All Women's Talk

The Future of Power Dressing How AOC is Using Fashion to Empower an Entire Generation ...

By HG

For many, the 2020 race to the White House seat was largely dominated by two white, male septuagenarians, driven by the traditional political scenario. Democrat versus Republican. Man versus man. However, amongst long line suits and grey-haired masculinity, it’s the Puerto Rican born, Democratic millennial, that took centre stage in creating a generational political movement.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is just the beginning of a new chapter for the future of the US congress. Alongside Vice President Kamala Harris, the first female VP of colour to enter the White House history books, Ocasio-Cortez is not only part of the political revolution, she’s leading it. From her swearing-in ceremony in January 2019, the change began, rendering AOC the protagonist of a new historically diverse midterm class, made up of a record-breaking number of 36 women and 24 people of colour entering the house in one year.

As the youngest U.S Congresswoman in history, her voice continues to inspire and revolutionise the face of American politics across Gnezenial social platforms and within the media. Whether it’s her diversity, hungry need for social change or her power statement suits you’re in love with, fear not. Ocasio-Cortez is here to stay. Embracing her femininity while using power dressing to accompany her words, she is living proof that the voice of U.S politics could one day be female as she continues to inspire a new generation.

Consistently breaking and remaking outdated congress rules, AOC’s approach to fashion is just the surface of her power. Using her style to amplify her political opinion, she’s just one of many powerful figures desensitising the stigmas surrounding female dressing. Since being sworn into the House of Representatives, she is proving that the way someone dresses doesn’t determine their authority or their position, but simply speaks to their personality.

Read on to find out how the real-life Elle Woods is using power dressing to not only change the face of congress but empower an entire generation of leaders.

1 How is AOC Changing Political Fashion?

Rectangle, Font, Parallel, Slope, Number,Recently named as one of Lyst’s Power Dressers of 2020  Democratic Representative Ocasio-Cortez has caught the younger generation’s eye, alongside popular figures such as Harry Styles and Lizzo.

From power suits to bold colours, there’s no doubt that this Congresswoman knows how to dress to impress. Her vivacious style guide is empowering females of power to step up and embrace their own fashion styles while making a statement of bold, revolutionising authority.

But the question is, how is she doing it? How can one woman change the future of politics, simply by the way she dresses? AOC is one step ahead. Thanks to her millennial upbringing, her voice is predominant across social media, making her one of the most connected politicians the U.S has ever seen. Combining her voice of change over generational issues such as feminism, sustainability, diversity and racial discrimination  with both a statement-making style and a Twitter account with 12.7Million followers, there’s no wonder that she has become a worldwide influencer.

Using her fashion to make deep-rooted political statements is not only changing how we view her, but how we view the rest of the U.S political system. For example, after the viral exchange between her and Florida’s GOP Representative, Ted Yoho in 2020, where she was reportedly called a "f*cking b*tch" in response to a difference in political opinion; she used fashion to aid her fighting spirit in her televised response to the Rep. Wearing a scarlet red blazer and a bold red lip, Ocasio-Cortez took to the floor in powerful style, reclaiming the red colour associated with the Republican Party. In fact, her statement was so empowering that data from Lyst suggested that the sale in Red Blazers online went up by 74% in only a number of days.

However, making statements of female power isn’t the only function of Ocasio-Cortez’s dressing abilities. She is also using the way she dresses to aid political change for deserving causes. As a fighter for a new generation of sustainability, Alexandria promotes ethical fashion trends within her style code, in order to empower the future of the political movement.

Modern American Historian Rabinovitch-Fox believes that AOC is setting an example for a new ethically charged, diverse Congress. In an interview with Business Insider  she commented on her statement dressing, claiming that "She's changing the dress code of politics by making it acceptable for people to wear thrifted clothes in Congress."

As AOC has mentioned on several occasions that she wears ethical clothing brands and upcycled styles, she is inspiring her followers to turn to thrifting as a pose to fast fashion. So whenever you’re on the lookout for new clothing, accessories or frame, make sure to carry out extensive research and shop those brands that care about environmental friendliness and sustainability.

2 How is Power Dressing Inspiring a Generation?

Whether it be for promoting a political statement or dressing to assert authority and feel confident, there’s no doubt that power dressing is raising a more confident generation. With Gen-Z and Millennials amongst the first to reap the real benefits of feminism and female equality, power dressing is only enhancing their abilities to stand up against adversity and make a statement to the world in the same way as Ocasio-Cortez.

For example, studies show that power dressing is increasing confidence at work, and promoting feminism in the workplace. Having freedom over their own style is inspiring women to take the jump with that risky outfit, buy those power blazers and roll on a bold lip to strut into work in style. Taking stigmatised associations away from the fashion world is allowing women to express their personalities within their workwear, without the repercussions of societal stereotyping, discouraging their power. No longer is red the colour of sex, it’s the colour of power and it’s about time women took that back.

Wearing a skirt and heels doesn’t decrease the authority of a female leader, in the same way, that wearing masculine or feminine dominated clothing doesn’t determine the gender or sexual identity of a person. Fashion is fluid. As AOC promotes with her revolutionising attitude to styling; the clothing that we wear is just another part of our personality. Whether you use it to make a political statement or to enhance natural confidence, the power is in the hands of the wearer, not the societal stigmas surrounding them.

3 How to Dress with a Cause

If you’re looking to become the next power dresser in the office or simply want to make a statement with your fashion choices, look no further. We are armed with our most powerful dressing tips for the ultimate style statement. Dress with courage and a cause and enjoy contributing to a fear-free fashion future.

4 Ethical Fashion

Rectangle, Font, Slope, Parallel, Diagram,The future of fashion is sustainable. If you’re looking to dress with a cause in the same way as AOC, it’s time to forget fast fashion and style a political statement. By embracing a thrifting culture  your fashion choices will embody your own ethical views and radiate them onto others to start inciting change amongst the fast fashion dominated high street.

For many Genzenials, dressing ethically is already a large priority amongst a newly sustainable generation. With 50% of Millennials actively shopping ethically to reduce the impacts of fast fashion, styling with a cause is nothing new. When picking out your next outfit, consider thrifting stores and charity shops to find original and ethically conscious clothing that will leave you thriving in a one of a kind power attire.

5 Forget about Gender Roles

Following the footsteps of fashion figures Harry Styles and Alexander McQueen, it’s time to forget about gender roles when dressing to make a statement. Embracing your own personal style and gender identity radiates power in itself, making this fashion move simply a set of armour that reflects your own powerful personality.

For a gender-neutral wardrobe, it’s time to invest in the future of unisex clothing. As exhibited in Alexander McQueen’s AW20 collection that uses tailoring to speak out against the juxtaposition between masculine and feminine styles, take a stand against gender labelled clothes for the ultimate power move.

6 Use Fashion to Make a Statement

Power dressing is all about emphasizing your opinion by enhancing your identity. Whether it is used to build your own self-confidence or as a statement to empower others, there’s no doubt that politically driven styles are influencing an entire generation of new leaders, strong women and globally celebrated diversity. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may be leading the beginning of the change, but certainly won’t be the last influential figure to revolutionise the fashion industry as we once knew it.

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