Divine red and black edged 'power' dressing jacket by Mansfield, whose designer Frank Russell was nicknamed 'King of Coats' in the UK for the brands quality for 40 years, and whose tailoring second to none.
This is late 1980s as exemplified by the rounder shoulder structure and severe waist sculpting brought in by Mugler, that flattered women's figures and gave them that 'power' silhouette.
For most the power was an illusion but nevertheless was about the lifting of spirits: working class women were earning decent money in the 1980s particularly in Retail, with double time overtime as shops opened their doors on sundays and evenings, and motivation assured by generous commission rates on sales.
Oh how we were conned by minimum wage which corporates treated as a blueprint and all those perks and generous staff discounts on clothing too, were pulled from under us.
The garments the dept stores & independent boutiques sold were of high quality and carried high price tags but at this time utility bills were low, nobody had fortunes to pay in phone & internet, and rents & mortgages were a fraction of what they are today. So, there was no shortage of places to spend your money in this time of economic boom, casinos wine & cocktail bars and plenty of places to dress up. So this jacket dating from that period would have cost you around £350 then, and is as immaculate as when it came off the peg.
There Was NO corporate uniform polyester cheap suits for bank tellers, retail or office workers you wore your own clothes and dress down friday was where you wore
black jeans and thigh boots with your power jacket! You didn't wear anything casual like now because you'd never have got in to a smart wine bar club or casino dressed like that! And when in such venues, you had to be the best; yes dressing for success was competitive but fun and uplifting!
So this jacket carries all that heritage with it even now, its definitely a figure flattering statement piece looks fab with jeans and boots of long hobble skirt. At the time you'd have likely wore a mid length tight skirt, and the younger could get away with that now I see some girls in London looking like they have stepped out of the 80s. All comes back doesn't it?
Especially when the high street stores and online retailers are selling us such poor fayre. Not this: this jacket is all quality. glamour, power and sex appeal. Such a fabulous shape sadly too big for me but hope you get the idea, it is going to look better on the right size person who will totally rock it as it deserves!
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