FASHION FORWARD: Dress to express yourself

By Nichole A. Cavallaro


When you’re getting dressed, what do you put on that makes you feel empowered? I’m not specifically talking about a certain setting in which you feel this way, but just you as a person. What is YOUR signature thing or that one item that evokes the feeling of being put together and ready to start the day? Everyone has their favorite color, accessory, shoe, item of clothing, etc., that is the finishing touch for them. I know for me, my watch is something I wear when I need to feel complete. That probably sounds a little odd, but I own a few good ones that really add a classic touch. For the nature of my work during the day, I need to have time literally on my side. It gives me a break from looking at my phone! I asked a few women with different background what they wore that made them feel empowered. I loved the many different results!

Dr. Jennifer R., 38, a staff chemist in Houston, Texas, says her workout clothes/athleisure wear makes her feel the most empowered and confident while working out. I have to agree with this. I do not work out as hard as she does (she climbs rock walls, does CrossFit and has run numerous marathons) but there is something great about wearing an outfit that is meant to get some serious competition with yourself on! Exercise also has dynamite results on your mental health too, so that’s a plus!

Sasha M., 27 and a stay-at-home mama to a beautiful baby boy, says, “Nothing makes me feel more bad-A and confident than a good pair of black heeled combat boots! They add edge to any outfit, and at 5’3” I need the extra height. Right now, I’m obsessed with [a pair] by Guess.” I mean… yes to heels, height, combat boots and a brand we all know and love from back in the day. Mother knows best!

Elaine V., 25 and a PhD student, says without hesitating, “Lingerie makes me feel sexy and empowered because I can appreciate more of my body and feel most confident in the comfort of my own home.” I can only say that empowerment runs on many levels of the spectrum when it comes to our confidence levels ladies, and the bedroom is not to be excluded…

Tiffany W., 38, mother of two and an athletic trainer, likes incorporating a blazer and heels. She said “the heels make me feel good, and taller so I am at peoples’ eye level. The blazer can demand a higher level of respect from both men and women too.” This wasn’t just a hunch – Tiffany actually put this notion to the test. She and her friend Sara both wore casual clothes one day and a blazer another day. “The difference in respect was astronomical!” she states. Working mother approved!

Beth M., 33, vice president of a media firm in North Carolina, states she like to wear her black blazer, black pants and black Louboutins in the work setting. “Black is my power color, and I also enjoy red.” Good thing those heels have red bottoms. Beth also states wearing her workout gear to CrossFit class and the gym (gloves, leggings, tanks and sneakers) is what also helps her feel confident and empowered.

So as you can see, every woman I asked has their signature thing they consider their empowerment piece. However, among all the different options out there, one thing remains constant: every woman is her best accessory.

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