Ever heard of the term Power Dressing?
What bell does it ring? Am more than sure you get an idea it is about the “Boss Up” thing in your dressing. The air of confusion holds around the what and the when and the why and the where and with whom of power dressing and finally – HOW do I do that?
Simply put, Power dressing is business fashion.
It all started somewhere back in mid-1970, as a need for women to establish themselves in those times of traditionally dominated men workforce. By the time it was somewhere in 1980 power dressing developed and ever since has been referring to the fashion confined to work arena.
John Molloy contributed largely to the popularising of the concept through his manual like a book : Dress for Success in 1975 and in 1980 followed by the same title categorically for women. Initially, it was just the blind copy of men’s work attire that they said would work for women as well. These included all sort of men’s work attire like – suits, tailored jackets, heavy shoulder pads – all that would scream power and authority. One can relate to Chanel Suits as an example of the same. They entered in some time around the 1920s.
By the time it was 1980, there were quite some women in the workforce and importantly had a say in deciding the work attire. Then is when we slowly started seeing some more feminine traits coming in. We started to see blouses replacing the shirts, we saw the heavy shoulder pad flying out of the windows, paisley and floral patterns were better accepted, brighter and lighter colours were no more a strict no-no. Power dressing which was aimed to reduce the visible sexuality of a woman by putting her under the typical men’s work attire finally started getting liberal.
Eventually, we reached a point that today Power Dressing is considered by both: Men and Women. Let’s see some ways to get the power in your dressing:
- How you dress influences you and the people around. When you dress crisp you convey a message: I am serious and I take my work seriously. You are not casual about your work and hence you don’t want to dress like: I don’t care. A positive representation goes a long way
- Minimize skin show. It is not about being conservative; it is about sticking to the work and not getting or allowing others to get distracted. Relaxed dressing with enough ease is different than the skin show and we do understand that, don’t we??
- Be careful about the grooming. Your attire goes a long way, but grooming goes longer. Just because you are dressed in business casual does not mean you take your grooming casually. Simple things like a polished shoe, neat nails and no foul smell can take you way ahead
- Fit is what flatters. When looking for the power to work attire, give extra attention to the fit. If it is not the right fit it has zero power. Neckline, shoulders, chest, waist, hip area, hem-length are some areas to be double-checked
- It is absolutely ok if you are modern or traditional. What matters is if you can figure out your style of power dress and be consistent about it. Once you identify and stick to it, you would be able to carry it effortlessly. And this feeling of effortlessness is what will add poise, confidence and power to your dressing