Five Wardrobe “Power” Pieces

How to let your clothes speak for you

power piecesAre there items in your wardrobe that can convey authority, status, or position more readily than others? You bet! In fact, there are pieces you put on every day that say more about you than you know.

If you want to engineer your wardrobe to speak volumes about your position in this world WITHOUT spending volumes to do so, here are the key wardrobe power pieces you need to help you get where you want to go:

  1. A Classic JacketA simple single-breasted jacket in a neutral color and classic style can take you just about anywhere. Paired with a skirt, slacks, jeans, or even shorts, a jacket creates authority like no other garment can. It’s an integral part of the “power suit,” with good reason: if you conduct “serious” business in traditional fields, you need a suit — or a close facsimile of a suit, which a jacket provides very nicely.Even if you work in a casual environment where jeans and polos are the rule, keep a jacket handy for those unexpected meetings or times when you need to establish authority. It will help you look polished and professional in a snap.
  2. A Good BraHow is a good bra a “power” piece?Well, if you walk around in one that calls attention to your chest, you’re seriously undermining your authority. And I’m not just talking to the Pamela Anderson-types on the list. Far from it.If the bra you’re wearing right now rides up in the back, slips off your shoulders, runneths over in the front, back, or side, or puts your bustline at your collar bone or at your waistline, let me tell it to you straight: it’s time for a change.

    Between babies, weight changes, and – um – gravity, the average woman will wear seven different bra sizes in her lifetime. Since experts estimate that 80% of women wear the wrong size, you owe it to yourself to be properly fitted. Not only will the correct style and size make your clothes fit better, it will also give you a cleaner silhouette and can visually shave both pounds and years from your figure.

    To find a bra fitter in your area, call the lingerie department of your favorite higher end department store and see if they have a fitter on staff or if they have one that rotates through their store on a regular basis. Make an appointment to see her. The fitting is usually free, but you will probably be encouraged to buy the style that fits you best. Do so, in a color that most closely matches your skin tone.

    See how the bra works for you. If you like it, go back to the store and buy a few more in that style. Or, if they cost more than your budget can handle, check around online to see if you can beat the price either in that style or one that’s very similar.

  3. Immaculate Leather GoodsNothing ruins an outfit more than scuffed shoes, a mis-matched handbag, or a beat up briefcase. They imply that you’re not into details. Even if you’re not, there’s no need to walk around and announce it to the world, because it will cost you with those who are. So buy the best shoes, handbags, and cases that you can afford in neutral colors for everyday use, and keep them polished and in good repair.You can go cheap on the trends that you wear in your off hours, but for business, don’t scrimp. Buy classic styles in quality materials and wear them for years to come.
  4. Timeless JewelryWant to say that you’re doing well without saying a word? Wear large diamond studs or an expensive watch. Their power is undeniable. Jewelry has distinguished the “have” from the “have nots” through the ages, and, depending on your position, can instill confidence in your customers.If you’re in a position that’s perceived as having a high income, like an attorney, executive, or marketing manager, for example, classic pieces will reinforce that you’ve succeeded in the past and that you’re worth your fee. If you regularly interact with people who are disadvantaged or who have lower incomes, however, keep such pieces out of sight. They’ll only amplify the differences between you and make you un-relatable.
  5. Current EyewearWearing an old style of glasses is like wearing clothes or a hairstyle that are long past prime: it suggests that you’re inflexible and slow to change. If you don’t want to send this message, particularly with something that you wear every day, go get your eyes examined and get contacts or a new pair of specs that flatter your face.Yes, I know new eyewear is expensive. But since it’s the one accessory that you wear all the time, the investment is really worth it. Get a pair that works with your face shape and coloring and that goes with most of your wardrobe.HINT: If you’re really young or young-looking and want to appear older and wiser, the right pair of glasses can do this instantly. Don’t need corrective lenses? Then just get plain glass. It’s a trick that actors have used for ages.

So what’s today’s message in a nutshell?

When used correctly, items in your everyday wardrobe can easily establish your position, authority, or status. They can just as easily diminish them when forgotten or overlooked. Since you deserve to get the most out of life, why not use all the tools at your disposal? Equip your wardrobe accordingly, and reap the benefits it will bring.

About Diana Pemberton-Sikes

Diana Pemberton-Sikes is a wardrobe and image consultant and author of Wardrobe Magic, an ebook that shows women how to transform their unruly closets into workable, wearable wardrobes. Visit her online at Fashion For Real Women. Need some tips and tricks? Pick up a copy of Wardrobe Magic. Visit her site for more information.

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