How to Dress Like an Empowered WomanFeb 27, 2023
Women are born strong and powerful; that's a fact. To prove this, simply look at your mother and the rest of the women in your family before her. Although many women are already aware of this fact and are running with it by doing great in the world, there are still some who have yet to harness this innate strength that generations of other women in their life have gifted them.
One way a woman can harness this strength is by looking empowered on the outside, and clothes have that power. What you wear can influence your thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Please don't take my word for it. Grounded in social psychology, the concept of 'dopamine dressing' - wearing clothes that help you feel great. When you wear an outfit of a certain colour, texture, or style, you can activate the release of dopamine and boost your mood.
When you feel good about yourself, it can genuinely change the course of how you can carry yourself throughout the day. This is one of the many ways you can feel empowered. The key is strategically adopting what works for you and dropping those that don't.
Build your style awareness
I believe that your great style comes from within you. Hence, the first step is to create your style awareness by understanding YOU, and that means having a good grasp of your strengths and assets. Consider your personality style, essence colours that highlight your beautiful skin tone, and clothes that flatter your body.
Having style awareness can help you look your part and feel confident. Knowing what brings out the best in you and what doesn't can save you time and money when shopping for your wardrobe essentials. You no longer wonder if something is for you or not. This helps you focus on getting only essentials that ultimately lead to a highly curated wardrobe of clothes that empowers you daily.
Imagine looking into the mirror and loving how you look every day. What would that be like for you?
Pick a style icon that inspires you
Once you're clear of your personal style, you may gain some style inspiration by looking at existing fashion icons and picking one you feel you can pull off.
There's Anya Taylor-Joy, who possesses a beautifully whimsical quality. Or Lady Di, who can go from looking like a princess during formal events and as laidback and comfortable in many of her paparazzi shots with cycling shorts and a printed pullover. Suppose you like experimenting a little; maybe looking at Rihanna, a literal fashion chameleon, as your icon can inspire you with outfit ideas. She can go from wearing a full-on denim ensemble to wearing lingerie as a nighttime outfit for date night.
If you find yourself scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest, liking, pinning, admiring, and thinking to yourself, "oh hey, I can totally pull this off," there's your fashion icon.
Sprinkle your own personality on your chosen style
A fashion icon and inspiration is not someone to emulate and someone there to dress like them too. The idea with fashion icons is to let them be your inspiration, but adding your personal touch to that style makes it your own.
Maybe you like Megan Markle's Tuxedo dress. However, if the style doesn't cater to your lifestyle needs, consider the dress-down version sharing similar vibes. Wear it with ballerina flats or a pair of sneakers. Put on some light makeup and style your hair up in a sleek ponytail, you're all ready for a beautiful day ahead.
Whatever your style is, always spice it up with your personal touch and make it your own.
Spot your fashion comfort zone
A comfort go-to for fashion is any clothing piece you can count on when you don't feel like dressing up for the day. It can be a trusty pair of mom or high-waisted jeans, a pair of beloved Converse hightops, a basic white tee with a catchy quote, or an attractive print.
These style staples or old reliables are our safe havens. They can be versatile when you master the art of styling them with your favourite silk scarf that adds a colour pop, or a classic statement necklace, or maybe some pretty hair accessories.
It's nice to have these comfort pieces to fall back on off days; you know that you look good every time. The secret is to wear it your stylish way.
Step out of your comfort zone!
Once you've established your comforts and essentials, it's time to step out and experiment with it! Conduct your personal styling experiments by trying dressing strategies practised by your style icons. Take it one step at a time and examine how the style works for you, or maybe not.
Experimenting with style can be as simple as trying on prints for the first time or wearing brighter or bolder colours. Or put on some simple accessories to complement your attire and jazz up your look. The point is to do something slightly different to get you out of your comfort zone and examine how that works for you.
You'll discover new dressing techniques that you love and develop your signature style over time.
Express over impress
Live to express, not to impress, is an adage most of us have heard, and this is a saying that can be manifested in your personal style to feel empowered. If you are a fan of the 90s grunge and would like that highlighted in your everyday outfit, do it. Not only would you express your true self and interest, but you are also doing the streets a favour by adding flavour and inspiration to its runway.
In order to dress in a way that will make you feel empowered, shake up the rules society has set, and, while you are at it, inspire more women to do the same. These rules are outdated principles that may not serve you and your lifestyle needs. Let them go and develop your personal styling strategies - one that would work for you and empower you every day.
Be a fashion rule breaker
Fashion is an art form, and there are no rules, so it is only you that makes it for yourself. Using fashion as a tool for gaining confidence is very powerful and empowering. If you are someone who needs to wear high heels to feel empowered every day, wear them anywhere from your office to getting groceries.
On the other hand, if flats make you feel self-assured and comfortable, go for them, and you can wear high-waisted trousers or jeans to keep you looking tall. Each of us has different rules that make us feel comfortable, and we must listen and discover what we want.
Final thoughts: dress for YOU!
At the start and end of any day, the goal is to dress up for you. Stepping into your trusty loafers or reliable mom jeans should make you feel empowered and confident because you are doing it for yourself and not for anyone's eyes. The admiration from anyone based on your outfit is just an added benefit but should not be the end goal.
Whether you like to keep it sophisticated or laid back, whether you want to bare your skin or keep it covered, no one should tell you how to dress for you because you are the only person entitled to have any opinion on how you present yourself. Once you know this last bit of advice, confidence and empowerment will come along because if you believe in yourself and that you look good, you feel good too.
May you always dress your strength, beauty and talents because that's who you're.