Fashion has always been greater than the sum of its parts. It has the power to make us feel gorgeous, silly, relaxed, sexy and powerful- given the proper garments that are impeccably meshed into an outfit. The days of dressing to impress others may be over, but the era of dressing to express yourself is alive and well. Through the right clothing, you can create an air of power and authority around yourself – traits that are still very welcome in the business and corporate world.
Still, unlike the period from the late 70s to the 80s where all career-oriented women looked alike, wearing buttoned up suits and two-piece sets, we now live in a time where there’s plenty of room for expressing one’s style persona without compromising the "power look". We definitely have visionaries such as Phoebe Philo to thank, as she is one of those who helped reinvent the concept of power dressing. But, before you can perfect your power look, a little thoughtfulness and a few rules are essential to mastering this skill, but make no mistake, it definitely can be mastered. Below, our five secrets to achieve a look that will command attention.
Pick Your Print
Whether you’re a sworn minimalist or a pattern-enthusiast, there is a place for your preference in power dressing. The plaid trend dominated this year’s fall runways, along with some very bold floral prints. Now, one might think that there’s no room for conspicuous prints when trying to exude assertiveness and authority, but this cannot be further from the truth. Most of the florals we’ve seen this year aren’t nearly as ‘delicate and fragile’ as frilly pastel ones of the past. The darker, gloomier blooms aka. "cool girl florals" came just in the nick of time to show us that powerful women wear florals, too.
One of the staples of power dressing has always been, and always will be the mighty suit. There is simply something inexplicably authoritative about a woman wearing a gorgeously tailored suit. But instead of opting solely for the traditional blacks, and grays (which don't get us wrong are are essentials) look for options in different color-ways. Pinks, reds, and greens really make a statement, while even an all plaid suit will leave you looking super sharp.
All About Blazers
When in doubt, a variety of blazers in an array of colors and prints is never a mistake. If you have to narrow it down though to just one, a black blazer is an absolute essential. It can be paired with a high-waisted pencil skirt or even a printed pant. And for days where you wish to be a bit more casual, but still professional of course, pair your blazer with a tailored jean, breezy blouse, and sleek loafer for a business-casual match made in heaven.
The Power of a Dress
They say that a dress is the easiest thing a woman can pull out of her closet, but what they fail 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 does the concept of power dressing, and that’s why the world of dresses is your oyster. When searching for the perfect dress, look for wrap dresses, shift dresses, and of course, a little black dress- it will never do you wrong!
* Or take note from Giovanna Battaglia (pictured above) and belt an oversized dress or overcoat for a super polished look. *
Make a Statement
Even when you’re wearing a more polished look, a smart power-move is to make an impact with one accessory- this can become be your personal signature. For instance, Jenna Lyons is super well known for her glasses, as is Jenny Walton for her statement earrings. Take a page from their playbook, and put your accessories to work.
It doesn’t really matter what it is; it can be a piece of jewelry, a great selection of bags, or even pumps in a contrasting color, just make yourself visible. Power dressing isn’t about blending in, it’s about standing out from the crowd.
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