With women increasingly gaining greater presence and dominance in the workforce, often
surpassing men for the managerial positions of responsibility, the notion of ‘power dressing’ has
gained greater significance.
Whether it’s a tight-fitting trouser suit, a pinstripe pencil skirt or the hair worn in a bun, dressing in a
certain style can help make women seem more authoritative and competent, particularly in business
environments. In fact, if a female boss walks into a boardroom dressed in a knee-length skirt, tight-
fitting shirt and matching jacket with stiletto shoes and her hair tied back in a low ponytail, just one
glance at her can leave the rest of the boardroom quaking at the knees.
Take a look at the various clothes and accessories that are typically associated with power dressing
to create your own smart and sassy look:
The trouser suit
In the 1990s the trouser suit was not so much an outfit, it was a weapon. Sexy, figure-hugging
trousers, usually in a dark colour with a matching jacket gave off an air of authority and success.
Double-breasted jackets with conspicuous shoulder pads helped to give women confidence and
the drive to succeed. Whilst the authoritative trouser suits of the nineties may have become a little
less common-place today, top designer labels are still creating sensational pieces that will make any
professional woman feel like a million dollars.
The white shirt
Womens shirts come in a huge variety of colours, styles and sizes but the classic plain white,
immaculately ironed and well fitted, which is another icon of power dressing. If women want to get
the sartorial edge in the boardroom, a simple white shirt with a smart matching jacket or charcoal
grey trouser suit is guaranteed to put you ahead of the game.
The pencil skirt
Famously referenced in a Jarvis Cocker song, the pencil skirt can be a potent weapon in making men
crumble and go weak at the knees. This knee-length and tightly-fitted style of skirt may be basic, chic
and sophisticated but at the same time it cries out corporate professionalism at its best.
When one thinks of famous female power dressers, the ‘Iron Lady’ herself is often the first person to
come to mind. During her golden years, Margaret Thatcher would often have a broach attached to
her sophisticated suits, adding a feminine glint to a professional look.