Librarian Seeking Strong Silhouettes

Chanel Fall 2019 Couture Suits
Librarian seeking bold colors, rich textures and strong silhouettes to fill my closet for the season. 
Chanel Fall 2019 Couture Suits
This easily could have been the classified ad verbiage for a woman ready to wear the Chanel Fall 2019 couture collection. The designs were at once rooted in history, stylish and luxurious. The show was presented in front of a backdrop of books, making it easy to imagine a librarian, professor or take-charge business woman wearing the designs. 
Chanel Fall 2019 Couture Suits

Chanel Fall 2019 Couture Suits

Branding Queen

Branding Lessons from Queen Elizabeth I
Alexander McQueen Fall 2013
Queen Elizabeth I continues to be recognized as one of the greatest leaders of her time. She ruled as a single woman on the throne of England from 1558-1603 in what has been labeled the golden era. While serving as Queen, she revolutionized the religious system by establishing the English Protestant church, resisted expectations to marry simply based on protocol, helped the arts blossom, expanded the territory and led one of England’s largest military victories. 
Alexander McQueen fall 2013 runway queen Elizabeth I style
Though historians can look back on leaders and analyze what they did to make them memorable or worth studying, Elizabeth was recognized within her lifetime and soon after her death for her greatness. What about her leadership style helped people of the Elizabethan era see the strengths of their Queen? 

Cup of Ambition

Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda in 9 to 5 movie
What started with a conversation and a united group of women inspired music, a movie and a movement. In the 1970s, when a few women began to share their work experiences with one another and their feelings of invisibility and disposability, they found an opportunity to come together for change. 
Dolly Parton in 9 to 5
Karen Nussbaum described to NPR how she and other women created an organization called 9to5. In era when men dominated the workplace and women were often limited to the role of secretary, such a step forward took courage. The group inspired the now classic movie “9 to 5” and the ubiquitous theme song by Dolly Parton. 
Jane Fonda in 9 to 5 movie
The song became an anthem for working women in a way that still holds power almost 50 years later. Though advances have been made by women in the corporate world, progress is still needed. Lyrics such as "They just use your mind and they never give you credit" and "They let you dream just to watch 'em shatter/You're just a step on the boss man's ladder" are still true for many women.

The 7 Parts of Your Professional Brand

Professional branding tips

Brands are all around us. We are fed marketing pitches, ideas and feelings on TV, social media, in magazines and across the internet. Marketing professionals use the 7 Ps of marketing to piece together a story that connects with key customers to help their companies sell products and make money. Each combination of product, price, promotion, place, packaging, positioning and people has the power to appeal to the senses and make you the next paying customer. 

Professional branding tips

Just as companies use marketing to communicate a brand image, so can you. You can harness the power of the 7 Ps to create a professional brand that gets the attention of the right people, in the right place and at the right time. 

Some may call this a personal brand which can also be true, but I'll refer to it as your professional brand since the goal of using this strategy will be to leverage your strengths and story to land the job of your dreams.

Professional branding definition

The idea of professional branding may seem daunting, unnecessary or self-indulgent. However, given the variety of ways in which you, your image, words, resumé, etc. can be viewed, a coherent professional brand strategy is necessary. It’s important that a potential employer see a consistent message whether they are meeting you in person, reading through your LinkedIn profile or doing a Google search with your name. 

You have a brand, whether intentional or not. The choice to cultivate a brand you are proud of and one that truly represents you is a choice. 

Whether you are in college and beginning to build the foundation for a future career, searching for a new job or happily plugging along at work each day, a professional brand strategy can be a game changer. This isn’t just about filter selection for flow on your Instagram or setting your Facebook to private with a public-appropriate profile photo. Your strategy moves beyond these online presence basics to help you streamline your goals, articulate your platform and shape your career path. 

So where do you begin? That’s why I’m here to help. I’m going to break down each marketing concept from the 7 Ps and then apply it to the professional branding of a celebrity to see how she uses it to strengthen her career. With these powerhouse women as the starting point, you can then start brainstorming how to use the framework for your own professional brand.

History of the Power Suit

Chanel Power Suits Vogue Editorial
When we hear the term “power suit,” images of 1980s female executives charging into the boardroom with broad shoulders enhanced by shoulder pads quickly come to mind. 
Melanie Griffith and Sigourney Weaver Power Suits
However, the history of the power suit and power dressing started well before Melanie Griffith cemented the iconic image in her role as Tess in the 1988 film “Working Girl.” 

Pretty in a Power Suit

Pretty in a Power Suit

Welcome to the all new Pretty in a Power Suit™! What started as A Chichi Life, has now undergone a metamorphosis into Pretty in a Power Suit™. You'll still find fashion, art and history on the site, but with more goodies added to the mix.  

About Pretty in a Power Suit

Pretty in a Power Suit™ is designed to celebrate the feminine and pretty side of style, leadership, power and life. 

Frida in a Pink Suit by Ashley Longshore
Painting of Frida in a Pink Suit by Ashley Longshore

New content will include an exploration of powerful women from the past and present with deeper dives into the stories and leadership of these women.  

In addition to offering inspiration and insight, you'll be able to find tools to help empower your own stylish journey to the corner office--and wherever the "top" is for you.
Pretty in a Power Suit collage
Blog posts include career tips and tools, fashion history, workwear inspiration, book reviews and profiles of women paving the way as leaders, artists, designers and more. Pictured in collage: leading lady Audrey Hepburn, Moschino 80s inspired workwear, 1990s Chanel power suits and the ladies taking charge in 9 to 5

 To stay connected and hear about new tools and blog posts, be sure to subscribe to receive emails using the sign-up form located in the sidebar or at the bottom of the page. 

You can also follow along for more pretty inspiration on Instagram and Pinterest.