Tom James Blog

What Is Power Dressing?

How Power Dressing Can Improve Your Performance at Work

By: Sterling Woerner, Clothier
February 11, 2020

Power dressing is achieved by wearing high-quality fabrics perfectly tailored to your body with carefully chosen accessories that result in a cohesive look from head to toe. Combined, these elements display a mastery of your wardrobe. 

While the term ‘power dressing’ became popular in the 1980s when stockbrokers and salespeople were glorified by Hollywood, the concept goes back much further. Every portrait of royalty throughout history illustrates the influence of power dressing, both on the individual wearing the clothing and on those around them. Though the styles have changed, the impact of dressing with purpose is just as important today.

The impact of power dressing is more than wearing great clothing. According to a study conducted by Dr. Amy Cuddy and Dr. Dana Carney from the Harvard Business School and UC Berkley respectively, participants who struck power poses increased their testosterone and lowered their cortisol. In other words, they increased their power and lowered their stress by standing straighter. What does this have to do with power dressing?

Our founder, Spencer Hays, used to say, "When you wear Tom James clothing, you walk a little taller and stand a little straighter." Scientific evidence proves the impact of better posture on your performance at work. This could be why we hear so many stories of professionals who, after becoming a Tom James client, have been promoted or have expanded their business. 

When you work with a Tom James clothier, you benefit from the clothier’s expertise to build a wardrobe based on your lifestyle, your goals, and your preferences. They consider who you interact with on a regular basis and the image you want to project. They recommend multiple options so that each garment is an asset in your power dressing wardrobe.

How to Dress Distinctly in the Casual Workplace

In the modern business environment, many organizations have casual dress codes, which require men to coordinate more elements of an outfit. For casual outfits to convey the same authority as the dark pinstriped suit, men need to understand that the casual dress version of power dressing requires the same tried-and-true components: exquisite fabrics and exceptional tailoring.

When these two elements come together, any outfit can convey power and authority. Exquisite fabrics move and drape differently. Exceptional tailoring provides the appropriate room to move while creating perfect lines, with no excess fabric. Your shoulder isn’t too tight. Your trousers don’t bunch. Your shirt and jacket don’t billow. Your collar doesn’t roll. You have a flawless silhouette. These are the characteristics of a perfectly tailored outfit.

To achieve a cohesive flow from head to toe, each element of your outfit demands careful consideration, something many men struggle with as they don’t have the expertise and they lack the time required.

Choosing the Right Accessories

Power dressing has always been about the details. Choosing high-quality fabrics. Having the perfect fit. Wearing the right patterns that complement your body type

These principles remain the cornerstone of power dressing, which is why adding the perfect accessories can completely transform your look. For example, adding a pocket square, even to a casual outfit, can add a level of distinction that sets you apart from others. 

When every element of your professional wardrobe has been carefully selected, from your jacket to your shirt to your tie to your cuffs to your pocket square to your belt and shoes, you are dressing with purpose. Often, others compliment your clothing, boosting your confidence. Your posture improves because you realize that your appearance directly impacts others’ attitude toward you.

Discover How to Dress Powerfully

Power dressing may have been a popular term during the 1980s, but the cornerstone elements of exquisite fabrics, exceptional tailoring, and perfect accessories have defined the concept throughout history. The merit of power dressing is no less significant today than in years past as evidenced by Dr. Cuddy’s and Dr. Carney’s research that proves how dressing distinctly can boost your confidence, positively impact your performance at work and reduce your stress levels.

A Tom James clothier guides you to build a perfect-fitting wardrobe that is magnificently coordinated so choosing a power dressing outfit is the easiest decision of your day. When your professional wardrobe is comprised of Tom James clothing, others will recognize the high-quality fabrics, the perfect fit and the boost in your confidence. 

Are you dressing distinctly in outfits made of exquisite fabrics perfectly tailored to your body? If not, contact a Tom James clothier today to discover how you can cultivate a wardrobe that enhances your professional image and improves your performance.


"Dave's experience in the art of Dress for Success has definitely contributed to making sales and closing deals in my business. I would highly recommend all professionals to meet with him and make the investment. He has provided good and professional service for many years."

Custom Clothier Dave Shepard

Dave Shepard

Tom James of Memphis

"I have had the pleasureable experience of purchasing several items of business-wear from Joe. He has always been extremely knowledgeable, not only about the products in which I was interested, but in all of his products. Joe has a way of making his buyer appreciate the value of his service, not only as a clothier sales professional, but as a clothing mentor. I would recommend Joe to anyone looking for great fitting, quality custom clothing."

Custom Clothier Joe Price

Joe Price

Tom James of Charlotte
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