The Empowered Woman's Guide to Power Dressing
Gorgeous, you work your butt off and continue to glow up. That is something you have in common with the most influential women of our time. But have you heard of this powerful secret that leading ladies use to set themselves apart and get the upper hand in life and the workplace?
You're about to read what power dressing for women is, how it started and what it means for women today. Pay close attention; there'll be a question at the end.
Photo via Teen Vogue.
What is power dressing?
It is a fashion style that commands authority and respect, especially in male-dominated environments like the workplace. That means a power dressing woman does not shy away from her bold and confident essence.
"I want people to see the dress, but focus on the woman." —Vera Wang
Modern notions of the style originated after World War I when more women entered environments occupied by men. The 1920s Chanel suit entered the scene and revolutionised women's fashion. Workwear shifted from the clunky skirts and heavy layers of the past to the practical yet fun and meaningful future trends.
Models in Chanel suits, 1967. Image via Flickr
The suit made the world pay attention to the 20th century working woman. With it, women said, "We are here to stay, and we are here to slay."
Some might present the illustrious two-piece as a feminised version of the male pantsuit. But it was much more than that. It represented how women began to shape their own identities as forces to be reckoned with. This command of fashion set the scene for the future of feminism in the workplace and society as a whole.
Fast forward to 80s power dressing.
A new wave of feminism started to set industries ablaze. The world opened its eyes to the impact that women had in business and society. The business world enjoyed bigger profits, and global economies grew as women broke down barrier after barrier. With the momentum of the feminist movement, society finally cleaned its engines' dust and started to move forward. Basically - women were killing it and changing the world!
As the century aged, women transformed the more traditional style of the skirt suit. The trailblazing queens of the era grew tired of blending into their office carpets. So they quickly embraced the loud self-expression of late 20th-century fashion.
Miss Coco Chanel herself said, "To be irreplaceable, one must always be different." And just like that, the 80s power suit took over. Drab suits were out; colours and funky patterns were in. The modern woman of the time let her individual feminine flair shine through her style. She played whimsically with her sense of style. She even merged more traditional pieces with newer styles.
One item that was reintroduced is the neck scarf - a symbol of elegance and sophistication.
New Botanic Designs - Petite Silk Scarf.
Its roots can be traced to the age of Queen Nefertiti, a powerful Pharaoh who loved to adorn herself in scarves. However, old does not equal outdated. Because of its regal origins, the neck scarf was (and still is) associated with luxury and high society. That means even in our day and age, when people see you rock a neck scarf, they're subconsciously reminded of royalty.
Who doesn't want that?
Jess Coldrey, founder of New Botanic Designs in the Petite Silk Scarf.
Have a look at our artist, Jess, dressed in a gorgeous power suit. Without the scarf, she still embodies the image of a strong, glamorous woman. But the uniquely printed scarf takes her look a step further. It adds the je ne sais quoi of the 21st century leading lady.
The best part is that it only takes 2 minutes to style. That means it'll only take 2 minutes of your day to add that extra something to your look. This addition to your style will take your confidence from here--to here. If you like what she's got going on, treat yourself to one of these gorgeous pieces in our shop.
Our pieces are unique because they're created from 3D-scanned camellia flowers. Each scarf is made with a one-of-a-kind design. That means no one else has one like yours (perfect for highlighting your individuality). If you've already got a bold scarf in your arsenal, check out this blog post for ideas on how to style it.
Now you know what power dressing is, where it comes from, and its impact. Let's go over how you can dress to convey power. Luckily for you, it doesn't take much to be fierce and fabulous.
New Botanic Designs - Petite Silk Scarf.
Start simple. Chances are, you already have what you need in your wardrobe. Comb through your closet and pick out the pieces that make you feel most confident.
1. The Staples
Your staples are your foundation. A classy dress pants or well-tailored skirt, and a fitted blazer is what you're going to build your look on.
2. Silhouette is queen
Remember, we want to shine in our fit, not hide away in it. Make sure everything fits well and hugs you in the places you like most.
Light shades of pink are a big yes! Pink is the new black, and no one can tell me otherwise. It is delicate yet powerful and adds sophistication and glamour. On days when you're not wearing pink, stick to more neutral or muted colours for the staples and add a pop of colour here and there.
4. Be yourself!
Let your personality shine. Add your favourite accessories to spice up your outfit. If you have a pair of earrings that are so you, wear them. You could also leave the accessories on the dressing table if you want the outfit to speak for itself.
The point is, wear what makes you feel confident and empowered.
You've read all about how the wonder women of our time challenge traditional stereotypes and forge their own paths. You know how they use the power of fashion to level up their lives. Now my question is: How would power dressing transform your life?