I first entered the workplace as a graduate back in the 1980’s when women were just starting to get a serious foothold in the business world. In the era of the yuppie when getting on was paramount and consumerism exploded, women were starting to see career possibilities open up for them. The plum jobs were, however, still largely in the possession of the males of the species and so power dressing became one modus operandi for women who wanted to get on.
The Way to Get On
In those days power dressing largely meant sharp suits, large shoulder pads and a great deal of conspicuous spending. Things are little more classy and restrained now but women are still carefully structuring their personal look to send out the right signals and that includes choosing the right accessories. A designer handbag is still the perfect partner for an aspirational outfit but so it seems is a high end watch.
The Personal Statement
Even the recession couldn’t dampen consumer’s enthusiasm for a good watch. In the technological age where we all have a plethora of gadgets to help us keep on track, the watch has become a fashion accessory, a status symbol and a personal statement. This trend was largely confined to men until recently when women woke up to the attractions of fine timepieces and the manufacturers seeking growth turned their sights to the female market. The opportunities in China began to dry up after a crackdown on corruption prevented the provision of costly inducements to facilitate business deals. The watchmakers changed tack and started addressing their efforts at the women of the world and so far the new marketing tactic is working.
The Masculine Look
Now a great watch is a must have addition to serious business attire. Female High flyers in the City can be seen sporting their Cartier’s, Rolex’s and Patek Philippe’s and they are not opting for sparkly, decorative or feminine numbers they are choosing more overtly masculine pieces to make their statements.
Power Dressing for the Modern Era
Powerful women are not rushing for the diamonds but are rather choosing larger cases with simple but elegant looks. In short the kind of timepieces that their male colleagues would lust over as well. They are rejecting girly looks in favour of quality, simplicity and traditional values in their subtle but unmistakeable fashion statements.
Those whose budgets preclude an investment in high end marques are nonetheless investing in quality watches from more affordable ranges with the same stylistic features. Whether a woman can finance a Rolex, a Michael Kors or a Tissot, power dressing means going large but classic and saving the sparkly stuff for social occasions. A woman’s choice of timepiece can show she means business in a man’s world and women are fighting for their corner by sporting the same aspirational accessories that the men most desire.
Personally I didn’t wear a watch back in the 1980’s and I don’t wear one now. Does this explain why I am not running a multi-national? I don’t know but it would appear than many women believe that the right watch will help their chances of success.
Sally Stacey is a keen writer and business women who curiously does not wear a watch!