the republishing of the content found on this blog on other Web sites or media without express permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice.

Read my complete privacy policy HERE.