1. LORDE

The burgeoning music mogul - whose curated

Hunger Games

soundtrack listing was released today - extends her thoughtfulness to her clothing choices. "The kind of clothes that I've found I like to wear over the past year and six months have all been things that make me feel powerful and strong," she explained to Vogue earlier this year. "My go-to empowering thing is definitely a strong pair of pants."

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Labour's Jacinda Ardern, wearing a Juliette Hogan jacket, with Grant Robertson for the launch of their Labour leadership campaign. Picture / Brett Phibbs
Labour's Jacinda Ardern, wearing a Juliette Hogan jacket, with Grant Robertson for the launch of their Labour leadership campaign. Picture / Brett Phibbs

2. JACINDA ARDERN

While many of her female political contemporaries turn to Trelise Cooper or Adrienne Winkelmann for their working wardrobes, Ardern tends towards a more contemporary version of power dressing. She chose a softly tailored Juliette Hogan jacket from a few seasons ago for her announcement as Grant Robertson's running mate on Sunday - a sartorial mark of the duo's 'new generation' tagline, a politician unafraid of wearing and supporting local creative talent.

"You don't think it's too loud do you?" tweeted Hilary Barry about this striped jacket. Picture / twitter.com/Hilary_Barry

3. HILARY BARRY

"You don't think it's too loud do you?" asked the sassy 3 News presenter on Twitter of a blue and white striped jacket she wore in the office last week. Teamed with silver fox Mike McRoberts, Barry cuts a striking figure in a parade of tailored jackets that touch on the delicate balance required of news presenters: professional, smart, never too distracting.

Fellow TV3 journalists Paula Penfold and Tova O'Brien also rate a mention here for their strong and stylish take on on-screen power dressing.

The always elegant Joan Withers, MBA, deputy chair on the board of TVNZ and Chairwoman of Mighty River Power. Picture / Greg Bowker
The always elegant Joan Withers, MBA, deputy chair on the board of TVNZ and Chairwoman of Mighty River Power. Picture / Greg Bowker

4. JOAN WITHERS

The busy chair of the Mighty River Power board and deputy chair of the TVNZ board matches her exceptional CV with her choice of jackets and jewellery that assert authority. She always looks elegant, from head to toe - including that elegant blonde bob.


5. KATE SYLVESTER
The designer knows that modern power dressing means more than big shouldered jackets. Her contemporary suiting and sheath dresses have made her a favourite of a special type of intelligent woman, who wants to look smart and powerful without letting her clothes overpower what she has to say. She also cuts a brilliant blazer.
Juliette Hogan and Ingrid Starnes are other local designers doing a great trade in workwear, with a minimal aesthetic tempered by feminine touches.

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* Writer's Note: Local male power dressers deserve a list of their own. This list relates to a new exhibition at the Design Museum in London, examining how influential women use fashion to "define and enhance their position in the world". Read more about it here.


+ GET THE LOOK
Do some power dressing of your own with these office-appropriate pieces:

L to R: Ingrid Starnes jacket, $476, and pants $297. World jacket $599. Trelise Cooper Boardroom dress $429.
L to R: Ingrid Starnes jacket, $476, and pants $297. World jacket $599. Trelise Cooper Boardroom dress $429.
L to R: Liam wool blazer, $299, & pants $249. TKStore viscose top, $165, & cashmere wool blend skirt $289. Helen Cherry silk tweed jacket, $698, & skirt $429. Buy at www.shopviva.co.nz.
L to R: Liam wool blazer, $299, & pants $249. TKStore viscose top, $165, & cashmere wool blend skirt $289. Helen Cherry silk tweed jacket, $698, & skirt $429. Buy at www.shopviva.co.nz.