How to Master Power Dressing According to a Stylist

Just like how standing with your arms on your waist in a Superman pose for two minutes can boost your confidence, dressing in the right blazers, shirts, and pantsuits—aka power dressing—can do the same. Many S/S 17 designer collections including Prada, Céline, and Louis Vuitton reintroduced us to officewear that is no longer boring and conventional, but modern, bold, and statement-making. We’ll continue to see more power pieces for next season. At Tom Ford’s S/S 18 show, blazers with shoulder pads in hot pink, white, and black were slung coolly over models’ shoulders.

Even if power dressing may seem like a passing trend, it is in fact here to stay and highly political. Power dressing surfaced in the ’70s as a means to let women establish authority in the workplace which was dominated by men. Today, more women are in leading positions, and younger graduates and millennial women are eager to take on similar roles. There’s never been a better time to show your ambition through your clothing. To help you channel your inner power goddess, I asked New York City fashion stylist and producer Jessica Wu on tips to master power dressing and how you can dress the part now before you land your dream job.

PHOTO: Harleen Sidhu

1—Accessories are key

When it comes to power dressing, accessories can make or break an outfit. Wu says casual and dramatic accessories can be paired with power pieces to complete the look: “If I were to wear a pantsuit, I’d wear it with some chunky athletic sneakers or add a flashy or brightly colored bag.”

PHOTO: Harleen Sidhu

2—The blazer is your best friend

Don’t underestimate the power of the blazer. This versatile piece can be styled in a number of ways for a number of occasions and is a great power piece for college students. Wu says a longer blazer can be worn as a mini dress, oversize blazers can be layered with knits and blouses, and more fitted blazers can be dressed up with complementary bottoms or dressed down with boyfriend jeans.

PHOTO: Harleen Sidhu

3—Less is more

A good blazer is important, but what’s underneath can be just as powerful. Modern power dressing has seen a mix of traditional masculine styles and more wispy, baring feminine styles. Under your blazer, Wu suggests to “keep it bare so you don’t look too covered up—wear a silk camisole, crop top, or bralette.”

PHOTO: Harleen Sidhu

How do you style power pieces? Show us on social media! Don’t forget to tag @Cfashionista.

10 Things Every Career-Driven College Student Needs in Her Workspace

Best-selling mystery writer Agatha Christie never had a single workspace. To work she only needed two things: a typewriter and a steady table. American poet Maya Angelou only worked from hotel rooms where she wouldn’t be found without a dictionary, a Bible, a deck of cards, and a bottle of sherry. For novelist Jane Austen, the family sitting room was her workspace. Austen would go on to pen a number of books in that room including Pride and Prejudice. The term “girlboss” was coined in the 21st century by Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso, but it’s safe to say the women in history were girlbosses in their own right. They understood what they needed to be the most productive. Productivity is known to be linked to one’s workspace, so here are 10 things that will help you be a boss that gets things done.

PHOTO: Jordyn Wissert

1—A bright space

Studies have proven that people are more productive when working in light-filled spaces. Natural light is always best, but a good old desk lamp will do the job.

2—An agenda

This is where you can plan your daily tasks, events, and appointments as well as track your goals. Deleting a task note from an iPhone will never feel as satisfying as checking it off a marble-patterned agenda.

3—Desk organizers

Never forget where your lucky red pen, sticky notes, or loose papers are. Investing in a multi-purpose pencil holder, paper trays, and file holders will save you time so you can focus on what’s important.

4—A concentration app

If you find your focus wandering, apps like Focus Booster can keep you in check. The app breaks down tasks into blocks that are often followed by short breaks.

5—A mood board or inspiration wall

It’s easy to get distracted, stray from your goal or vision, and then give up. These visuals will keep you in check, remind you why you’re doing what you’re doing, and motivate you to push through.

PHOTO: Jordyn Wissert

6—Thank you cards

Handwritten thank you cards are an easy way to set yourself apart from the crowd. Whether you’re waiting to hear how an interview went or connecting with someone at a networking event, mailing out cards afterward is a great way to show you genuinely care.


Nothing says girlboss like a stylized desk. Experiment with colors, shapes, and textures to set the mood for your space.


Believe it or not, a little bit of green can go a long way. Studies have suggested that household plants in workspaces increase happiness and productivity. Terrariums can also be a fun DIY addition to your space.

PHOTO: Anna Coke

9—A water bottle

When you’re working this hard, nothing’s more important than keeping yourself in good health.

10—A relaxing candle

After a long day of hustling, you deserve it.

How do you stay productive in your workspace? Show us on social media! Don’t forget to tag @Cfashionista.

The Glitter Lip Everyone’s Wearing

Gone are the days when glitter was for crafts, kids, or divas. The S/S 17 shows in New York proved sparkle is way cooler than we had thought. Fashion houses like DKNY, Mason Margiela, and Fendi had models sport glitter lips on the runway.

