Power Dressing: Fashion as Armor

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.

viktoria modesta 001

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?

  One thought on “Power Dressing: Fashion as Armor

  1. March 15, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Never heard/seen Viktoria before, she’s a very gutsy, sexy lady indeed! Love that spike prosthetic leg..and power dressing is the ish! Whenever I put on a jacket with Statement Shoulders, I always feel like I can conquer all at a business meeting.


    • March 15, 2015 at 8:13 pm

      Isn’t she amazing? The spike is definitely my favorite as well. And, statement shoulder jackets are awesome, I totally agree!


  2. Madame Ostrich
    February 20, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    “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.”

    A very, very interesting and accurate point not just for femmes, but for all women. If you look at the different eras of time when social change occurred, fashion changed radically as well. I definitely think you’re onto something



    • February 20, 2015 at 10:40 pm

      Thanks, Christine! And, I agree that women face these micro aggressions as well, but my use of the word “femme” extends to all feminine presenting people (femme gender-nonconforming/queer, etc.). I’m glad you found the post interesting!


  3. February 19, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    I love this! I have always said that fashion is all about totems–items you carry/wear to make you feel powerful. For me it’s my YSL downtown tote, black skinny jeans, and a good pair of heels. Love your post and the images.


    • February 19, 2015 at 11:40 pm

      Exactly! Black skinny jeans is also one of my essentials. And, thank you!


  4. February 19, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    this was so cool! I love power women and their wardrobes. It’s so inspiring. I always love to wear a leather jacket or even an asymmetrical hoodie. I always feel powerful in those and skinny jeans with boots.

    stop by and chat ♥ http://storybookapothecary.com 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 19, 2015 at 6:43 pm

      I’m so glad you liked the post! Leather jackets are pretty much a quintessential piece in power dressing. Leather, in general, gives you that “boss” vibe.


  5. Mel
    February 15, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    Interesting looks!


    Liked by 1 person

  6. tothemaxime
    February 15, 2015 at 2:02 pm


    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: