Some decades ago, people knew how to dress appropriately. It’s quite different from the age today where, on the positive side, fashion creativity flourished, but people have all just been after what’s flashy and trendy, and have somehow lost respect for what is proper or modest.Having been in the event industry for 10 years now, I have very well seen the evolution of people and style over that period of time. Some go to a semi-formal party in tees, walk around the office in flip-flops or bedroom slip-ons (with the hotel logo where they got them from), or worse, to a formal wedding banquet in sneakers and jeans. It’s just so frustrating how people never follow the dress-code. *eye-roll*
Well, in this series, let me run you some ideas on how to be up-to-date with classic fashion choices with regards to proper and power dressing, manners, and etiquette; making you worthy of the title–Lady and Gentleman.
Let’s start with the idea of power dressing.
What is POWER?
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it is ‘the ability to act or produce an effect.’ Others have it as ‘the capacity to exert an influence’ or ‘the aura to convey to make a mark or identity in the crowd.’
Now, what is DRESSING?
Dressing is a style of presenting or expressing your personality through clothes.
So technically, POWER DRESSING refers to the style of clothes (or the complete physical styling in general) intended to make people seem to invoke authority or power.
What message are you trying to convey? What do you want to achieve?
Do you want to impress a superior (e.g. Boss, future father-in-law, etc.)? Do you want to intimidate a colleague (getting you ahead of the rest)? Or do you want to extend goodwill towards clients and earn their trust?
These are a few questions to ask yourself in preparing your OOTD’s. A piece of advice for you, DRESS FOR THE JOB. While “job” there can’t get any more literal, it can also mean your goal, or objective.
But to your relief, it’s 2017. Power dressing doesn’t any more mean “corporate.” Power dressing now is dressing appropriately for any occasion, enabling you to make a strong visual statement while having control over what impressions you want projected.
Conservative Event = Conservative Dressing
Formal Occasion = Formal Dressing
Corporate Career = Corporate Dressing
Color-coding = Color-coded dressing
Venue/theme-specific = Venue/theme-specific Dressing
E.g. – one of the most common blunders:
If it’s raining, cover yourself up. If it’s too humid, then don’t wear layers of clothing; wear light fabrics.
Most basic factors to consider:
Colors and/or prints play a very vital role in dressing. Colors, they say, have a psychological and emotional impact on yourself and the people around you. They are very definitive. They speak of power, passion, or friendliness, and can even determine your level of formality or seriousness.
Also, colors have the very ability to make us physically look good, enhance our skin tone, or even make us appear taller and/or slimmer.
BLACK to invoke superiority, WHITE for purity, SKY BLUE to project calmness, etc.
The fit of anything you’re wearing is of utmost importance. Whether it be your suit, shirt, pants/skirt, or even accessories, get the fit right, and half your battle is won. It emphasizes your assets, making them work with no effort instead of you trying hard to make them work.
Never compromise on the fit. The fit is everything!
One very important part of the whole spectacle are the shoes. Many people judge you by the shoes you’re wearing. Do not, for one second, start to even think about rugged and junky sneakers. Smart shoes (with heels, dahling) are the way to go. The type you wear is quite essential in getting your stance together; from mere posture to a whole different level of attitude. So go get yourself one. A good one.
There are so many choices of accessories you can wear, ties, rings, watches, belts, gadgets, etc. But there are quite a few that need not go into your look. The general rule is: Less is more. But really, having the right accessories with your outfit, properly placed or handled, just might prove more emphatic.
Never forget that your face is always the very first thing people look at. Always keep your grooming in check.
Make sure your skin is well-taken care of, hair fixed, facial hair shaved (or trimmed), nose and ears cleared, breath freshened up, and nails nicely cut and polished.
Good grooming and personal hygiene go together. Don’t neglect taking time to do all these. Give, whoever you meet, the pleasure of an experience just by looking at you. With that, you will have already dictated their mood. Can you imagine such power!
One common thing that concerns a lot of people is the budget. Accept it, others will always have bigger, more expensive brands of clothing. But just to remind you of the cliche, fashion need not be expensive. It’s not all about the clothes. It has much to do with the mindset of a person. When your mindset is right, it will reflect in your confidence, and in the way you carry yourself. If you go by these guidelines, there’s no way for you to go wrong. You will be always be properly and appropriately dressed, Ladies & Gentlemen.