Here at PCA, we are all about embracing personal style. Whether it’s #outfitselfies (we will bring those back soon!) or the perfect pants, finding what works for you, your body type, and your look is empowering. I had the pleasure of writing a piece on power styling for SharpHeels and wanted to share it with #TeamPCA. Hope these tips help you take on the day and take over the world!
3 Ways to Embrace Your Inner Workplace Dynamo and Exude Flair in the Process
Power dressing is a reflection of personal style, professional ambition, authority, and experience. It’s not just about shoulder pads, sneakers with dresses, and business suits and power pumps.
Rather, much like power posing, power dressing highlights the best you and helps highlight that #LadyBoss persona from the outside. Putting your stylish stamp on how you radiate confidence can change the way how you think about yourself, how others think about you, and ultimately may even impact chances to be successful.
How to Unlock Personal Style – while Dealing with a Busy Schedule
Power dressing contains two elements: personal style and inspiration. In fact, understanding your personal style has a practical side: it makes it easier to get dressed in the morning. On days that you don’t take the time to pick out clothes the night before, the struggle to get out the door in a pulled-together fashion becomes tough. Between not enough time, too many options staring out at you from your wardrobe, and not really understanding who you want to be for the day, it becomes hard to feel like you started the day on the right foot. It’s like not eating breakfast or slouching!
This results in outfits that don’t reflect joy, confidence, and frankly don’t reflect the authority everybody needs to portray in the office. Taking the extra five minutes at night to “prepare your power dressing” can equal the same effects of five minutes of the famed power-posing before an interview.
The process of power dressing can become easier after adopting and tweaking your own personal style, and by following these three tips:
The most important thing about the inspiration is that it feels authentic to you. While it’s fun to try different styles on, part of power styling is highlighting the power within. So if you are floral and structure, don’t go for neutrals and flowy. To thine own “work self” be true. Don’t let something that doesn’t make you feel comfortable, overshadow what you’re bringing to the table.
On the other hand, if you have hit a wall and aren’t sure of your style niche, hit up Pinterest, style blogs, fashion magazines and find your style spirit animal. It can be a particular designer, a style icon, or even a color palette.
Be Who You Are Now
Whether you are transitioning to the boardroom or rocking out as an entrepreneur, dress for who you are for the position (and the dress size) you are in, at this moment. If your closet is full of suits and heels that are no longer applicable or pants that are too big or too small, getting dressed becomes a constant reminder of who you were, and takes away from embracing your moment.
Another example: if your new office is more business casual, you don’t want to come to work in a full suit. It will make you seem out of touch with company culture. Take this as a chance to simplify your closet and really hone in on your personal style. See what pieces work for your new work environment, and give things that are outdated, outsized, or just no longer your style. If you donate to Dress for Success, you’ll have the comfort of knowing that what helped you move up the ladder can now help the next person.
The bottom line: when you walk into work, your outfit should reflect your present-day confidence. When you feel good, you can focus on the task at hand — killing it at work. And people will notice.
Find Your Uniform
Now that you have a closet full of things that work for you and personal style in check, use this time to find your work uniform. This can be defined as something that is absolutely, definitively you — your go-to look. Examples: wearing a certain signature dress, having a closet of mix-and-match neutrals, or sporting a flawless bob haircut with sunglasses (hello, Anna Wintour).
Whatever it is, the goal is for your work uniform to ease the decision-making process of getting ready in the morning, thus saving all of your brain power for the important stuff. Your biggest question for the day shouldn’t be “what to wear?” but “how to change the world today?”
The other task of a great work uniform is to put on your work persona for the day. The same way Wonder Woman needs her “bracelets of submission” and “lasso of truth,” your work uniform should portray your own superpowers. Whether it’s the moto-style boots made for kicking a project into gear, or colorful, chic sheath dresses that bring a creative force of nature into every meeting, a great work uniform pulls that into focus. Every superhero has a uniform — so should you.
Now with these tips in hand, do a quick power pose, and confidently take on the day!