- Sharon Stone accepted the Order of Arts and Letters in a pink trouser suit
- Dame Helena Morrissey says pink is her favorite color because of her femininity
- She claims it shows how far we have come and what modern feminism looks like
Yesterday I went on a short night business trip. Dress codes — both smart casual and casual, along with formal dinners — presented packing challenges, however, especially this summer.
I wanted something comfortable and warm for train travel, yet smart enough to carry me to all meetings.
In the end I picked a pair of knockout trousers, two fresh blouses, a small cardigan for the air-conditioned rooms, and one of my favorite Giambattista Valli dresses for the evening event.
My chosen theme? Full spectrum of pink color. While slacks are an eye-catching grain, the cotton tweed dress is a pale pastel shade.
Dame Helena Morrissey (pictured) explains why wearing pink is representative of how far we’ve come and what modern feminism looks like
Helena said the Duchess of Cambridge (photo at left) was immediately observable at Wimbledon in a gorgeous candy-pink dress. Pictured right: Queen Letizia
Many might still think of this most appealing of colors inappropriate for boardrooms – but it’s my color for the fact of its femininity.
Positive and flattering, nothing packs a punch like pink.
And I’m not the only successful woman who appreciates its destructive power. Take the fearless and formidable Sharon Stone, who graced the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres at the Cannes Film Festival last week in a chic powder-pink trouser suit.
The Duchess of Cambridge is also in the act. She immediately appeared in a gorgeous candy-pink dress, amidst a sea of suits at Wimbledon. She wore a dusky Rose Chloe blazer to the Natural History Museum the other week, and a vivid cereal dress to last month’s G7 summit.
In fact, the peak had more shades of pink than the Dulux paint chart: Carrie Johnson in Fuchsia; Jill Biden in Hot Pink; Queen in bubblegum shades.
Every woman seemed fearless, highly confident and fearless.
So were they in sync that one of my six daughters asked: ‘Did they coordinate?’
off course not. It was simply a matter of four great female minds thinking alike, a quartet of strong women who instinctively knew that, just because you’re on a male-dominated stage and surrounded by men in dull suits, doesn’t mean It’s not that you need to dress yourself. You are unlikely to be seen as a high achiever.
This, I told my daughters, is what modern feminism really looks like.
Sharon Stone (pictured) graced the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in a powder-pink trouser suit at the Cannes Film Festival last week
How Far Have We Come. Thirty years ago, when I started out on New York’s Wall Street, the thought of wearing pink to work would have intimidated me. Too frivolous, too flamboyant and too feminine. Turning in pink at the office must have made it look like I’m not serious about work. Instead, my wardrobe consisted of navy pinstripe trouser suits, strong-shouldered dresses, and boxy jackets. All my female colleagues wore the same strict uniform.
At the time, we called it power dressing. But now I look back because really, I see that we were just imitating men instead of being powerful in our own way.
It’s a sign of real progress that the notion of women copying men’s stuff dressing now seems out of date. These days I open my wardrobe to welcome pink, orange, yellow, red and green. I just enjoy seeing them.
So, what changed?
I stopped dressing like a man in my early 30s when I joined a small, highly progressive firm where my new male boss made me feel embarrassed about ever being a woman and mother. Was told not to – then I had a child, and became eight more. I was told, that’s what makes you special. The new firm welcomed the different perspectives provided by my life experiences.
Helena said the first time she wore a pink dress to a high-level meeting, she was in the States and learned the benefits of standing out from the crowd. Images left to right: Sandra Oh, Jodie Comer and Phoebe Waller-Bridge
It gave me license to wear clothes of my choice. First, a brightly colored scarf, then a pretty necklace or quirky heels, unless I was walking into the office wearing a bright pink dress.
I remember the first time I wore a pink dress to a high-level meeting: It was in the States and was attended by many CEOs (mostly men, of course).
By then, I had learned that there could be an advantage to standing out from the crowd, even if it meant taking a deep breath before entering the room.
I took a chance and it paid off. People came to introduce themselves, and those I knew—both men and women—told me that they liked the dress.
Over the years, I’ve learned that people trust confident people. As I moved up in my style, feeling more excited because I wore clothes that really suited me, my career took off. There was no coincidence in this.
Helena said that pink demands attention and respect, which certainly makes it sporting feminism’s next great power. Pictured: Sarah Jessica Parker
When I was selected for the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year awards in 2012, I wore a hot pink Roksanda dress with famed chef Ruth Rogers, who wore coral. The deserving winner, accessories designer Anya Hindmarch, collected her prize in a long floral dress.
I’ve also met several other influential women who share the philosophy that pink is empowering: Sophie, Countess of Wessex, dressed in pink to a business conference where we were both speaking.
I firmly believe that being a woman and a feminist can be one and the same. Whether it’s an Emilia Wickstead evening dress, a bubblegum pink skirt suit or Zara’s fuchsia pollock-and-cigarette-trouser look, pink is such an assertive color. this…