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  • Writer's pictureLucy

Modern Power Dressing for Professionals

Updated: May 25, 2023

The term power dressing was a term born out of the 80's - the decade of big everything - big hair, big spending and of course, big shoulder pads. The classic strong suited silhouette became the defining look for any woman wanting to be taken seriously in the corporate world.

But power dressing doesn't have to be ultra padded shoulders and there are actually a number of ways to build and demonstrate authority, especially as a professional woman in the workplace, and without losing your femininity.


Colour, and in particular, colour contrast, has a huge impact on how powerful you are perceived to be. The stronger the contrast, the more authoritative the look. So when it comes to creating an air of professional sharpness that will naturally attract attention and confidence, use medium dark to dark colours accented with light to medium hues.

Creating this contrast above the waist (i.e. between a blazer and a blouse) will also create a stronger impact. Use enough contrast to be noticeable but be mindful of not appearing so loud it's distracting.

Utilising colours that people trust such as navy and greys will also help to create an impression of strength and mature professionalism. Just remember to wear the hues and shades that suit your own personal colouring.


The horizontal line across your shoulder is also known as the power line, so aim to square this off and keep it strong. The easiest way to achieve this is with a well-fitted blazer that has at least subtle shoulder pads.

Angular shapes and necklines are also seen as more business-like so choose V-necks and square necks over round necks, as well as tailored shirts and blazers.


Structured silhouettes, such as blazers and tailored skirts and trousers, as well as structured fabrics, will also look far more powerful than overly draped or flowing styles. If you want to wear these, pair them with a chic blazer or tailored shirt with a medium-strong contrast in colour.


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