Power. The quality, when attributed to a person, immediately brings to mind an image of the person with confidence, authority, style, and poise. When you read the phrase "powerful women", notice the image your mind conjures up for you. What is she wearing? What is her hairdo? What is her colour palette? What scene or setting do you imagine her in? The style you imagine her in may be your definition or related to your definition of power dressing for yourself.
For women, power dressing often takes the form of assertion, as well as the portrayal of their inner competence. Power dressing plays a key role in creating those first and lasting impressions that boost and show your confidence. Power Dressing for women can be broken down into some fundamental, generic, rules.
Some limits are set regarding styles and lines that can be worn when discussing power dressing and similar accessories to be added to your wardrobe. Let me guide you through some of the general principles here.
Most people think that power dressing for corporate women only can include the western style. But that is not true. It is up to you to choose between Western-style formals, such as a trouser or a skirt, or choose Indian style clothing, such as a sari or cigarette pants.
The most basic of rules you can follow is to keep the lines straight and say not to frills. But if you happen to be attending an international event, like a conference or a meeting, it is in your favour to opt for Western-style clothing.
You can expand your style scale by choosing how you combine trousers, skirts, sarees and cigarette pants for power dressing. You want to prefer the lean lined look and choose fabrics that do not cling. This will help you achieve the look of competence.
You want to choose colours that are corporate, such as black, grey, navy blue or even white, and use these in your power dressing to send a strong message. If you wish to add a hint of colour while wearing a saree to enhance your look, you can choose to add a thin border that has some colour or even some embroidery. The same technique will work with Kurtis, long and short, but these should preferably be worn with trousers instead of the traditional pyjama. When going for a look of authority, try to add a collar.
Sometimes the aim is to power dress but not look too severe. When that is the case, you can choose a beige, rust coloured or even coral outfit. If going for the Western-style or Indian style, the colours recommended staying the same. If you wish to add another element of colour, try working in a scarf or a stole. But make sure it works with the atmosphere of the event that you are dressing for. Prefer to go with black, white or grey for formal occasions, and use peach, pale blues or a little bit of red for an approachable look.
Prefer light make-up that is not running, and does not show when exposed to harsh light or sun. Add eye-liner and a pastel shade of lipstick in harsh Indian weather. It is necessary to keep your nails short, well-manicured nails. Do not forget to trim your toenails as well. Nail polish is not an absolute must, but if you wish to apply some, prefer light shades of silver or peach.
Take good care of the heels of your feet even if you commonly wear shoes that cover them. This helps in preventing a run in your stockings and saves you from embarrassment on rare occasions when you may have to slip your shoes off. This can be easily achieved by regularly moisturizing your heels and elbows.
The most basic rule to abide by when deciding on accessories is to stick to the basics. When deciding on a chain, you can choose a silver or platinum chain that has a small pendant that is made up of the same metal or a diamond. If you wish to wear gold, try to keep the chain thin. An all-time favourite is small to medium-sized pearls. YOu can also pair it with small ear studs and a matching bracelet.
If you wish to add a watch, you can choose a slim silver timepiece or a steel watch that has a leather strap. The choice you make should be based on the outfit you are wearing. When choosing shoes, try to keep the height of the heels between 1.5-2 inches. These look appropriate as well as keep you comfortable for a long day. Flats usually are not paired with power-dressing but so are high heels.
The staple colour to choose is black, but you can also try to pair it with brown or white depending on the overall outfit. The handbag you choose to pair with your power outfit should be coordinated with your shoes, and ideally, both will be of the same colour.
Try to stick to your natural hair colour. If your hair is short-cropped and bouncy, you can choose to leave it open. Try to avoid adding bright streaks to your hair that you may use for a casual occasion. If you have longer hair, you can choose to wear it in a french knot or a chignon. If not that, you must pin the top layer back. Try to avoid a ponytail as it is too casual.
You can choose to leave your hair open but only choose to do so if you do not have to put it in place too often. The main objective is to avoid the attention to go to your dress with jazzy colours and chunky jewellery. But muted colours and straight lines will add strength to your image of competence and also help you assert yourself when the need arises. That helps you focus on the business at hand with full confidence.
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