Whatever your politics, there’s no denying that Baroness Thatcher had a serious look going on. As news of the death of Britain’s first female Prime Minister breaks around the globe, we look back at Maggie T’s fashion signatures and pay tribute to a woman whose fashion choices were as savvily considered as her political climb to the top of the greasy pole.
The Maggie Bag – Handbag As Weapon
Sturdy, structured and of doubtless quality, Margaret Thatcher was never seen without her signature handbag. She favoured a black leather Asprey tote, which went for £25,000 in an auction at Christies in 2011. Her handbag became a symbol of her authoritative mode of power with civil servants coining the term ‘handbagging’ to refer to a confrontational encounter with Britain’s first female Prime Minister.
Power Dressing – True Blue Suits
Coming into power in 1979, Margaret Thatcher’s mode of dress both reflected the new wave of Power Dressing and influenced the generation of women storming the world’s boardrooms and parliaments. Ever the true-blue Conservative, Margaret Thatcher wore her political colours on her shoulder padded sleeve, pictured in tailoring in every shade from navy to royal blue.
Pussy Bow Collar
The uptight, formal, but most definitely feminine connotations of the pussybow shirt became synonymous with MT. In a vast array of colours and prints, Maggie made the pussybow her own, proving that women could be authoritative while ladylike in their fashion choices. Designers from Miuccia Prada to Marc Jacobs have featured the pussybow on their catwalks, making at least an indirect reference to the Iron Lady’s style signature.
Given to her by her husband Sir Denis on the birth of her twins, Maggie T famously refused to give up her pearls, even when pressed by her image advisers. She did however, concede her hat – a symbol of old fashioned style for which she was lampooned by the press.
Margaret Thatcher’s auburn ‘helmet hair’ was a force of nature, always ‘power set’ to perfection. Her immaculate grooming added a regal air to her look.