While I enjoy using color and especially lace in my wardrobe, my style tends to go more towards black and geometrical designs when I’m going out for a night or during the winter in general. Specifically when I’m putting together an outfit to go out clubbing or even just out for drinks, I tend to practice something called power dressing. Power dressing can be defined as wearing clothes that make you feel just that, powerful. It’s the use of clothing as armor.
Someone who I believe embodies this aesthetic and form of dress excellently is Viktoria Modesta. Viktoria Modesta is British singer-songwriter and model. She recently came out with an amazing conceptual music video about breaking stereotypes around disability in her life as an amputee and being #BornRisky. What I love about her style is that it’s all about playing up shapes and creating an atmosphere of control that is both sexy and embodying the whole “BAMF (badass motherfucker)” vibe.
The spike leg prosthetic featured in the first photo is also featured in the music video for her song “Prototype“. She comments in the “Prototype: The Making Of” video that the spike leg itself is equivalent to the feel of stepping into a high stiletto heel and that power it gives you.
From speaking with other femmes, I’ve found that power dressing is something very common in the femme community. It’s something that many of us practice in our daily lives. Power dressing allows for a sense of protection from the outside world. When you wing your eyeliner just perfectly or slip into a studded leather jacket, it can be similar to stepping into armor. Very often we are put in situations that can feel like attacks. These micro aggressions like getting stared at creepily on the subway, getting talked over in a classroom, or being dismissed as weak are faced everyday by femmes. So when we have our armor, it creates that barricade, that “you can’t touch me” vibe.
Fashion is artificial. It can be about creating a persona. That is exactly what Viktoria Modesta has done in creating herself. And I feel like I do that too, and I think that every one does at least from time to time. While fashion is often viewed as a way to express yourself, I think it is also a fantastic tool in creating oneself. And power dressing is just one of the ways fashion can make you feel unstoppable.
What is one piece in your closet that, when you wear it, makes you feel powerful?