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Want to exude a powerful aura? There are definitive power cues, says Linda Wells, editor in chief of Allure magazine.

"When you're dealing with power, your clothes have to send a strong message -- but not too strong," she said.

Here are some words from the wise:

A strong suit. First and foremost, says Wells, power starts with a suit. "You've got to have a jacket, and while the Chanel jacket is the gold standard, there are many others that will work." Wells prefers a knee-length skirt to pants and says dark colors are most powerful.

A shoe with a heel. "A slender high heel, but not too high, creates the perception of power the way a flat shoe does not," Wells says. "If you're wearing a high heel, it seems like you don't have to walk too far -- maybe you have a driver -- it gives you height and thrusts your body into a shape that looks more powerful."

A good bag. "You can never go wrong with a Hermes bag," says Wells, who adds that basic colors black, brown and beige for summer are always right. If your field is slightly more creative -- say, advertising or fashion, certainly go for a bright green or orange bag. "Not for Condoleezza Rice," she says.

Hair today. Sorry girls with curls. Wells says that curly hair is just not powerful. "If your hair seems wild, than you may be, too. Conveying power is conveying control, so your hair has to look it." She cites Diane Sawyer as having "powerful" hair -- cut to the chin in the front and the mid-neck in the back.

Tough as nails. According to Wells, your nails tell a story. She advises short nails with neutral polish (red or dark colors are distracting). "If you've got long nails, she says, "then you're spending too much time at the manicurist instead of making deals and conquering the world."

-- Newsday

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