What Does Power Dressing Look Like Today?

Chic women aren’t afraid to borrow from the boys—especially when the reward is a style that serves up ease and instant polish. This year we celebrate the art of the power suit. The return of this classic provides options both in terms of form and function. Whether you favor the most masculine, pinstriped tailoring or the soft, relaxed variation, there’s a power suit that can take you comfortably from the office to a kiddie play date or after-work drinks.

One reason the power suit has made a big comeback for women: it’s a foolproof way to meet the time-honored advice on how to dress for success. Dress for the job that you want, not the job that you have. Classic dinner jackets, sharp shoulders, and banker pinstripes automatically say you can command the room. You don’t have to commit to corporate drone shades of black and grey. Notables such as Blakely Lively and Julia Roberts know how to own beautiful color when it comes to a power suit.

Feminine Touches Make Strong Statements

Feminine touches can be just as strong in declaring that the woman who wears a power suit is a game-changer. A power suit crafted in silk is ready for brunch or a wedding. Casually shapeless or of-the-moment drop-crotch would slay on a first date. There are plenty of suits with the strong shoulders of the ‘80s and tailoring of the ‘40s, but 2019 adds touches of irony.

Alexander Wang offers his cool-kid version of the three-piece suit in a loose grey design worn over a shiny black vest. Givenchy caters to today’s Katherine Hepburns. Burberry features cravats, and Dolce & Gabbana serves up bow ties.

Playfulness can start by choosing a pantsuit on the traditional side, such as one from Giorgio Armani’s New Normal collection. Power brokers of the ‘80s favored Armani’s softly tailored suits, and the designer draws on that legacy for his latest stylings. Tweak such traditional designs by opening a jacket to reveal a minimalist bandeau that bares the midriff. Wear a plunging lapel without a bralette or choose a long blazer and leave the trousers in your closet.

The boiler suit may be the ultimate power suit.

Fashion has long favored art and fantasy over the utilitarian, but the realities of modern life are creating a shift.  Fancy show is giving way to practicality with the latest evidence of the sudden popularity of the boiler suit. The all-in-one jumpsuit is a gift for quick and easy dressing. The boiler suit, a throwback that conjures up images of WWII’s Rosie the Riveter poster, is the ultimate in multitasking and efficiency.

Strong-shouldered and tough-minded, refined, and elegant, the utilitarian boiler suit may just be the epitome of power dressing today. If the pantsuit stands as a symbol of power, the boiler suit delivers the sense that there is power in ease. One of the easiest is a collarless khaki from Isabel Marant. Paul Andrew at Salvatore Ferragamo delivers the look in leather, while Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri renders a refined, quilted boiler suit.

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