The world will remember Baroness Margaret Thatcher, the former prime minister who died today at age 87, as the tough-as-nails "Iron Lady." But for us fashion lovers, she will also be remembered for her signature style, which rarely varied over the course of her political career.
Thatcher was known for her conservative skirt suits, which she paired with a variety of silky blouses. "I'm always safe in it," she once said of her classic ensemble. She was fond of pearls, wearing them as earrings, necklaces or brooches.
But her most famous accessory of all was her black leather handbag. Thatcher had many versions, including a boxy Asprey style that was auctioned off for $39,800 at Christie's in 2011. (The then-prime minster reportedly brought the Asprey bag to several key state meetings in the 1980s, including sit-downs with Presidents Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev.)
That handbag and the others, ubiquitous in so many Thatcher photos, came to symbolize Thatcher's tenacity and firm negotiation style. As a member of Britain's Parliament remarked in 1982, "She can't look at a British institution without hitting it with her handbag." The term "handbagging" even became its own phrase and was eventually included in the Oxford English Dictionary.
Thatcher's unwavering nature was reflected in both her diplomacy and her fashion sense. As Meryl Streep uttered in "The Iron Lady," playing the British politician to perfection on-screen, "I may be persuaded to surrender the hat... The pearls, however, are absolutely non-negotiable."
Take a look back at Baroness Margaret Thatcher's iconic fashion in the photos below.
Want more? Be sure to check out HuffPost Style on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram at @HuffPostStyle.
Do you have a style story idea or tip? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. (PR pitches sent to this address will be ignored.)