Fendi’s creative director, Karl Lagerfeld was inspired by the cartoon Vanellope von Schweetz from Wreck-It Ralph, writes Vogue. Makeup artist Peter Philips used clear glue and finger-pressed glitter flecks backstage to make it look like the models had “bitten into a donut full of glitter.”

The trend isn’t too surprising as it’s been a popular few years for lips and lip kits. To recap, let’s start with the phenomenon that is Kylie Jenner’s lips. In 2015, we saw people post selfies of their swollen lips for the Kylie Jenner challenge to mimic the then 17-year-old’s cosmetically-enhanced lips. When Jenner revealed she had lip fillers, inquiries for the procedure surged practically overnight. Let’s not forget Kylie Cosmetics, the youngest Kardashian-Jenner member’s multi-million dollar makeup line, that broke Google because the rest of us couldn’t wait to get our hands on her lip kits.

Then Pat McGrath Labs, by editorial and runway makeup artist Pat McGrath, released Lust 004, a collection of three microfine glitter lip kits in August of 2016. The lip kits, inspired by the Versace fall 2016 runway were an instant hit. Celebrities like Chrissy Teigen and Shay Mitchell sported the collection. Lip kits sold out and shimmery pouts became the new Instagram selfie—for a little while at least. As if one collection wasn’t enough for the year, Pat McGrath Labs returned with Metalmorphosis 005, a collection of glitter pigment kits in November. The hype was real and it all repeated like clockwork.

For those of us who couldn’t get our hands on Pat McGrath’s popular lip kits, our glitter dreams don’t have to end here. To achieve the runway glitter lip, all you need is clear or colored lip gloss and loose glitter. The steps are simple.

1—Apply a layer of clear or colored gloss to your lips.

2—Pat or sprinkle on glitter as desired.

Glitter lips weren’t the only iridescent beauty look on the runway during S/S 17, glitter nails were also a thing. I finished my look with a coat of high gloss glitter-flecked nail polish.

If there’s one thing we should take away from the shimmering runway this season, it’s knowing that you’re never too old to sneak a little fun into your beauty routine.

Whether you’re applying your favorite liquid lipstick or kicking it up a notch with a glittery lip, embrace your #RAD pout and show us on social media! Don’t forget to tag @Cfashionista.

STYLE ADVICE: See the World in Color

In the past year, some of fashion’s most cringe-worthy trends have become the most covetable. Sunglasses with tinted lenses in hues ranging from red to yellow and beyond, are the latest to join the hype.

When fashion insiders and influencers decided to accept items like the track pant and slide shoe, it was only time before another forgotten trend from the past would be recycled for a new season. Enter tinted sunglasses, a ’90s trend that’s going to be major for the summer of 2017. According to, both Gucci and Louis Vuitton had models sport yellowed lenses for their resort 2017 runway shows. Not to mention the flood of It girls and Instagram cool girls sporting the trend alike.

Although some continue to view tinted shades as distasteful, I think they’re wildly refreshing for an industry that can sometimes seem too repetitive and predictable. The different colors are light and fun and a far cry from the all too serious connotations surrounding high fashion.

This Fashionista styled a pair of red tinted sunglasses with a fitted off-the-shoulder T-shirt, a pair of comfy white culotte pants, and silver Vans slip-on shoes. The retro sunnies definitely channel a cool-girl vibe and add a pop of color to her outfit.

This Fashionista got her pair far from home in the city of Mumbai in India. But for those of us nowhere near the heart of Bollywood, there’s still hope. Retail chains like Urban Outfitters, Forever 21 and Topshop, are carrying the trendy shades in all shapes and sizes. Popular styles include heart-shaped lenses, aviators and John Lennon’s signature round frames. Plus, the best part is that some of these styles can be nabbed for the cost of a pizza.

If you’re a Fashionista/o looking for a pop of color in your summer wardrobe, tinted shades are the way to go. Wear them to summer festivals, lounge sessions at the beach, and if you’ve got a yellow tinted pair, wear them during late night drives to reduce glare. In short,  wear them just about anywhere. Remember to stay trendy, and stay #RAD.

STYLE GURU STYLE: Mad for Metallics

Glitz, glam, and glitter are best known to make their debut during the holiday season. It’s the one time of the year when dressing up like a human disco ball is accepted, even encouraged. We take this time to indulge and adorn ourselves in only the most glamorous garments that are later stuffed back into our closets to make their next appearance the following yearor never again. But what if we stopped thinking of metallics as exclusively for special occasions and wore the trend anytime of the year?

That’s exactly what I did with this outfit. I’m sporting my favorite metallic oversize sweater in blue, a pair of light indigo wash distressed jeans, and loafer boots inspired by the phenomenally popular fashion insider shoe of choice, the Gucci leather loafer. When styling shimmering threads for a regular day I cap the shine factor at one garment and pair it with casual styles like jeans or more classic styles like trousers.

