Some people in 2018 may get turned off by the term 'power dressing' - they picture huge shoulder-pads, double breasted suits in pastel colours with bulbous gold buttons down the front, or restrictive pencil skirts... but I think we have collectively redefined power-dressing as whatever empowers us as individuals. There's a lot to be said for the #GirlBoss movement, cheesy as it may be, that encourages women to define themselves in terms of what they do, not how they look, without also forgetting that it's okay to be interested in fashion and trends when that would once label you a 'bimbo'!
My #PowerPiece is colour (as you can see) because it's a great way to get conversation going with people and it helps me stand out, which I don't mind. There's nothing better or more funny than a total stranger complimenting you on your outfit or, as once happened to me in London, a little girl poking her mum and saying 'I want to be a fluffy princess like her!' when I wore my ridiculous shaggy powder blue coat on the tube.
Channel your inner fluffy princesses and check out what these badass businesswomen consider to be their ultimate power-pieces (spoiler alert: almost no shoulder pads are mentioned in this article!)
"Heels all the way! I even did 4 days in NYC in 4 inch heels. They're like superman's cape to me, as soon as I put them on I'm a bigger (obviously) better version of myself and I feel much more confident and elegant. They're also a bit of a trademark for me, I once wore flats in Asda and was approached by 3 people I knew asking if I was O.K!"
Heather, Alice Elizabeth Couture
"Trousers and waistcoat is my power dress, I don't know why they just ooze confidence and a sassy look!"
Pam, Prima Beauty Training Rooms
"It's all about the shoe/bag co-ordinating combo. After years in the corporate sector with high heels and suits, I found it incredibly difficult to tone down my style but style keep it business appropriate. Years on its skinny jeans, white shirt and blazer but the shoes do the talking and they're a great way to open up opportunities for conversation."
Donna, The Timeless Table
"Any heels makes me feel awesome and a good blazer jacket. Tailored clothes make me feel like a girl boss."
"I love a pair of either converses or ankle boots but I would have to say that my Power Piece would have to be a leather jacket. I feel they can be used for a more casual look but can also work for a fancy occasion!"
"Bags all the way for me. They can show your personality even if your job decrees you be a bit 'safe' in your clothing choices. I have tons of them and change them up on a daily basis."
Lucy, LPH Associates
"Lipstick! A very interesting study showed that women should wear makeup as part of their professional dress. Too much = untrustworthy, none at all = untrustworthy. Somewhere between a 'no make up make-up (natural looking) & enhancing make-up is just right for business.
Some research suggests that wearing make up is akin to war paint. Going into battle (work) without your war paint (make up) on. Thankfully not all 'work' is a battle. I love my job but I couldn't do it NOT wearing make up. It's expected. How I'm perceived by my clients is very important. I need to meet their expectations visually."
"A scarf. I wear them with a variety of outfits. They can make a pencil skirt and top look quite stately or thrown over some casual or party outfits either make it more elegant or give it an exotic edge. The way you wear them can be varied too.
I'm half Arabic so i like the fact that i can use them to go in and out of Asian culture depending on my mood. If i want to highlight my olive skin etc and feel more exotic I can don a gold one and sling one part of it over my shoulder with some Indian style earrings...But on the whole it works with most cultural statements and outfits.
It just pulls an outfit together sometimes smile emoticon They can add a feminine touch or a bit of colour and are endlessly stylish. The scarf is also a kind of protective cloak too. I can be a little insecure about my posture some days (ever since being in a wheelchair a few years ago which made me a bit more round shouldered etc). So yeah - a scarf makes me feel good!"
"My power piece is a DVF dress that I LOVE - I feel a million dollars in but it's also the colour a striking red dress which feeds my energy - I wear only colours based on my Feng shui element which either energise me or support me. This dress is the colour that energises me, gives me power too.. I'd be happy to talk about Feng Shui and your power dress colour!"
Patricia, Patricia Lohan
"Definitely tailored clothing, like a good blazer. Also, anything I'm completely comfortable in, something I don't have to constantly rearrange or play with so all I'm focused on is what I'm doing."
Tina, Tea Is For Tina
"My striped maxi-skirt that I got on sale at Miss Selfridge. It makes me feel like I can get shit done whilst looking fabulous."
Anne-Marie, The Girl From Another Planet
"A lemon coloured top or mac even on a miserable day and especially if I'm personally feeling the same way. Puts a spring in my step, who can be sad or depressed in sunshine colours?! You come across as a breath of fresh air - I'm dark hair with olive skin so colour suits me."
Michelle, Forever Vitalize
"I love shoulder pads! I wear all my mum's old blouses from the 80s with the shoulder pads because I have broad shoulders anyway so it's kind of like my thing. Makes me feel like a boss!"
Rebecca, Pochahontas Jane
"For me, it has to be skinny jeans/trousers, matched up with a well fitting top and of course my statement converse! If I'm really pushing the boat out, a pair of cute healed boots! It makes me feel prepared for anything to happen and that's why it makes me feel like a girl boss."
Alana, Curly Haired Narna
"I have an amazing jacket that makes me feel like a million bucks and I get compliments on everywhere I go. It's a very unique and classy trench (by Custo). I also love a pair of classy boots - I literally had a business man say to me this week "those boots are killer. And that's something I've never said in my life." And, no, they didn't even have heels."
Colette, Colette Belisle Coaching
SO what's your power piece, or even your head-to-toe power outfit? Comment below telling me what makes YOU feel invincible and why!