It’s no coincidence that powerful women rarely look disheveled. Taking care of yourself and investing in your appearance sends a positive message about who you are and how you want to be treated. Dressing powerfully means dressing confidently. That doesn’t mean you need to look like a runway model in the office, nor are fashion and beauty the only ways to exude confidence. But, let’s face it, we all perform for an audience, and sharp aesthetics can command power and help win over your boss, coworkers and clients.
Developed in the 1980s, power dressing became a fashion style that enabled women to establish their authority in a professional setting traditionally dominated by men. A term that usually brings to mind 9-5 pant suits and shoulder pads, power dressing has now evolved into the perfect blend of sexy and sophisticated. More importantly, this isn’t a trend that is only reserved for the office. In fact, it will likely fit in best at cocktail hour.
A sloppy bag may reflect a sloppy person. Not what you’re going for? No worries! This season, gravitate toward structured bags. The clean lines and distinct shapes imply organization and professionalism. A structured bag has the power to polish off any look.
Adding a blazer to your outfit is one of the easiest tips for modern power dressing. A well-fitted blazer can instantly revamp an outfit, and create a slimming silhouette. For a professional look, team a tailored blazer with cigarette pants and pumps. For your days off, take an unexpected turn and pair your blazer with tailored shorts instead.
This waist whittler and curve enhancer boosts sexiness and increases confidence. But keep in mind that this knee-length skirt doesn’t have to be strictly business. Traditionally, your pencil skirt should hit at the slimmest part of your leg – either right above or right below your knee. However, if you are feeling daring, take a cue from the latest trends and try dropping the hem to mid-calf for an instant fashionista boost.
LENGTHEN YOUR LOOK
Heighten your self-esteem with leg-lengthening trousers. This season, waists are getting higher and legs are getting wider, which can be very flattering on certain body shapes. Overall, who doesn’t want to look taller? When it comes to height, every inch counts. So, lengthen those legs with a pair of high-waisted trousers, and stand tall.
While black and grey are pretty standard for a professional setting, experiment with color where you can. Bold colors show power and confidence and brighten your look. A monochromatic outfit always keeps your look simple, sleek, and sophisticated. Matching suit sets are right on trend and will definitely give off powerful vibes.
A great pair of pointed-toe pumps is the perfect option to show both strength and style in your look. When it comes to power dressing, a pair of heels is an instant confidence booster. In most cases, you can’t go wrong with a basic black pair of pumps, but never be afraid to power off any look.
Brad Schultz is a fashion designer and sewing teacher in Gainesville, FL specializing in special occasion apparel. His work is a fusion of clever design and beautiful, couture-quality execution. Each dress is a thoughtful collaboration between the designer and the client celebrating her unique beauty, style, and personality.
Phototography: Candice Hildebrandt of C.Hill Photography
Model: Mary Peña Schmidt