Dress to Impress… It’s Time to Wear Real Clothes

When I have a presentation due, I wear one of my best outfits.. It is weird that an outfit can help me give a presentation, but there’s a name for it: power dressing. An entire movement centered around power dressing took place in the late 1970s and early 80s. Women and the lower class wore tailored suits to show power in the business world that was run by men. Women wore suits and pant suits to get out of the shadow of secretarial and assistant jobs. Women wanted change, so they started with their outfits.

Photo by Anna Scarlett

The concept doesn’t have to stay in the 70s or 80s. It can be replicated in everyday life. When I was in my sophomore year of college, all I wore was sweats or athleisure — eventually I realized that I became lazy and my work ethic vanished. I asked my mom, my go-to person, for advice. She pointed out that my clothing choices did not help because I was too comfortable and relaxed. I know that many people thrive in athleisure wear, but for me it did not help. She recommended that I wear “real clothes.” What my mom meant was to wear anything other than sweatpants. I took her advice and it helped.

Photo By- Kate Torline


Working and taking online classes make it so tempting to wear only the most comfortable clothes in your wardrobe. This is where power dressing comes in to help, even if it’s only one day out of the week. Put on an outfit that you love yourself in to help change your mindset of working from home. Even dressing up for class, work or Zoom meetings can help you pay attention to the meeting. Your boss or teacher will see that you’re putting effort into getting work done. It might even impress them! Think of it as if you’re going to actually leave your house for work or school. It was part of your old routine. Now, just add it to your new one. It might even comfort you with the familiarity of it. Finding a new normal can pose a challenge, but putting effort into your outfits can help bring normality. Have fun and be creative with your outfits! If you need an extra dose of motivation, strike a pose! “Power posing” is a relatively new presentation and confidence practice in which you stand tall, smile and picture yourself doing your best. It sounds silly, but it can truly change your attitude for the day, maybe even longer.

Manhappenin' Magazine is Kansas State University's student-created lifestyle magazine.


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