“You can have anything you want if you dress for it”- Edith Head


Gianni Agnelli, Ralph Lauren, Christopher Bailey are names which cut across time and culture as power dressers who’ve stood out in the corporate crowd. Take a good look around you – every other person you meet is dressed to impress in the corporate world. The term ‘power dressing’ as referred to today, is less about the cost and more about the cut, fitting and tailoring of your clothes. It is also an indication of your level of professionalism and willingness to climb up the corporate ladder, albeit by creating the right impression with your attire.

A lot of corporates have struck a deal with the importance of dressing appropriately. And why not? After all, corporate warriors have won many a boardroom battle with their power dressing. Studies, over years, have proven how dressing influences career advancement, and people’s perception of your financial success and job-worthiness. Clothing and communication skills take the lead in determining people’s behaviour towards you in a corporate set up.

Now to come to the art of dressing for success.

Dress for your role

Let’s face it – we are living in times when clothes speak volumes about your professional persona. While corporate dressing has become a lot more relaxed, the old proverb – dress for the job you want, not for the job you have – holds good even today. Your attire speaks volumes about your attitude, confidence and the desire to project the right image. Let’s say, if you want a million bucks, you need to look 1 in a million.

Find your fit

The right fit – suit, shirt, trouser – exudes a sense of style, confidence and authority. Picture a suit which doesn’t bunch up at the shoulders, rather falls well and is smooth when buttoned up well. You can choose a fabric of your choice, depending on the weather, but a well-fitted ensemble gives you plenty of brownie points. Your trousers – with or without pleats – must drape in a way that creates a perfect line, from the suit till where it ends. A shirt is all about perfection. Right from the collar matching the suit lapels to sleeves that don’t hide behind the suit, a great fit is a giant leap towards dressing for success. Suit styles can vary but tailored suits come closest to the right fit. Little wonder that bespoke or made-to-order suits have quite a fan following and are looked at as an extension of your personality.

Play with colours

Need we say power dressing and the colour palette are like yin and yang. Agreed that your workplace choice of colours can get restrictive but there’s plenty of scopes to play around with what you have. With shades of blue, grey and black as predominant colours, go ahead with incorporating a hint or hue that adds volumes to your look and personality. A corporate dressing isn’t synonymous with boring colours. A high contrast suit-shirt combination can win your argument in the boardroom and outside. For instance, a navy blue suit and a pink linen shirt or a black suit with olive green lining are sure head turners.

You’ll be in your Suit and Tie!

Look at the annals of those who dress to succeed, over time and from any corner of the globe, the tie is omnipresent. After all, what’s a corporate look without a tie? While semi-formal and casual is gaining ground, the our-hand-knot still stands proud in the corporate set up as a sure way of leaving the right impression. Your wardrobe will fare well with a couple of solid coloured and striped ties but one word of caution – remember you don’t want to resemble a Christmas tree at work.

Go subtle with your accessories

When you dress for success, you must keep it simple, yet subtle. Be it your watch, cufflinks, pocket square works, tie pin, leather belts or leather dress shoes – the magic is to flaunt a signature piece which doesn’t steal the thunder but certainly steals the show for you.

While at accessories, let’s spare a moment for an elegant pen. Agreed that the Macs and iPhones have taken over the world but a classy pen wins hands down any day.


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