Power Dressing: 8 Power Dressing Tips For Women
As we strive towards equality, in the sense that we no longer want to just join and blend into the corporate world, previously known as the boys’ club, our perception of what constitutes a woman dressed in a way that exudes power and authority has shifted.
Yes, fashion designer Phoebe Philo has greatly contributed to making women look a bit more sensual and less like bland office drones, and Donna Karen certainly did her fair share contributing to the cause of dressing women fashionably in the workplace with her own version of the power suit. It was her own way of making women’s busy lives easier and her response to the traditional suit.
We shouldn’t forget fashion visionaries such as Helmut Lang and Jill Sander who decided to make the choice to boldly mix the feminine and masculine, blur gender lines and make the woman’s suit surprisingly cool again. Enough about the fashion history, let’s see what we can do to dress a powerful woman of today and help her look stylish, professional, authoritative without compromising her personal sense of style.
Use Enclothed Cognition to Look More Competent at Work
There is a phenomenon called enclothed cognition, which are the psychological processes we have when we wear the proper attire for our line of work. Not only do we perform better because the right clothes place us with the right mindset, but we’re actually perceived as more competent for the role by those around us.
Curate a Professional Powerful Wardrobe
In order to feel powerful, you need to look powerful. This is why it’s paramount to take the time, and perhaps even use the help of a professional in order to audit your closet. It’s like doing your taxes; just immensely more fun and liberating. Everything that you feel is holding you down, not sending the message you want it to send in the workforce – get rid of it. Once you have a clean and curated closet, it will become much easier not only to work with what is left but also to make new additions to your wardrobe.
Pair with a Unique Accessory
You may have to follow certain rules in your office environment, but there is always wiggle room for you to claim your stake, in both business and attire. How? With the power of great accessories. Your outfit may be similar to everyone else’s in your office, but the right lip color, a signature hairdo or a poignant pair of shoes can set you apart from the crowd.
In order to ‘seal the deal’, you can even build a bag that’s unique and one of a kind. A woman should never underestimate the power of a great bag, and what better way to make your mark, your personal signature than a bag that you envisioned and designed to completely cater to your style persona. Every woman in power has something. Christine Lagarde has her scarves. Amal Clooney has her hair and perfectly subtle jewelry. So go out and find an accessory that is just for you.
When in Doubt, Stay Timeless
The first thing you need to know about clothes is that it’s always, with no exceptions, better to own a few high-quality pieces than a closet full of items you impulsively bought during the sale season. If you don’t know where to start, a minimalist style will serve as a great guiding star. Timeless, high-quality pieces that always look sharp, elegant and simply expensive and even luxurious always win over current fads.
Now that we’ve mentioned minimalism, it is necessary to stress the importance of a proper fit. If it doesn’t fit perfectly, it’s a slouchy disaster, and that’s never a good thing. Secondly, choose your colors wisely. Some colors such as black, grey, burnt orange, camel, and even red not only exude power but actually make everything look more expensive.
Don’t be Afraid of Wearing a Suit
No, wearing a suit will not make you look like an office drone, because modern designers know the female silhouette better than ever. Take Stella McCartney’s take on suits for last year’s fall collection. Yes, the color palette is understated, but the cuts are incredibly potent and feminine at the same time. There is nothing about the suit that should frighten you, so don’t shy away from it. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll love the look of it on you.
Other Power Pieces You Can Wear
As one can’t be expected to abandon their sense of style and fill her wardrobe with nothing but suits, there are numerous other chic and professional options. They say that a dress is the easiest thing a woman can pull out of her closet, but what they failed to mention is that the right dress can be one of the most powerful tools in your wardrobe arsenal.
As the corporate world changes so do the concept of power dressing and, so do the dresses themselves. You want gorgeous and professional. Pick something like this green flowing midi dress. Paired with a classic trench coat, this will be a professional ensemble to rule them all. Murky florals are a definite must as well. Just look at this vision by Erdem. Aside from typical dresses, we have the latest power dress trend to turn to the tuxedo dress.
You could be wearing the flowiest of blouses and the most romantic and trendiest pleated dress, but know there’s one thing that a necessary dose of power and professionalism. It `s the mighty blazer. Tom Ford makes sure we remember that wide shoulders were popular for a reason. They’re fierce and powerful; so don’t be afraid of ‘broadening’ your horizons.
Remember to Stay Comfortable
If you’re torn between comfort and style, always lean towards comfort. You won’t be able to exude power if you feel uncomfortable or restricted in any way. This is exactly why, if you don’t feel comfortable wearing high-heels and you think you never will, feel free to throw them to the curb and go for flats. There are so many chic and elegant flat choices that a woman doesn’t have to endure the pain of the stiletto if she doesn’t want to. This is your world now so bring your own rules.