The Psychology of Dress: How to Join the Power Dress Movement

We teamed up with culture consultant Jena Booher of Babies on the Brain (Look familiar? You might remember her from our Women Who Make a Difference series) to show you how to join the power dress movement in 3 easy steps.

 

There is a great deal of evidence supporting the idea that clothing influences behavior. According to research (dating back to the 70s), clothing may influence the degree to which one receives help, one’s social power, perceptions of one’s personality, and many other interpersonal behaviors. Power dressing is not new, though the term has recently become in-vogue with everyone from female politicians, to Hollywood personalities, to influencers — all expressing their versions of what power dressing is. Some examples include bold colors, strong lines, and oversized menswear shapes. However, I argue that power dressing is not just limited to the rich and famous. All ladies can (and should) come up with their own version of power dressing. Keep reading to see my top tips.

 

1. PICK YOUR POWER OUTFIT

 

Go into your closet and find a dress, top, or jumpsuit that makes you feel like your best self! I find power dressing for women is most relevant when there’s a need to make a good impression — whether it’s at work, for an interview, or a speaking engagement. The litmus test is when you put on your power outfit, you should feel confident and in charge. For me, my Jena Midi is definitely my power dress! Yes, part of it has to do with the fact the dress has my name, but the statement sleeves give it the perfect edge I pair it with some killer heels and I know that when I walk in the room, I command attention. A power outfit has to be complete, so make sure your shoes and accessories give you that extra self-esteem bump. Finish it out with a blowout and you are ready to rock!

 
 Jena is wearing our  Jena Midi  ($138)

Jena is wearing our Jena Midi ($138)


2. BE AUTHENTIC

 

Your power outfit is an extension of you. It should strengthen your image and be an expression of your true self...so don’t force it! My power dressing is a mix of edge and classic. One perfect example of a power dress I love is my Bonnie Midi — a classic LBD with a v-neckline. It makes me walk into the office feeling poised and ready to take on the day. Also, power outfits should still be comfortable. Try not to wedge your feet into stilettos that require an hour foot massage by the end of the day. Be you!

 

Jena is wearing out Bonnie Midi ($128)


3. GROUND IN YOUR POWER

 

Power dressing is not just for show — you actually have to believe it! Feeling you are dressed for success is connected to confidence, self-esteem, risk tolerance, mood, and action orientation. None of that matters if you don’t ground yourself in your power.  One easy brain trick I teach to my female clients is to remind yourself of the special skills and qualities you possess. What is going to help you take on the day? This could be having excellent communication skills, technical skills, or anything else that’s uniquely you. Power dressing helps to remind us of our competency...and that is a powerful thing!

 

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