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What Type of Clothes Is Appropriate For Working Women

When Clothes No Longer Have to Make a Gender Statement

If the power pantsuit is the answer to the impractical body-con skirts we see Joan Holloway carefully strut in every Sunday when we travel to the 1960s, where does my office uniform of jeans, a cardigan, and flats fit in? It's no longer necessary for Western women to make an extreme statement about gender equality with sartorial choices, and that means designers must think harder about what's appropriate for working women.

On the first day of New York Fashion Week, yesterday's New York Times pointed to French designer Pheobe Philo as a modern designer who gets what today's women want. Find out what that is after the jump.

It is significant that the designer who is the current bellwether of style is Phoebe Philo, whose sleek and streamlined outfits for the French brand Céline mapped out a new route for her generation. Using classic combinations of skirt and blouse or tailored coat, the designer has created a look that has no reference to the "secretary" style of the 1950s or the androgynous looks of the 1980s.

That description makes me almost pity men's straightforward, yet static, professional option: the suit. Wearing whatever makes you feel comfortable and confident is definitely one mode of liberation I'll welcome.

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