Power Dressing – Born in the second half of the 1970s and developed in the 1980s, power dressing is a fashion style that enables women to establish their authority in a professional and political environment traditionally dominated by men.
But I don’t think we need to ‘Power Dress’. Things have evolved since the 80’s (myself included, late 80’s may I add) and I’m glad it has as I really don’t suit a shoulder pad.
I remember getting to the stage in my management career where I could swap my uniform for my own work wear.
Looking at others around me, I headed to Next and bought 3 variations of the same suit. A ‘safe’ choice that was made to replicate a man’s suit. Material everywhere and cut in all the wrong places. Actually, at that point I was probably trying to replicate men and I’m just not talking about in my fashion sense. I was 22 with a lot to learn and fought my natural style. I was ‘soft’ and needed to be ‘the boss’ and needed to change my personality but I quickly learnt what felt uncomfortable with both my leadership style and my workwear style.
I quickly realised the poorly tailored grey pinstripe suits made my already tall, slim frame just look boyish. I realised that I didn’t need to do that fast paced walk/ march, thank goodness, as it’s a lot harder to do in 5 inch heels (which I actually love to wear as I don’t get to at home). It lets me be ‘Anna’ in work. I started to let my own personality come through, have confidence in my own approach, proud to be a female in business and stop trying to replicate the style of the men around me (they were fab, inspirational in their own way but it just wasn’t me). I do have other females to thank for this, ones I looked to and took inspiration from, to allow me to be me and I don’t mean on how I dress. Once I got comfortable in myself I had the confidence to also wear what was my style. Don’t underestimate the impact you have on others and always try to make that impact an encouraging, positive one. I hope I do the same for the ladies and men I support going through their careers. Be yourself. I didn’t have to create a ‘Power’ image from a suit, act or dress like others to be heard. The way I treat others is enough to gain respect and loyalty. Also, if you feel good in what you wear, it rubs off on your mood. Fact.
When I was going for a really big interview with work, once I prepared the business stuff, I went and bought myself new patent heels and a well cut, comfortable dress that give me the tiny nudge I needed to walk in with confidence.
I used to spend as little as possible on work wear. Actually, when I came back to work after having Annie I didn’t buy a single item for 6 months. I would save any good clothes for my days off but in the last few months I have taken an entirely different view- I wear work clothes more than I do my normal clothes. When I am wearing a well cut dress, a pop of colour that brightens my mood or a super comfy pair of trousers then I feel good, I feel more confident. So I have decided that the ‘everyday’ is good enough to wear that ‘good top’ as I dress for myself and not others.
They don’t say ‘give a girl the right shoes and she will conqour the world’ for no reason. I bet she was wearing Valentinos…. one day Anna, one day.
Coat – Here
Jeans – Here
Shoes – Here
Dress – Here
Shoes – Similar here
Blouse – Here
Shoes – Here (quick on sale and only a few left) and similar here
Trousers – Here
Ipad Holder – Here
Blazer – Here
Trousers – Similar Here
Shoes – Here
Dress – Here
Belt – Here (reversible)
Shoes – Passed season (next sale)
Dress – Here
Glasses from Opticare in Crumlin, you can find them here
Top – Here
Belt – Here
Skirt- Bought in Tesco Sale, struggling to find similar colour but this would be fab for autumn/ winter (on my wish list) here
Shirt – Here
Belt- As before
Bag – Here
Top – Passed season Next
Blazer- As before
Trousers- Similar Here
I hope that even if I haven’t been able to link every item, you can take a little inspiration from it as ‘work wear’ is what I get asked about most often. I have only recently begun to really shop the items I love for work, have fewer items in my work wardrobe but they are better quality. I have more fun with my workwear as I think every working day needs a little quirky fun in it.
These pictures were all taken by the fabulous and extremely talented Jayne Lindsay, I was so nervous about going to take these and nearly backed out last minute but 10 outfits were shot in under 3 hours in the streets of Belfast (thanks to the Team at Bill Harris Hairdressing for being so amazing and opening your doors to us to get changed) Jayne and I had the best laugh, what a photographer! Thank you Lovely!!
*Some of these items contain affiliated links which means that if you click on these and shop the item due to being inspired by this post the company will pay me a tiny percentage (you pay no more) and if you don’t want that to happen you can re-search the item on your web browser.