I’m a big fan of over-the-top garments and although mine can more often be seen inside my closet than on me, I think it’s important to give garments a second chance, no matter how extravagant. A metallic garment bought one year might not be in style the following year, so it’s worth a try to get wear out of it throughout the year.

But it’s not only the idea of promoting sustainability in fashion, it’s about deterring from popular notions and ideas that dictate the appropriateness of a garment or style based on the season or occasion. Remember, the only rules in fashion are the ones in your handbook. It’s about owning your style even when others don’t agree with you or understand why you’re wearing shimmering threads on a Monday morning in the office. It’s #RAD to be yourself, even if that self is low-key an over-the-top Fashionista.

WHAT TO WEAR: Wearing White in the Winter

One of the oldest rules in fashion is to wear no white after Labor Day. This was initially adopted by the elite in the 1900s as they returned to cities after having spent their summer lounging in white and bright colored wardrobes. Labor Day, which has become known as the unofficial end of summer, was reason enough for them to return to their work wardrobes, which didn’t include white fabrics.

Today’s generation of fashion leaders have repeatedly broken this rule, and with good reason. Many say the rule is limiting and that white can be worn in every season if the person wearing it is confident enough.

This Fashionista warmed up in layers instead of opting for the more common parka many Torontonians wear in the winter months. She paired a casual gray hoodie with a white faux fur teddy bear coat and high-waisted white mom jeans with a raw hem. She kept colors neutral and to a minimum, and accessorized with a complementing black belt and combat boots, giving her casual look some edge. By throwing a faux fur coat over a hoodie, this Fashionista proves that elevated casual wear is a thing.

The reason the amount of white in this Fashionista’s outfit works is because the material of the clothing is practical for winter weather. The white faux fur coat provides warmth and is ultimately a more chic alternative to the parka, and the white jeans do the same. Many of us know that denim is durable but it’s also a great insulator.

Nevertheless, seasons shouldn’t determine what colors we can or cannot wear. Although white does reflect light and is more often worn in the summer, the old fashion rule of no white after Labor Day simply doesn’t make the cut today. It’s all about wearing what you want when you want and feeling good in your clothes no matter.

BEAUTY BAR: Dare to Ombré

At some point we’ve all seen ombré hair. They’re the meticulously color graded, insta-worthy locks that have stole the hearts and graced the heads of one too many Fashionistas in the past few years. Although the popularity of ombré hair has simmered down, the trend seems to be resurfacing in a new way: with a pop of unexpected color.

This Fashionista dared to dye the ends of her mid-length strands an eye-catching blue. It’s definitely a bold look to sport but she balances it with natural and minimal makeup. Her makeup look consists of a classic cat eye, a swipe of clear gloss, and just enough mascara to liven the lashes.

Channeling hipster vibes, this Fashionista pairs sleek, round metal-framed eyeglasses with a metal nose ring. To say the least, these accessories are working wonders with the blue of her hair.

When it comes to her outfit, she keeps it cozy and simple by wearing a pair of black high-waisted jeans, a cropped sweater, classic adidas sneakers, and a quilted carry-all backpack.

If there’s something we can learn from this Fashionista, it’s that when pairing classics with neutrals, even the most daring of trends can be executed.

But it’s also important to remember that trends are constantly changing. Sooner than later, the new ombré became “sombre,” a more subltle ombré and if we’re talking about balayage, well that’s a whole other ballpark. We can’t seem to make up our minds when it comes to trends, so let’s just stick with what we know. For those in favor of ombré, “sombre,” balayage, and everything in between, I feel you.

STYLE GURU BIO: Harleen Sidhu

Hello Fashionista/os! My name is Harleen Sidhu and I’m a third-year journalism student with a double minor in fashion and public relations at Ryerson University in Toronto.

I’m an admirer of fashion in all its forms from fashion writing and photography, to fashion design. I love to unwind with a magazine or two in hand. Not only are magazine spreads inspiring, but so are the streets of the 6ix. Street style is literally endless inspiration and I’m excited to report on the latest for CollegeFashionista.

When it comes to style I like to say basics are a Fashionista’s best friend.  They make late mornings a lot less stressful and a lot more comfortable. I also find myself experimenting with styles and fashion faux pas like wearing white after Labor Day.

Winter is in full swing and I’m reaching for the coziest of turtlenecks, parkas and booties in order to get me by. For this look, I paired a classic red lip with my wardrobe staples: a black turtleneck, patent black booties and a black leather belt.

Recently, I’ve been giving sustainable fashion a chance in my everyday outfits. This means buying less and buyer better. In terms of style, I’ve made it my mission to curate a wardrobe of timeless classics. Of course a completely fast fashion ridden wardrobe is a long way to go, but it’s a work in progress. As the saying goes, it can take years to master style so in the meantime let’s learn from each other.