Power dressing — conveying authority and competence through clothing and accessories — has come a long way since the masculine-influenced, padded-shoulder blazers of decades past. For today’s women in the workplace, the trend is about dressing to build and demonstrate confidence.

Rather than dressing in masculine codes like classic suits, today’s women in the workplace are emphasizing their femininity as power, resulting in a softer version of power dressing. Often, this means forgoing suits altogether and wearing form-fitting, no-nonsense dresses.

Power dressing also doubles as a day-to-night wardrobe that can carry you from the conference room through your after-work plans, all while looking elegant and confident.

Consider the following tips when creating your power dress wardrobe.

Power Dressing Basics

Power dresses are streamlined, fitted and offer full coverage in order to project self-assuredness. Look for elegant silhouettes in neutral colors (such as this Kiya Tomlin Signature Dress, also available in a long-sleeved version). The dress should be elegant and make you feel confident, as well as comfortable.

Make Your Own Dress Code

Even if your workplace doesn’t have a strict dress code, you don’t have to fall back on casual clothing every day. To display your professionalism, take care to dress appropriately and professionally — especially if you’ll have facetime with the boss or have an important meeting to attend.

Dress for the Occasion

When planning your work wardrobe, keep in mind your industry, company and work environment. Banking and law firms, for example, call for a more traditional dress code, while creative industries lend themselves to more outside-the-box looks. Take cues from your supervisors and colleagues if you aren’t sure where along the creative fashion spectrum your workplace falls.

Opt for Full Coverage

While weekend wardrobes offer more flexibility when it comes to showing a little skin, power dressing for the office means keeping things a bit more covered. Avoid mini skirts, low necklines and risque cut outs in order to project a more professional look. (Kiya Tomlin’s Power Romper offers full coverage in a powerful silhouette.)

Find Your Fit

Even the most elegant suit will not look good on you if it does not fit well. As women, it is important to understand our bodies and know which garments will offer a flattering fit. Think about the parts of your body you want to hug or conceal, and the ones you want to free or elongate. While sizing differs among retailers, Kiya Tomlin stays true to size and offers free tailoring services on full-priced items. 

Style for Your Silhouette

Understand your body type for an easier shopping experience. Silhouettes can be described by letter: A, H, T, V or Y. Having the ability to balance your proportions with clothing is a valuable tool when trying to find something that makes you feel confident — and project that confidence in the workplace. By finding your focal point, you’ll be able to select garments to fit your shape. 

While success in the workplace is about more than just a great dress, feeling and looking confident can go a long way toward furthering your career goals.

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