There are days we dress for fun, for work, to impress a date. But some days, we need a little extra shot of confidence, a boost to launch us out the door, and those days call for a bit of Power Dressing.
In the 1980’s there was Power Dressing™ for those whose desire was to become a corporate Master Of The Universe. The 1990’s saw the rise of Power Ties for politicians. These versions of Power Dressing were intended to shape and influence others’ perceptions of the wearer. But what I’m referring to here is personal Power Dressing: those styles, colors or pieces that give us a shot of inner strength, of psychological Fierce. These are the Superhero pieces in our closets that have talismanic powers to ward off evil eyes, arch enemies, kryptonite and Bad Hair Days.
One woman’s power dressing might mean a crisp white shirt. For another it might be color, the brighter and bolder the better. My own Power Dressing formula might include any or all of the following:
Black. I know, I know. We’re all supposed to avoid it unless we’ve been typed as Dark Brooding Winters, or are Goths, or live in Paris. It’s supposedly aging, draining, blah blah. But I love black. I love how I feel in it. Black is cool, solid, strong, powerful. It might be just a pair of black heels, or it might be head to toe, but it always fortifies my spirit and I’ll never give it up. It’s my sartorial drug of choice.
Boots. I’ve recently joked that “boots are my Totem Animal.” I’ve never felt wrong in boots. I stand straighter, walk with more confidence. I have boots in all styles from dressy to biker, and wear them in all but the warmest weather.
Bold. A piece or two of bold jewelry, whether a man-sized watch, a leather cuff, an oversized rhinestone necklace or hammered gold hoop earrings all dial up the Power factor for me. They can be an excellent way to add a power boost to outfits when circumstances require conservative or otherwise uniform clothing.
Movement. For some, tailored and structured pieces make them feel powerful. At times I find that’s the case, but often having at least one piece in an outfit that moves when I do taps into a more feminine kind of energy. Remember that feeling of twirling in a full skirt? For me, that flow and movement puts me in touch with the strength of nature…leaves dancing in the wind, the river that carves the canyon, a swirl of clouds at sunset.
Leopard. Well, it’s a bit obvious, isn’t it? That’s why I feel most comfortable with just one leopard piece at a time, lest I come off as predatory. Leopard print shoes or boots are a great way to add just a touch of “I’m in charge here” to an outfit.
What’s your Power Dressing formula? Has it changed over time?
Top image: via.
Already Pretty contributor Une Femme is fifty-six, married to the same wonderful monsieur since 1995, the mother of a special-needs teenager and two hooligan dogs, a full-time administrative professional, a coffee-holic, Paris-obsessed, native Californian, and a petite and curvy femme d’un certain age. She believes that personal style is an essential form of self-expression, and started her blog, Une femme d’un certain âge, in 2007 hoping to start a conversation about style for women over 50.