How clothes make you look powerful

How Can Clothes Make You Look Powerful?

When I coach clients on how to appear more confident, they immediately think of body language. They want to know what body language gestures they can use to project confidence and power in the office.

Of course, body language is important. It does play a major role in creating a confident image. But people are often surprised when I explain that body language is not the first thing others will notice.

When you meet people for the first time, it’s your clothing and outfit they will notice first.

So how can you project confidence with your outfit? How can the clothes you wear make you look powerful in the office?

To answer these questions, I want to share with you some basic methods and tips that I’ve drawn straight from my online programs, Powerful In Business For Women, and Powerful In Business For Men:

1. Darker colours project more authority. So choose a suit in charcoal, navy, or black for the office.
Image courtesy of Chatham House/Flickr.com under Creative Commons license. No changes were made to this image.

Image courtesy of Chatham House/Flickr.com under Creative Commons license. No changes were made to this image.

2. If you work in a more casual environment and you often wear jeans to work, choose a pair of dark jeans or mid-tone jeans instead of light.
Image courtesy of adifansnet/Flickr.com under Creative Commons licence. No changes have been made.

Image courtesy of adifansnet/Flickr.com under Creative Commons licence. No changes have been made.

3. High-contrast colours make you stand out. If the base colour of your outfit is dark, incorporate a lighter or brighter colour shirt, jacket, scarf, shoes, or other accessories.
Dress to look confident

Image courtesy of FinancialTimes/Flickr.com under Creative Commons licence. No changes have been made to this image.

4. Lift the level of formality in your outfit to increase the amount of confidence you project. If others in the office wear jeans to work, put on a pair of chinos or tailored pants instead.
Image courtesy of: Ambro/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of: Ambro/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

5. The more pattern you wear, the more it will detract from your image, and from your message. Aim for clothing that has a solid colour so people concentrate on you.
authoritative look

Image courtesy of Fervent-adept-de-la-mode/Flickr.com under Creative Commons License. Graphics added by Kara Ronin.

Your clothes are a resource that you can tap into and use to project confidence in the office.

You can struggle on your own and guess what outfits are going to make you look confident, or you can streamline the process, and learn how to create a confident looking wardrobe in my cutting edge 3-week online coaching program, Powerful In Business For Women, and Powerful In Business For Men.

These online programs go way beyond your wardrobe. They are designed to take you by the hand and teach you practical style, body language, and voice strategies so you can feel and look more confident in your professional life, and even your social life, too!

As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, your outfit is the first thing others will notice. Once you’ve mastered confident styles and outfits, you should turn your focus onto your body language. But, let’s leave that for another time.

Now I want to hear from you. Do you have an outfit that makes you feel incredibly confident? Describe this outfit in the comment section below.

About Kara

Kara Ronin is the founder of Executive Impressions. She is an executive coach who specialises in leadership presence, social skills and business etiquette. She is also the creator of Bestselling Udemy course, Business Etiquette 101. Kara’s advice and unique perspectives have been featured in Time Inc., Business Insider, Ignites Europe (a Financial Times Service), The Muse, The Local France, The West Australian, and more. Kara works regularly with lawyers, investment bankers, and finance professionals to help them build presence, authority and influence in business. Get Kara's insights delivered straight to your inbox