A Public Service Announcement, 1986

Well, it’s voting day in the US.  Inspired by Two Nerdy History Girls, I decided to take a look at the history of the League of Women Voters.  There’s so much to see on the extensive website for the organization.  Here we have part of the Los Angeles delegation displaying their award-winning poster in 1986.

This is not only a political message, but also a fashion message about the mid-1980s.  Three of the four women are in suits, with only the one on the left in a shirtwaist dress.  None wears pants.  All of them sport skirts at different lengths. The blond woman on the right looks inspired by the “Dress for Success” movement, with her crisp tailored skirt and tie-like scarf.  Maybe she comes from the business world.  The woman in the middle has on a softer suit with a more Armani type construction.  It looks to have the very broad shoulders so characteristic of the eighties. The shirtwaist dress worn by the woman on the left is a classic. Apparently she didn’t need a suit to impress her compatriots.

No matter what you are wearing, I hope you make it to the polls today.

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4 Responses to A Public Service Announcement, 1986

  1. Great photo and we really take the vote for granted (women in Switzerland only got it in 71!)- Watching the elections from over here in Ireland and curious to see the results, have just finished ‘the Fifth Risk’ by Michael Lewis (a great book especially for someone outside the US on Federal Government as it explained it so well)

  2. Katrina B says:

    That was a conflicted decade–women were well established in many areas that had previously been considered male work domains, including my field of banking and finance. At the same time we were expected to wear skirts and high heels to work every day, otherwise we wouldn’t be taken seriously. Completely the opposite of what we would think today. Those of us who broke the unspoken rule by wearing a pant suit were “counseled”–by a female superior!

    That said, it’s interesting that the picture above includes men. If the League of Women Voters was made up of both men and women, it’s possible that there was a similar standard of dress for being “taken seriously.” I’ll have to look at that website.

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