This post originally appeared on the blog MakingManhattan.com.
By Sophia Smith | Edited by Caroline Vazzana
Years ago, career-oriented women looked alike donning buttoned up suit sets with skirts or slacks. Thankfully we’ve come a long way since the 80s and now “power dressing” can describe anything from a three-piece suit and a great pair of jeans. Before you perfect your power look, take a read through five pointers, below, to give you some guidance on building a look that commands attention.
Pick Your Print
Florals might not be groundbreaking for spring, but they are making waves in the world of power dressing. Most of the florals we’ve seen this year aren’t nearly as delicate as frilly pastel patterns of the past. The darker, gloomier blooms — also known as “cool girl florals” — came just in the nick of time to show us that powerful women wear florals, too.
One of the staples of power dressing has always been, and always will be, the mighty suit. There is something inexplicably authoritative about a woman wearing a perfectly tailored suit. That said, feel free to branch out beyond traditional blacks and grays (which don’t get us wrong are essentials). Pinks, reds, and greens really make a statement, and an all plaid suit will leave you looking super sharp.
All About Blazers
When in doubt, top your look with a blazer. A black blazer can be paired with a high-waisted pencil skirt or even a printed pant. And if your office has a more casual vibe, pair your blazer with a tailored jean, breezy blouse, and sleek loafer for a business-casual match made in heaven.
Dress for Success
A dress is one of the easiest outfits a woman can pull out of her closet — and now, it’s one of the most powerful. A wrap dress, shift dress or anything midi-length paired with perfect pumps makes for a classic look that exudes authority.
Make a Statement
Even when you’re wearing a more polished look, a smart power-move is to make an impact with one accessory. Famous women in fashion all have a signature item: Jenna Lyons is known for her glasses, as is Jenny Walton for her statement earrings. Take a page from their playbook, and put your accessories to work.
Caroline Vazzana is a fashion writer, editor, and stylist living and working in her hometown of New York. She’s worked for Anna Sui, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, and InStyle. She has collaborated with designers including Betsey Johnson and Diane Von Furstenberg, and has styled celebrities for various red carpets like the MTV Video Music Awards and Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards. Caroline is currently the Founder & Creative Director ofMakingManhattan.com where she hopes to shed light on the industry to the future fashion generation. Make sure to follow her everywhere @cvazzana for an inside look into her day to day in NYC.