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I’m sure you’ve all heard the saying “Dress for the job you want, not the one you have.” And while clothing isn’t everything (it won’t make up for a lack of knowledge or ability), the right outfit can complement your skills. I know I can do a good job, but the right outfit makes me feel like I can do a great job!
The art of power dressing is one where your style suggests authority and power. It’s most prevalent in corporate environments and anywhere where power needs to be projected (such as politics and the media etc). In the simplest of terms, it typically involves a structured piece or two.
In an ever more casual world, there is something to be said about dressing up, even when it’s not necessary. And there is something really gratifying about walking into a room of casually dressed people in a powerful outfit. It’s fresh, unexpected and in an increasing world of activewear and denim – it’s a bit disruptive! I’m totally convinced that dressing up is the new dressing down.
In this post, I share with you three outfit combinations that I rely on to inject a bit of confidence to my work day.
#1 – A Pant Suit
While I love the magic of a blazer, it has taken me some time to come around to the idea of a pant suit. I know they’ve been around for ages, but at the time I graduated from university in 2009, women’s suiting was a bit lacklustre. The brands that offered suits were selling those boxy and uncomfortable wool pant suits that you sort of felt obligated to buy as a graduate not knowing any better.
Thankfully, the landscape of pant suiting has improved in recent years. Not only are they now stylish, but whenever I wear one, I feel a huge boost of confidence. My current favourites in my wardrobe are by contemporary designers The Fold London and Sarah Lloyd. Each of the ensembles featured below are in practical wrinkle-resistant fabrics which save a lot of time and effort in the long run and pack very well for work travel (when it’s safe to do so again).
(You can save 20% off full price pieces from Sarah Lloyd with my exclusive discount code WVW20 and 15% off full price pieces from The Fold London with my exclusive discount VIRGINIA15)
L: The Fold London top* (sz 8), The Fold London trousers* (sz 8), Gianvito Rossi pumps, Celine bag (review here), Ray Ban sunglasses; R: Sarah Lloyd jacket* (sz 8), Sarah Lloyd trousers* (sz 10), Arket tee (sz S, Dior slingbacks, Celine bag (review here), Ray Ban sunglasses
#2 – A Power Dress
We all need one (or five) power dresses in our arsenal – they’re workwear MVPs and when worn, make us feel ready for anything. I love a belted waist for a flattering silhouette and opt for form-fitting (but not tight) cuts, as I love the sophistication of a tailored look.
The perfect power dress should be professional, comfortable and flatter your body. My go-to favourites are below, which should come as no surprise to those of you who have been reading my blog for a while. They get a fair bit of wear!
L: Karen Millen dress (sz 8), Dior slingbacks, Celine bag (review here), Ray Ban sunglasses; R: Reiss dress (sz S), Everlane flats*, Gucci belt (review here), Celine bag (review here), Ray Ban sunglasses
#3 – Business Power Casual
Contrary to popular belief, power dressing doesn’t necessarily mean formal corporate dress. It’s about using smart tailoring to boost your presence and make you feel self-assured. On casual dress days, a blazer is the perfect piece to embrace power dressing without going overboard. Add a tee, jeans and flats for a smart-casual vibe or heels for a dressier occasion. It’s those small tweaks that can be really transformational.
L: Sarah Lloyd jacket* (sz 8), Sarah Lloyd pants* (sz 10) [use WVW20 for 20% off full price items from Sarah Lloyd], Everlane loafers* (review here), Celine bag (review here), Ray Ban sunglasses; R: Everlane jacket* – sz 0 (review here), Nobody Denim jeans, Acne Studios scarf, Nicholas Kirkwood flats, Celine bag (review here), Ray Ban sunglasses
As always, thanks for stopping by!