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Lady in a Power Suit

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"This is my crime scene, detective."

Pam: You know, I think there could be a lot of benefits if you could learn to get along with women.
Dwight: Look, I have no problem with women. It's businesswomen and their, their power suits and their shoulder pads. Don't lie about your shoulders!

Many important people wear suits and, unremarkably, some of them are women. They are cool, calm, and certain. Unflappable in business and lunch meetings, they will not take any man's Trash Talk. This woman is a badass just from the aura she presents, this aura radiating from her power suit. Of course, it isn't the suit that gives her power but it sure doesn't harm the image she's trying to project that she is not to be messed with. On a man's chess board, she's captured the king.

This trope is for the powerful women demonstrating their prowess through an equally powerful suit.

Bonus points if their sheer presence intimidates men of a similar position.

Note that with the outdated image of actual '80s "power suits" — unflattering bulky tweed things with massive shoulder pads — the power suit referred to here will be a much more slim-lined, definitely fitted and quite modern pantsuit, maybe even erring on the side of the traditionally masculine. Whilst characters in the shoulder-padded suits could be examples, it is dependant on how the work presents it: as these were typical office attire for any and all women of the period, to qualify it would require the distinctly powerful woman to be wearing a power suit and for no other woman in the work to wear one.


Compare Power Hair, likely to be paired with this.

See also Badass in a Nice Suit (which this woman could be), about kicking ass in an awesome suit.

Not to be confused with Samus Is a Girl, in case you're thinking of a lady wearing a literal "power" suit.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Integra Hellsing from Hellsing is in charge of a large paramilitary vampire-hunting organization, and is rarely seen wearing anything but a formal suit. She is also a Cigar Chomper and prefers to be addressed with "sir".
  • Shimoneta: Sophia Nishikinomiya is an influential politician and is always seen in her purple pants suit. She and her husband, Matsukage, are the primary antagonists who lobbied for the increasing censorship laws that have prohibited all manner of obscenity in Japan for the last 16 years.


  • Worm: Contessa qualifies; she is typically described as a "mysterious unnaturally competent woman in a suit".

    Live-Action TV 
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Amy Santiago has a large variety of pantsuits that she wears everyday, fitting her formal and professional demeanor, as well as her highly ambitious nature. She is always looking to command respect from her colleagues, as well as trying to achieve her goal of becoming captain of her own precinct one day.
  • Dynasty could well have the trendsetters for the intimidating power suits with big shoulder pads, Alexis the most, whenever they run the Denver oil company.
  • The Mary Tyler Moore Show can be considered to have championed the power suit, albeit '70s style, as Mary Tyler Moore was an icon for not just women's lib, but also to the emerging women at the workplace.
  • Leslie Knope of Parks and Recreation, who treats her job with the utmost seriousness, is always wearing a very professional suit. The only other member of the Parks and Rec department to wear a suit regularly is Tom, but even then he is constantly dishevelled. Leslie is trying to show that she is in charge here and has things handled.
  • McAfee in The Politician almost always wears masculine trouser suits, befitting her calm and "professional" appearance, despite being in high school.
  • Shiv Roy on Succession switches to bespoke pantsuits once she decides to try her hand at becoming CEO of Waystar.
  • Supergirl (2015): Alex Danvers, Kara's elder sister, swaps out her secret agent tactical gear for a fitted suit in some occasions. These are typically when presenting the public front of her secret service employer, looking both more professional than in a catsuit as well as commanding awe. The other occasions when she wears one are in situations where she is also putting herself in power, compared to when she wears a dress in occasions of letting go of control.
  • Arrow: Laurel Lance was an attorney, eventual ADA, so she wore suits to her day job.

    Video Games 
  • In Pokémon Sun and Moon, a now-adult Anabel from Emerald is the a leader of an International Police agency to confront the Ultra Beasts, and she wears a very nice suit.

  • Hark! A Vagrant:
  • Spacetrawler has Joyce Evans, the no-nonsense CEO of a company named after herself. She's abducted by aliens as she's leaving the office, so she's yet to change out of her business suit. And she quickly proves herself much more competent than Nogg (the alien who abducted her) and becomes the de facto leader of his crew.

    Western Animation 
  • Parodied on the Gravity Falls episode "Boss Mabel". When Mabel fills in for Grunkle Stan as boss of the Mystery Shack, she wears an adult-sized business suit with oversized shoulder pads.
  • On the Rugrats, Charlotte wears a suit like this, complete with shoulder pads.


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