Women face an uphill battle when it comes to their appearance in the workplace. They are pressured to look professional, authoritative and conservative without losing their femininity. It is quite difficult to put together a balanced look that portrays all the said qualities. However, with the following tips on power dressing, that should be a walk in the park.

Apparel choice

In a world where no attention is paid to the saying ‘Do not judge a book by its cover’, what you choose to wear will determine people’s perception of you because your outfit is one of the things they see first. You need to pick ensembles that tell people “Take me seriously.” Suits are usually the go to; they often comprise of blazers and trousers and/or skirts. Therefore, when suit shopping, focus on classic clean cuts and lightweight fabrics. Avoid crumply linen and chunky tweed.

Do not shy away from bright and bold colours or mixing prints. Bold colours like red are actually considered colours that portray power. However, do not put yourself in many different colours at once to
avoid looking like a clown. Choose a maximum of two block colours that complement each other, and pair them in the most flattering way possible. Prints give you a chance to express your personality and you can have fun choosing prints for your ultimate power look.


There is a very thin line between just enough makeup and overdone makeup. Your lipstick colour or amount of foundation makes all the difference. Do not let your makeup distract colleagues and superiors from your professionalism and capabilities. Ensure that you are using the right foundation shade for your skin tone. Lean towards neutral colours like shades of brown for your eyeshadow; could tips for the modern woman be shimmery but do not use too much. Your highlighter can be popping, but there is a line; do not cross it.


This includes your facial hair and your body hair. How you handle your hair largely plays into your overall grooming. The state of your eyebrows affects the state of your face. You might be afraid to shave, tweeze and thread and that is alright because it is not absolutely necessary. Straightening them out with an eyebrow brush will do just fine. Shaving your legs and arms may seem like too much, but it really adds on to your femininity – which we are not trying to lose by power dressing. You will look good and feel better while wearing skirts or short sleeved blouses.


Your outfit should guide how you accessorise. It will determine how minimal your accessories should be
and the colours you choose to go with. You do not want your accessories to be a distraction to you, your colleagues or your clients. Avoid pieces that are too bright, too big or that completely overwhelm your overall look. Wear simple necklaces, without too much detail. A good watch for your hand is all you might need when you are not wearing a bracelet.


The last piece of the puzzle. Shoes complete the whole look. Luckily, like accessories, the choice of which pair of shoe works best is guided by the outfit. Choosing a comfortable pair is paramount; low heels, ballet flats and other flat but fashionable shoes are your best options.