Here at Who What Wear, we're lucky enough to know some pretty inspiring women. They're our peers, friends, and mentors, and not only have they carved out their own corners of success, but they've managed to do so in some seriously killer work outfits.
If you've ever heard the term enclothed cognition, it's the idea that what you wear can alter your mood or self-perception. So what is it that power women wear when they want to feel confident? We had to know. Below, 10 game-changing women let us in on the styles that make them feel ready to take on the world. For some, it's a killer pair of heels, for others, there's no better ensemble than sneakers and sweats. But, for every woman, the idea of a "power outfit" boils down to always choosing clothes that fit their mood (and the occasion at hand).
Feeling inspired to try a new (and easy) outfit on for size? Read on for 10 looks industry mavens swear by with a little shopping for you too!
"Because I work in a creative industry, power dressing to me is slightly more understated and dressed down. There are few rules as to what I can and cannot wear to work, so part of my outfit almost always includes denim. I pair it with a vintage tee and sharp blazer, paying homage to the original power dressing staple. Because we are going toward the heritage trend these days, I prefer an '80s-inspired herringbone blazer with a modern twist. I just bought Étoile Isabel Marant's linen 'Janey' blazer, which is sure to be on rotation."
There are few rules as to what I can and cannot wear to work, so part of my outfit almost always includes denim.
"I feel just a powerful in my pajamas as I do in a suit. I think it depends on my state of mind more than what I'm wearing.
But, I do love an all white suit with a crop top—it feels classic and timeless while staying true to my overall aesthetic. Professional, with some personality!"
I do love an all white suit with a crop top—it feels classic and timeless while staying true to my overall aesthetic.
"I guess it depends on how you define power. I think of '80s Cybill Shepard in Moonlighting in a three-piece peach suit with Reeboks. I always feel the most powerful when I'm comfortable, and that currently means chucks or a pair of Nike Cortez. There's also something to be said about being monochromatic. It's not something you can do every day, but when you do, you feel sort of centered, clean, and just 'I got this'"
"I feel most powerful when I'm dressed up in something that makes me feel good because I know that when I feel good, I emanate that out into the world in a way that impacts others. Feeling good to me equals something a little sexy that empowers and instills confidence. Because if I'm going to emanate something out into the world, it might as well be something good."
Feeling good to me equals something a little sexy that empowers and instills confidence.
"I love a white suit! The idea more than the reality as I don't yet have one but I am always looking for my Bianca Jagger version. To feel like I'm at the top of my game, I always default to a crisp white shirt and statement jewelry—but really the perceived power comes in the delivery and attitude you present, so the attire is just an accessory."
The perceived power comes in the delivery and attitude you present, so the attire is just an accessory
"I'm a little hesitant to say, but I do feel powerful in a suit! I don't think that it's the patriarchy speaking, I think it's because I feel at ease and very chic. A well-fitting suit goes a long, long way toward flattering and making you feel good. I may pair it with a pair of killer heels, but I also love pairing it with a pair of brogues—like Churches—because they are just so comfortable, and I can move very quickly. Then, of course, I finish my power outfit with one of my bags to really seal the deal."
A well-fitting suit goes a long, long way toward flattering and making you feel good.
"The most powerful outfit can really depend on the situation you are walking into. Sometimes I feel my most powerful when I'm setting up for one of our conferences in my Nikes and Outdoor Voices workout gear, and sometimes I feel most powerful when I have a Drybar blowout, new heels, and a blazer, and I'm walking into an important meeting. What makes you powerful is how you feel in what you are wearing, and with that, you can take over the world."
What makes you powerful is how you feel in what you are wearing, and with that, you can take over the world.
"My ultimate power outfit has to be an ultra-slim cut 'Le Smoking' jacket, ideally YSL, paired with tailored matching pants, topped off by sky-high heels, slicked-back hair and a red lip, '80s style. A gardenia on the lapel is a nice final touch. You're the boss in that look for sure."
A gardenia on the lapel is a nice final touch.
"My jewelry is a large part of my personal aesthetic, and I always carefully consider what pieces I want to wear even before choosing an outfit.
"I have a lot of hair, and like Samson, I consider it a source of sexy power. Blown straight or waved, it is a large part of my look. Coupled with a silk iridescent chiffon shirt or dress, comfortable heels, and my jewelry, it is my recipe for feeling powerful."
A silk iridescent chiffon shirt or dress, comfortable heels, and my jewelry is my recipe for feeling powerful.