Beyond Business Casual: A Fresh Way to Find Your Power Attire
It’s time to quit borrowing untailored suits or defaulting to little black dresses, and start defining your statement look. Why? Because having a signature look is just one more trick up your sleeve (catch the pun ;-) ) for giving people something to remember about you. Based on my own little ratio of brand ingredients, your image is, like, 30% - 50% of your brand. What other woman do you know who can rock a black and white suit quite like Janelle Monae? How wild did the Internet go when Drake popped up with a beard, a fresh haircut and a few extra pounds of straight muscle? Looks matter when it comes to brand recognition. But you don’t need to be a fashion guru to get it right, nor should you necessarily fall back on old tropes of what’s considered “professional” or “polished.” The professional world is evolving, too, and not all environments call for formal, stuffy parameters of style. Even if fashion isn’t your jam, here are a couple tips for discovering your power attire.
(photos: Gabi Fresh)
1) Cross your comfort zone look with power zone look.
Comfort zone for me equals black cotton yoga pants, an oversized sweatshirt with a clever phrase or graphic, and black thigh high or combat boots. My power zone wardrobe is red lipstick, bold patterns and a statement accessory. Between the two of these, I have some great direction for mixing and matching in a way that’s versatile but still consistent and authentic to me. I might rock a graphic sweatshirt and a patterned skirt or sport a red lip with a combat boot ensemble. Knowing your comfort zone look and your power zone look helps establish some easy-to-maintain rules for your signature style.
2) Shop for basics. Hunt for “pieces.”
Shopping isn’t fun for everybody. I get that. Last time I went shopping, the music in the store alone was borderline migraine-inducing. Beyond that, it can be overwhelming sifting through racks, trying stuff on, yada yada. So, I recommend the Basics & Pieces approach. There are some wardrobe fundamentals that you know you need: a couple great pairs of jeans, a decent jacket, shirts for work and shirts for weekends, etc. Make a list of these things. Set a budget for these things. Buy these things. Once your basics are out of the way, keep an eye out, online or wherever you shop, for some unique pieces that’ll just really set off your basics. I’m a sucker for a great necklace or an obnoxious pair of shades. The most stunning looks have more to do with how you put them together than each individual component. Don’t overthink it.
If you're just fresh out of inspiration when it comes to your style, try following a fashion blogger on Instagram. They're not out there for no reason! Some of my favs are Gabi Fresh, Claire Sulmers and SimplyCyn. Let me know who your favs are! Cheers!