Creating a powerful, professional look for the modern woman
As the doyenne of fashion Coco Chanel once said: “Dress shabbily; people remember the clothes. Dress impeccably; people remember the woman”.
Power dressing for women is back in 2015 and 2016, but banish all thoughts of 1980s-style boxy, masculine shapes, large shoulder pads and clunky costume jewellery. Dressing for the workplace today is not about the revival of 30-year-old fashions. It’s about high-quality fabrics and careful selection of on-point accessories, classic shapes and top-notch tailoring.
Establishing a wardrobe of well-made investment pieces will stand you in excellent stead to exude confidence in a corporate setting and feel good inside and out.
The classic white shirt
A white dress shirt is the single-most important item in a modern power-dressing woman’s wardrobe. Again, it’s worth spending money on several high-quality pieces that have variations on style, collars and buttons. You can style a good crisp white dress shirt in multiple ways by dressing it up or down.
Experiment with having it completely buttoned up for a more formal look, or undo the first one or two for a softer look that creates a flattering line. Add a cashmere or silk-wool-mix vest in colder months for a bit of class and warmth.
For women with bigger-sized busts who find it difficult to buy shirts, having a bespoke classic shirt tailor-made will eradicate that ‘in-between button gape’ and create a beautiful fit to flatter the contours of the body. Shirts with Buttons creates individual ‘made-to measure’ shirts in a variety of styles and fabrics, designed to accentuate every shape.
Blaze ahead with a tailored jacket
Adding a blazer to your outfit is one of the easiest tips for modern power dressing for women. A well fitted blazer will instantly smarten up your outfit. Team a slim, tailored blazer with matching cigarette trousers in dark grey or navy and a crisp, white shirt. However matching blazer and trousers are the key. Add a sleek black heel or a good pump shoe to complete the look.
Colour it in
Women’s dress shirts don’t just have to be white. There are plenty of chic women’s formal shirts in soft pastels like pink, lavender, peach, mint and blue that pair brilliantly with a matching suit pants and jacket. If your suit is a classic corporate black, navy or grey, a subtle pop of colour in a shirt will take it up a notch. Muted checks, polka dots and stripes can also work incredibly well in a work environment when matched with a classic tailored suit.
When it comes to power dressing, a pair of classic black heels is always a natural winner. Ones with a patent finish add that extra bit of chic, while interesting and patterned leathers in black or dark grey add interest and dimension. If you’re a creative type, don’t be scared to experiment with different shoe styles or ones with a small detail highlighted in white or gold.
One of easiest ways to dress up a modern power outfit is with jewellery. Keep it classy and elegant with good-quality statement pieces that aren’t too loud or trend-based. You can easily dress up a formal shirt with a small string of pearls or, for a more sophisticated look, try a long pearl strand or crystal pendant necklace. A statement necklace, cocktail ring or a pair of earrings can really make an outfit sing and more creative types might want to try a multi-layered necklace in a single popping colour.
However you choose to dress, the most important thing is to feel confident and comfortable in what you wear. A small confidence boost from your outfit might be a small change, but it could be the first small step into a confident new you.