“I want to be different.
In ancient Egypt, red was associated with life, health, and
victory. And one of the first powerful women leaders to permeate the history
books – Cleopatra, of course - was known for crushing beetles and ants to
get the right shade of scarlet for her lips. Fast forward to the 80s where Chris
de Burgh’s song ‘Lady in Red’ sparked off a bevy of crimson-clad beauties,
dreaming up dreams of Mr Right whisking them away in his red Ferrari, big hair à
la Julia Roberts, blowing in the breeze.
Today, things have changed. Women are much more gutsy and savvy –
in not only the way they treat that jerk in his Ferrari, but also in the way they dress, especially in the workplace. And nothing speaks of power than Red. Gone are the days of formal secretarial suits (think Mad Men), which were a mere formality – more uniform than trendy associate.
The suit (that one tone, safe-bet two piece with the big shoulder
pads we loved in Working Girl) has come a long way since then. Women in the
corporate world are wearing what they like. They are on trend and in style,
confidently wearing colourful combinations of brights, pastels and neutrals in
the latest prints, lines and patterns – including leather, lace, beading, and sheer see-through fabrics underneath perfectly tailored designer jackets.
Christine Jahnke, author of the Well-Spoken Woman, says bold
colours like red may help women stand out in a crowd.
In Washington, D.C, “wearing a solid red is a sure fire way for women
members of Congress to get on-camera face time,” she says.
It goes without saying then, that a suit in the right shade of
Red which highlights skin tone and eyes, and is cut to suit different body types in length and fit is not only acceptable, but also makes the woman wearing it feel unabashedly feminine and powerful.
Of course, not everyone gets it right. Wearing red, according to
a study of 100 men in the US found that the lady in red got the most votes for
sparking sexual interest… Don’t be afraid to be flamboyant and sexy. If you’re
the type of conservative working girl that hides behind a dull uniform day in
and day out, have a look at the kind of women wearing bold, sexy, colourful working outfits – Michelle Obama, Kate Middleton and a barrage of respectable celebrities.
The exec woman’s suit should be her weapon. To not only exude confidence and a
‘don’t mess with me’ attitude, but also to proclaim every bit of her feminine,
whimsical, style-conscious soul. When you’re feeling low, or un-appreciated, or just plain confused about what to wear on that important deadline day – put on a bit of red it will immediately make you feel better!