Being the boss is a beautiful thing, but — of course — not all of us can actually be in this position of power. This doesn’t mean we can’t look the part. It also doesn’t mean that dressing like a bona-fide boss lady means we are confined to a life of pant suits, nylons and starched blouses.
You can look large and in charge, and still include a lot of pep and personality in your style.
How? Glad you asked. Read on for inspired styling tips on fun ways to dress like a boss lady.
Dressing Like a Boss Lady: The Power of Pattern
Whether you are the boss or just want to make a fashion power play, pattern is a perfect way to play up your sense of personality, while also remaining purely professional.
One word of warning: while pattern can be bold and inventive, steer clear of overly cutesy patterns in the workplace. Save the bunnies, bears and bubblegum hearts for your PJs.
Dressing Like a Boss Lady: Go Contempo Cool
One of the easiest, most impactful ways to pull off the boss look is to embrace cool, contemporary modern style. This means choosing dresses that are both strong, and minimalist in their design and fit.
No super flouncy details or blinged out embellishments: just clean lines, and cool cuts.
Dressing Like a Boss Lady: Amp Up Your Color
Have fun with color. Sure, black may be a safe pick (and it may hide the Pad Thai you spilled on your chest at lunch) but there’s a whole world of wonderful colors and color combos to wear, so don’t miss out.
Being a boss lady doesn’t mean you’re boring. In fact, quite the opposite: people in power get there by showcasing their inspired vision and creativity. Show yours with color!
Dressing Like a Boss Lady: Play with Paradox
Sexy professional dresses do exist, and are completely acceptable in the workplace. The key to looking a little sexy — and still keeping it professional — is to embrace the adage of iconic fashion designer and stylist Edith Head:
“Your dresses should be tight enough to show you’re a woman and loose enough to show you’re a lady.”
Leaving aside any patriarchal implications of using the term “lady”, let’s try to agree that what we are going for here is class. Your clothes don’t have to be loose-fitting: you don’t have to be (and shouldn’t be) afraid or even reluctant to show off your curves.
There is nothing shameful about women in the powerful positions in the workplace, right? A figure hugging dress is perfectly acceptable. It isn’t revealing anything taboo: you’re a woman. You have hips and breasts and a backside.
This said, your boss lady dress should not be so revealing that is crosses the line to risky. (Remember, we’re trying to keep it classy here!) This is why we’re going to finish off our boss lady style guide with some tips on how to keep it fun, and keep it work-appropriate.
Boss Lady Style Tips: DOs and DON’Ts
DO: Make sure your underwear is out of sight. This goes for bra straps and panty lines. No one is suggesting you go commando, but if your dress is so snug that people can see the lace lining on your thong, it is way too tight for work.
Likewise, while there is a marked move away from professional places insisting that women always cover all of their arms at all times at work, you should not be wearing tops that are so barely there that your bra is exposed.
Also, always have a cardigan or blazer on hand. You will want to slip this on in case you have an important meeting. In these cases, it is always best to be strictly professional.
DON’T: Wear super short hemlines. Your hem should reach just above your knee, at the shortest. For instance, tight pencil skirts are fine, but mini-skirts are a definitely no-no.
DO: Wear a pair of sleek stilettos. A sexy pair of shiny, pointed shoe heels speaks to a total boss attitude. These days, an open toe or peep toe is also acceptable — granted your foot hygiene is up to snuff.
In fact, all of your exposed skin and hair should be neatly groomed. This isn’t a rule at applies just to women, either. Just like no one wants to see a man walking around the office showing off gnarly toenails, no one wants to see it on a woman, either.
DON’T: Forget the stockings. Listen, no one has the right to insist you shave your legs or your armpits, but if you’re not going to, cover up with nylons, stockings and/or skirts with sleeves. Again, this isn’t a matter of gender inequality through fashion, but one of professional poise and polish.
Workplace formal attire also stipulates that men must wear high socks to cover their swaths of leg hair, and that men shouldn’t wear sleeveless anything, ever —- even if they do shave their underarms.
So, have you got a handle on the ins and outs? Good! Now go out there and rock your boss lady look!
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- Fun Ways to Dress Like A Boss Lady & Look Large and In-Charge - February 8, 2018