Women and Fashion have always been inseparable. Fashion in today’s world has acquired a lot of prominence. Although most celebrities and public figures would suggest that Fashion is all about “being comfortable”, it definitely is a lot more than that! It is no longer only about your clothes, it goes much beyond that. It’s extended to your accessories and makeup as well.
Evolution of Power dressing
Women leaders in the Egyptian age used to wear men’s clothes, which gave them an authoritative look and feel. The concept of power dressing gained prominence around 1920s, fashion giant Chanel designed its first suit meant for women in business and politics. The Chanel suit consisted of tight skirt, collarless button up jacket with fitted sleeves. It had a feminine feel to it, it was the first professional looking suit designed especially for women.
The dresses which are designed now are not feminized versions of men’s professional garments. The fabric, color, ornamentation and cut are specific to women and reflect authority alongside feminity. Many women who hold high offices do not constrict themselves to pale or darker colors, they are willing to experiment with bright colors.
Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Theresa May are some examples of women in power who have adopted feminity with grace and are apologetic about dressing bright. They also ensure that it is appropriate for the occasion / event.
Dressing for success
There is an old adage, “Dress for the job you want, not for the one you have”. Many faculties in the social psychological space have conducted cognitive tests to assess if dressing differently can influence thought process and the success factor. One such test included the sample size to change from their casual wear to more
gina bacconi formal / business clothing. After wearing formal attire, the subjects’ abstract thinking increased significantly.Abstract thinking enables out of the box thinking which is pertinent for strategizing. Thus, the experiment concluded that dressing formally did enhance the sense of power in the individual.
Another such experiment involved individuals to wear white lab coat while they were tending to an attention seeking task. The subjects did half the mistakes when they were wearing the coats as against when they were doing the same task without the formal attire.
Dressing down is equally important
Dressing up too sharply may backfire at times. This may send across the message of being too stiff and arrogant. Getting the right balance is pertinent especially if you are a public figure, you should exude confidence and humility in equal measure. It is also necessary that you seem approachable.
Many politicians like Mamata Bannerjee, Priyanka Gandhi tend to dress down significantly. This helps them mingle among the lower class as well. Michelle Obama is another classic example of getting it right all the time, she never overdresses and carries herself with immense amount of grace.During the recent visit by Prince William and Catherine in India, Catherine’s fashion sense was scrutinized closely. Her wardrobe was designed cleverly with the right textures and colors which helped her blend into the culture and events.
A lot of these public figures are closely watched for what they wear and often, trolled for dressing inappropriately. Somehow, it is the women counterparts who have to go through this scrutiny, the men have it easy!
Tips for power dressing
Your dress has to be in sync with the image that you intend to project to the world at large. Power dresses are to be aligned with your line of work and you should also consider the comfort factor.These are some broad pointers which could help you to get your game up.
Get the right fit:
Getting the right fit is very important. There is nothing worse than your suit dropping over your shoulders. The shirt underneath your suit should fit you snugly, at the same time it should not be tight enough that the buttons may pop out. An ideal way to check the fit is to try various positions like sitting, standing, bending over to ensure you are comfortable.
Irrespective of the business you are in, it is best to suit up. Most formal occasions demand a classic suit in a color that does not pop! The fabric has to be just right, it need not be seasonal, this way you could use it round the year. Many of the public figures swear by the iconic designers such as Armani, CK, Saint Laurent etc., Patterns of suit is quite tricky, it could end up being a distraction. If the event requires public speaking or serious discussion it is ideal to stick to neutral / dark colors.