Adam Glassman
Photo: Robert Trachtenberg
Q: Which colors look confident?

A: I think it's old-fashioned to think in terms of "power" colors. Remember how female newscasters and execs in the '80s wore red suits because they were supposed to look authoritative? Women no longer need to try so hard to prove that they're boss material. That said, wearing only neutrals is a cop-out. It's safe and doesn't express confidence. You get noticed more when you're dressed in something vivid: It's kind of like fashion assertiveness training—a means of speaking up for yourself.

Not that you should scream for attention, either in the palette you choose or the way you use it. Wearing just a flash of a stylish, subtly forceful shade—plum, teal, ginger—sends the message that you're secure enough to build a lively, eye-catching element into your workday basics.

Scared people retreat behind a drab uniform. Bold ones take calculated risks with color.