The power suit has come a long way since Chanel repackaged menswear designs into female empowerment in 1914. Chanel’s tweed piece would become so iconic that it would eventually become a signature silhouette for the French fashion house.
Since then, the fashion industry has had an insatiable fascination with power suiting. Other luxury fashion houses would follow suit with their interpretation of the tailored two-piece. Saint Laurent’s 1966 “Le Smoking” tuxedo, for example, displayed a cutting-edge sense of luxury and opulence.
In the new millennium, power suits once again lead the way. But instead of the stiff, corporate connotations of old, today’s silhouettes are voluminously luxe, richly colored, and sharply tailored.
Whether it’s for work or off-duty styling, here are eight tips to mastering this sartorial trend.
1. Go classic
For an excellent transitional piece from workday to night out, the versatile grey check is the way to go. This neutral tone achieves a polished yet refined aesthetic that works well for the office or an evening cocktail party.
While it is a traditional look in today’s style scene, the grey check can be elegantly updated with some personal touches. The right accessories, like a wide-brimmed hat, stunning gold jewelry, or simple strappy heels add a unique statement to this menswear-inspired suit.
2. Make a statement
The right statement piece can help you maintain a sense of creativity when wearing a power suit. Accessorizing your business-appropriate foundation can be effortlessly done by styling your outfit with a fun statement piece like a crossbody bag or a clutch.
3. Dress it down
If the occasion calls for a more casual aesthetic, ditch the sharp, structured look. Rather, try a softer approach. Fabrics like linen or silk create a relaxed silhouette while maintaining a formal vibe.
Finish off the tailored look with a simple white tee and minimalist white sneakers for a touch of playful femininity.
4. Mix and match
Ease the structured look by mixing and matching contrasting silhouettes. A boxy blazer paired with an easy-to-wear midi skirt or straighter, slouchy pants can offer an inspired way to up your suit game.
What’s more, mixing in cool-girl layers, like a graphic tee underneath, lends your ensemble an edgy finish.
To add visual interest, consider mixing different fabrics and textures. This creates an easygoing yet put-together suit that works for any occasion.
5. Reach for eye-catching prints
While neutral tones are a business staple, bold colors and prints are a great way to add a real richness to your workwear.
For an easy entry into this vibrant trend, go with a solid color like cobalt blue or spring-ready yellow. These bold color-blocking hues create utterly modern palettes that add a daring update to your work uniform.
Closet peacocks can opt for trend-led floral prints for a radiant look that exudes confidence.
6. Be pretty in pastel
For a more subtle and refined feel, a pretty shade of pastel is guaranteed to display an elevated easiness. Soft hues like millennial pink or powdery lilac strike a beautiful balance between elegance, individuality, and a distinctive boss attitude.
To give your pastel-toned suit more character and personality, team your suit with a pair of plimsolls or top with a neutral trench, like one in beige, in colder weather.
7. Crop it up
If the long-established codes of tailoring feel stifling, opt for something with easy elegance.
A shorter cropped style is a daring twist to the power suit signature. However, cropped trousers and a shorter-length jacket look just as professional as their counterparts while adding a feminine touch.
For weekend spring or summer outings, pair a shorter tailored blazer with slim Bermuda shorts. The length keeps you breezy cool during warm days and insulated on cool nights. A spring-inspired color like seafoam green or coral will certainly get some attention.
8. Borrow from the boys
If recent street style is anything to go by, incorporating masculine elements adds fresh sartorial ideas to your feminine suit.
To achieve this look while making sure your feminine frame doesn’t get lost in the process, bring in a fun, menswear-inspired statement piece. A shapeless oversized blazer matched with slim tailored pants or a miniskirt adds a contrasting juxtaposition to your outfit that you can wear with ease.
What’s more, you can cinch in the oversized blazer with a belt to highlight your feminine figure. Finishing off the business suit with a pair of combat boots is another way to add a touch of formal masculinity to your tailored look.
The new power suit
The modern-day power suit is no longer relegated to the boardroom. Today’s tailored two-piece is so versatile that it can be worn during day errands, cocktail hour, weekend brunch, or anything else in between.
The new power suit can also be as varied as your individual style, from oversized to tailored and mismatched. No matter how you style it, the power suit is the perfect, stylish outfit you’ll want to wear time after time.