Power dressing tips: How to dress for authority and confidence at work

Mar 06, 2023 02:13 PM IST

From choosing the right colours to body language, check out five power dressing tips to help you make the right impression at work.

Power dressing is an essential part of building a professional image in the workplace. It not only helps you look confident but also enhances your credibility and authority. Did you know that your clothes communicate before you do? A recent study found that perceptions about your personality, confidence and credibility are formed within a few milliseconds through your dressing, grooming, body language and etiquette. If you look less presentable, the messages you send out could be under-confident, less powerful, lazy, clumsy or even in-efficient. On the contrary, mindful dressing, grooming and overall presence can help you create power, authority, credibility and command. (Also read: How to style oversized clothes: Tips for a chic and effortless look )

If you look less presentable, the messages you send out could be under-confident, less powerful, lazy, clumsy or even in-efficient. (pexels )
If you look less presentable, the messages you send out could be under-confident, less powerful, lazy, clumsy or even in-efficient. (pexels )

Samira Gupta, Image Consultant, shared with HT Lifestyle, 5 tips that will help you demonstrate the power and create an impeccable presence that leaves its impact.

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1. Tailored-fit: While it may be easy and less time-consuming to purchase clothes off the rack, they are not made to your size or body shape. Instead, getting your clothes tailored will ensure that they are made to your size, giving you an edge. Tailored fit will also help you to buy good quality fabric and lining to prepare your outfit.

2. Colours: Colours have the power to convey messages. Different colours have different significance.

  • Navy blue is the colour of trust and integrity (which is why most bankers wear blue).
  • Black is the colour of authority, power and grace.
  • Charcoal grey is the colour of strength, character and efficiency. Shirts for men and tops for ladies in a professional setting must be pastel shades such as soft pink, powder blue, lemon yellow and the like (because the lighter the colour, the more formal it is!).

3. Accessorize: It is a formal wear rule to wear darker-coloured suits such as black, navy blue and charcoal grey and light-coloured shirts. To add an attractive element to your entire outfit, amp it up with a printed vibrant tie or a pocket square. For women, you can add a coloured scarf or structured bag. Another important tip is to match your belt and shoes in colour and texture (ie. A brown leather belt should be paired with the same brown leather laced shoes)

4. Body Language: You could wear a power suit yet not convey power! Because not only your clothes but also your body language demonstrates it.

  • Learn to take your space - Stand straight, with equal weight distributed on your feet, chin parallel to the ground and hands by your side.
  • Eye contact – Maintain gentle eye contact with everyone you interact with, this will help you build a connection and influence.
  • Smile – Use your smile to provide comfort and create a safe space for those around you. Power is an outcome of a kind heart.

5. Etiquette: Good manners and etiquette never go out of fashion. While you build on your wardrobe, also remember to practice:

  • The 3 magical words – sorry, thank you and please
  • Appreciate and Acknowledge others
  • Communicate politely and assertively

The goal of power dressing is to create power and influence. It encompasses all the elements of appropriate dressing, professional grooming, powerful body language and etiquette and manners.

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