FASHION AM: Power dressing: From Joan Collins to Victoria Beckham

David Beckham, left, and Victoria Beckham arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar party on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012, in West Hollywood, Calif. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)
David Beckham, left, and Victoria Beckham arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar party on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012, in West Hollywood, Calif. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)

Fashion columnist Aimee Meade looks at how to make an impression through ‘power dressing’...

With an important interview looming it got me to thinking how to make the right impression.

Whether we like it or not, appearance is the first impression.

Given that, how does one look like they are serious, ambitious and ready for a challenge? In order to find out I investigated into the notion of ‘power-dressing’.

‘Power-Dressing’ is defined as a style of hair or dress that intends to make its wearers seem authoritative and competent.

Originating in the 1980s with TV shows such as ‘Dynasty’ and ‘Dallas’ power dressing was allegedly all about Joan Collins, shoulder pads, trouser suits and androgynous haircuts.

Today, on the other hand it tends to mean something different (thank goodness!).

Previously the idea of ‘power-dressing’ was criticized to be encouraging women to conform to the masculine stereotype of success.

It was argued that women dressed in tailored suits, trousers and cut their hair short in order to appear more masculine thus more successful in the workplace.

However as women and men have become more equal (yet still not completely) in the workplace, the concept of ‘power dressing’ has taken on a different momentum.

Designers, in particular Calvin Klein and Victoria Beckham, have created womenswear that still reeks of success and ambition without the harsh lines, black lapels and unflattering silhouettes.

With cigarette style trousers, cropped jackets, pencil skirts and tailored dresses, all designed to celebrate the female form, designers have triumphed in giving women options on how to power dress.

The high street is no different, with Dorothy Perkins, Wallis, Topshop, Warehouse and even H&M constantly offering alternatives the black trouser suit.

This season will see pencil skirts, cropped jackets, fitted dresses and court shoes all in vibrant print and colour.

Personally I can’t wait to find my ‘power’ outfit and love that we, as women have alternatives to create that impression.