Life is a Catwalk: Time to pull on the power suit

Illustration by Lizzie Bailes visit for more info
Illustration by Lizzie Bailes visit for more info

THEY say a picture is worth a thousand words – and the same could be said about clothes. There are certain times in your life when your clothes say the things you perhaps can’t, or won’t...

In the 80s it was all about the power suit, women were moving up in the workforce and beginning to get the same sort of recognition (if not pay) as their male counterparts.

The power suit said: “I mean business, I’ll show you what I’m made of.” With shoulder pads so high they were like a cat with its hackles raised, and tailoring so sharp you could nick a finger, the women came out to play hard-ball, and weren’t to be messed with.

Everyone likes to say they don’t judge a person by looks, but we all know first impressions are made just that way. Sure, your sparkling personality makes an impact later on, but for those first few seconds we are judged on apperance. Usually because, in those brief moments, looks are all we have to go on.

Someone who always dresses like a slob, let’s be honest, is likely to be one. You meet someone with immaculate clothes, hair and make up, and you at least know they take pride in their appearance.

Within female circles there is an other element of power dressing – trying to ‘out fashion’ each other. Who can look the best, most unusual or most outrageous? You see it most with teenagers, but believe me, it doesn’t stop when you are older either.

But what is the reason for power dressing – is it a competitive thing? It can be. Is it to intimidate others? Sometimes.

Above all, I think power dressing is about confidence – because if you look confident, it can help you feel it.

That is why, when times are tough, you won’t see me without my make up, in jogging pants, a dirty Tee and a bobbled old fleece.

I’ll be wearing my highest heels, with bright red lipstick and my fiercest outfit, because a little confidence goes a long way. My clothes say: “I too mean business, and this is what I’m made of.”