Pretty – Attractive to look at
Power – The ability to control
Play – A person that has a lot of influence over other people
When it comes to image, dressing with purpose, could be defined in many ways. I often compare it to the ‘wardrobe’ of an actor in a play being dressed as the role of the laboring farmer, the affluent aristocrat, the nerdy professor, or the endearing Mrs. Doubtfire.
We don our daily costumes based on our commitments and tasks, which could include a trip to the bank, office meetings, lunching with the ladies or even a summer evening at the baseball park. The list of reasons to get dressed are endless – which might explain why our closets are chocked full of ‘costumes’.
The ‘purpose’ in your dressing could be to accentuate your assets or disguise your liabilities. It could be dressing for the job that you want, as opposed to the job that you have. It could even be to attract a mate!
For today’s purposeful dressing – we are talking a power play!
No, not the Bruins or the Redwings…the women of influence!
When it is time to step into the zone, make a powerful presence, enter the room loud and proud, your best weapon in your toolkit is your wardrobe.
And here’s the good news – the power suit has come a long way baby! Even Hillary C. is finally catching up and dumping the pastel pantsuits!
We have come a long way since Dolly Parton’s “9 To 5” song. It is now okay to not look like the guys and it is encouraged to take it a step further and look freaking fabulous.
The definition of a ‘suit’ has changed in that is does not necessarily mean ‘matching’ fabrics anymore. There is of course, the menswear option for the more conservative careers such as banking, but style is being infused in the cut, the detail, the tailoring and the trim. These women are looking to play the role, but they are playing it up by looking powerful, tailored, sophisticated and stylish.
Then there is the suit that is not a suit by the traditional definition. It is separates, coordinated to create a cohesive outfit, balancing color, texture and proportion.
However we define the suit here, it is important to take away the notion that each piece of the ‘suit’ should have character. The jacket, the skirt and/or the pant should have stand-alone details such as interesting patterns, fabrications, stitching, trimmings, zippers, buttons, pockets or vents.
The possibilities are endless.
Let’s talk jackets…no more do you have to settle for what might be the first-option-you-find, a boring black or navy single breasted, flap pocket, no vent in the back jacket. Yawn…keep shopping girlfriend.
Here is a bit of inspiration from a recent corporate client, “Here’s my bottom line – I have arrived, I do not have to be one of the guys. I have the job, I have the power, I have the option and I choose to be different, express my personality, dress to the nines, and love every minute of it!”
You go girl!
For each category – jacket, skirt and pant – shop online first! Look for the array of options so you aren’t victimized by buying the first jacket that ‘fits’! So often women use fit as the only prerequisite, allowing all other style options to go down the tube: “It fits, therefore I must buy it and escape from the Mall as quickly as possible.”
Wrong plan savvy shopper…it needs to fit, flatter and function. Pretty sure you understand fit and flatter, but you might be wondering what function has to do with it. Here you go – if you have just purchased the most boring black jacket known to ‘man’ (key use of the word man), are you ever going to be inclined to pop that jacket on with a pair of traffic stopping jeans, a white crisp shirt, a shiny neck bauble and a pair of heels? I think not. Case closed – it isn’t going to function fully.
The same applies for skirts and pants. Don’t just buy them because they are the basics and they finish the outfit. Make those fabulous too! Choose skirts that are a-line, slim, trumpet, solid, tweed, colorful, embellished with kick pleats and even a zipper down the back! Kick it up a notch.
Same for pants! Pay attention to the fit and the details. Check out this great article on buying the best fitting pants possible!
Here are a few examples by category to get your creative juices flowing towards your power play. Pay attention to the cut, the fit, the fabric, the trim and the over-all style. These are not your boring ‘okay-it-fits’ items!
Take a look at these great looks! Jackets by BCBG, skirts by Banana Republic, pants by Piperlime:
Sound like too much work for you? Let me navigate this for you, once and done. I will determine what size you should be wearing and shopping for. Want it done the right way so you can actually enjoy shopping again while wasting less time and money?
Book a complimentary Boost Your Image Breakthrough Session with me. We’ll chat about building and budgeting your wardrobe. Then we’ll move on to your closet, your image and whatever else comes up! I look forward to ‘meeting’ you on the phone!
Doreen Dove empowers women to use style as a tool to take strategic control of their image. She is an image consultant, personal stylist and professional speaker. Her extensive background in all aspects of retail has uniquely qualified her to work with women of all ages and professions, coaching them to personal style success.