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  • Writer's pictureImage Innovators SA

Power dressing 101: How to dress for success

Dressed for success: The Image Innovators South Africa team, Kyla and Ronel

Whether you’re looking to snag a promotion at work, impress the hiring manager at an upcoming interview or promote confidence and credibility at a big meeting, your appearance has the potential to make or break your efforts. Cue power dressing: a great tool for commanding respect in both the virtual and real-world workplace.

Personal and corporate image experts, Image Innovators SA, share the ins and outs of power dressing to equip you with the confidence you need as you step boldly into 2022.

Start with the basics

A great workwear wardrobe is built around a few foundation pieces. The key here is to invest in the best quality you can afford – you’re going to wear these items for years to come, so it’s worth spending a little extra on them. Here are six essentials you need:

1. A structured blazer

This staple can be chosen in sleek black or a bold colour. It’s great to have both options available; black for every day and colour for when a confidence boost is needed.

2. Perfectly tailored trousers

Whether you prefer high-waisted, slim fit or skinny, ensure that your pants are well-fitted to your unique figure. If you can’t find your perfect fit off the shelf, visit your local tailor for a few alterations. Trousers should be in tip-top condition; faded or ripped pants are a no-go when it comes to power dressing.

3. A sleek pencil skirt

This workwear basic is a great way to show off your figure and femininity while still being office-appropriate. Don’t be afraid to experiment with texture and show off your personality – leather and tweed are great examples of timeless fabrics that work well here! Your pencil skirt should hit at the slimmest part of your leg, either right above or right below your knee.

4. A classic LBD

A little black dress is the most valuable weapon in your power dressing arsenal. Choose a statement piece, whether textured, structured or uniquely cut, and wear it on its own or with a blazer.

5. An understated bag

Clean lines and distinct shapes shout organisation and professionalism. Choose a structured bag in a neutral colour to finish off your workwear looks.

6. Comfortable heels

A great pair of heels show strength and style and can help you walk taller and feel more confident. Be sure to invest in a pair that you can wear with ease – there’s no reason to walk around an office with sore feet all day!

Be colour conscious

Colour plays an important role in power dressing. To achieve a sleek, polished look, opt for neutral colours like black, grey, white, navy and tan. When putting outfits together, experiment with stark colour contrasts to command attention or try a more subdued, monochrome look for sophistication and credibility.

Keep it simple but structured

Simplicity and minimalism are key to being taken seriously in a corporate environment. Keep your styling simple and layering to a minimal. Opt for clean and streamlined silhouettes and incorporate shapes and structure for a sleeker look.

Accessorise with care

Less is more when it comes to accessorising in the workplace. Invest in a few statement pieces that will work with your wardrobe basics, like a great pair of earrings and a neckpiece. Only wear one piece at a time though, as too much jewellery can be distracting. It’s important to choose items that look chic, so avoid plastic and wooden accessories where possible. Be sure to match your metals for the most put-together look.

Pay attention to detail

A fantastic outfit is pointless if your grooming doesn’t match your look! Unkempt hair and the wrong amount of makeup can have a drastic effect on how you are perceived. Simple, sleek hairstyles and natural makeup with a twist – like a statement lip colour – will serve you well when power dressing.

Let's get dressed for success together! Get in touch to find out more about our virtual style, colour and wardrobe consultations - the perfect way to build your confidence as you step boldly into 2022.


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