Meaning – The term power suits, refers to a conservative tailored suit worn by men or women to project a sense of self-confidence and authority. The phrase came about in the 1980s when a big-shouldered, dark-colored suit was the norm for anyone who wanted to be taken seriously in the business world.
The suit was usually solid or had a very subtle pattern such as a narrow pinstripe. Women’s suits usually had a straight skirt that got shorter as the decade progressed.
The power suit lost its appeal in most fields during the 1990s. In creative professions such as advertising and graphic design, these suits disappeared almost entirely, to be replaced by more casual looks for both men and women.
Example of usage – “In some business environments, the power suit never really went away; lawyers, for example, have nearly always been expected to wear traditional businesswear in most places.”