“Power dressing? What is that? Is that a real thing?” I’m sure that these are some of the things you’re asking yourself, and yes, it is “a thing”. Emerging around the late 1970’s, early 1980’s, it was established as a style for both sexes but placed a greater emphasis on women, in hopes that they establish their position of authority in the male dominated workforce. The fact that women had to dress a certain way to even be taken seriously is an article for another time. Today, however, the term ‘Power Dressing’ is no longer used and the style has evolved from stuffy, bulky, masculine suits to fit tailored for women with no definitive look, but a unanimous feel. The concept of ‘Power Dressing’ however, was on to one solid point, that it made women feel more confident and emboldened in the workplace and quite frankly, any setting.
So exactly how should you approach ‘Power Dressing’ to feel most powerful? Here’s how:
Make it a habit/Develop a routine – this doesn’t mean wearing a full suit every single day but rather using different elements every day so that you create a habit of dressing your most powerful, even if it’s just pieces. Having a routine also makes getting dressed faster and easier since you basically know what you’re going to wear ahead of time.
Personalise it/ Stay true to your style – traditional suits are OUT. This is 2019 after all and you have the option of using different materials, textures, cuts, tailoring and more to make your power suit the best reflection of you. It is entirely up to you to create that ‘suit’ that makes you feel most powerful, whether its bold colours, modern styles or accessorizing to make even the most basic suit stand out.
Pay attention to fit – you see styles day in and day out that are breathtaking, but it doesn’t mean they will flatter you. Knowing your proportions and what parts you would like to highlight will allow you to create a suit that fits in the most flattering of ways. For example, if you’re petite, a shorter, fitted jacket that doesn’t overwhelm you is perfect. Or, maybe you’re pear-shaped and want to draw attention away from your lower half, then drawing attention to the shoulders using a blazer with a defined shape is your best bet.
Time and Place – suits are no longer just for the office but can transform into the chicest ensemble for a night out in one quick spin. Day time looks are more likely to include flats or shoes that make it easy for you to flit around the office quicker and leave you less exposed and with non-flashy jewellery. However, if you want to make the day-time power suit an evening chic look just add some heels. Now, you can probably unbutton that blouse just a little, and add a great necklace or blingy bracelet. The power suit can work a double shift, so get something that makes you feel great at work and can also be dressed up for a night out.
Remember, Power Dressing is a way to express yourself to feel your best and to feel most confident. You are a force to be reckoned with, so I say, dress like it!