The Boss Woman
By Yemisi Suleiman
Image, they say, is everything and as a female boss, not only does your appearance help you in your working relationships, it also determines how the general public views you. Taking care of yourself and investing in your appearance sends a positive message about who you are and how you want to be treated. As women, we are, unfortunately, not only recognised for our work, we are also viewed judged by our looks. This explains why some of the most powerful and inspiring women of our time use fashion as an extension of their personal brand.
These days, power dressing is one of the many tools the female boss uses to create an image that helps to advance her career and cause. The position comes with a penchant for structured tailoring, architectural folds, impeccable grooming and investment pieces. However, amassing these solid set of work clothes could be tricky if you are in a conservative industry but as you rise in the ranks, looking professional, neat and well put together becomes an important part of the game. If you want to show that you have what it takes to be ‘the boss,’ these are the clothes you need in your wardrobe. We also show you the ones you need to avoid.
Perfectly tailored sheath/A-line dress
This is how to dress like the boss you are. A perfectly tailored sheath dress is a classic silhouette that is perfect for the office. If black is too harsh for you, feel free to explore with other colours such as blue, which is softer for most women, burgundy or dark green. If you feel constricted with the sheath dress, an A-line silhouette lets you move with ease.
Whether it’s trouser of skirt suit, wearing a power-suit shows that you mean business. When you step into a meeting, not only would you feel more authoritative and confident to face the business of the day, you would also be quite fashionable. Go for super simple suits with fitted cuts and soft colours to wear all year round.
The effortlessly chic pencil dress is the boss’s wardrobe essential. From black, blue, brown to any other solid colour, wear with solid blouses, shirts and heels for a polished look.
Shirts are the way to go; you can always tell when someone is wearing a good quality shirt so be careful with the fit. A well-fitted shirt is ideal; invest in tiny stripes, a classic white shirt and other colours that
gives a professional look. Nothing defines power better than crisp, tailored formal wear.
Go for sleek, timeless and utterly sophisticated structured bags that can carry almost everything you need. Remember to keep the colours solid; nothing too loud.
Closed toe shoes
Save the peep toe heels for weekends and other informal settings. Closed toe heels complement your work outfits better.
Classy wrist watch
Learn to combine polished stainless steel wrist watch with your outfit. Any watch will do as long as it’s not plastic.
Well manicured nails
Apart from your clothes, it is important to keep your nails well groomed and well polished. Half chipped nail polish is not a good look; people always notice your hands and nails. Again, no wild colours; neutral colours are best.
Yes, confidence and feeling great start underneath your clothes! Invest in good quality underwear! If your bra rides up at the back, it’s the wrong size. If you wear the correct underwear, it provides a great base for whatever clothes you put on, making you even more confident.
Avoid overly dramatic looks (false eyelashes, smoky eyes) in a traditional office. Instead, apply a light coat of mascara and a little neutral shadow to enhance eyes. Keep a lipstick or gloss in your desk drawer and apply it in the morning and after lunch to brighten your face and add a hint of colour.
Besides your clothes, what determines your look also has to do with the kind of accessories you use with it. For a classic yet elegant look, it is advisable to keep accessories minimal as little things can make a bigger statement. A tiny necklace and simple stud ear rings is the best way to go.