The 8 New Rules of Modern Power Dressing

Power dressing for work: an old-fashioned patriarchal obligation or an empowering and liberating experience when taken into one's own hands? Once upon a time, the concept was in place for women to further assert their authority in predominantly male environments; those constraints still, unfortunately, exist in many a workplace, but many women now power-dress for themselves as well. Your working wardrobe can be your armour, but it can also be an excuse for fashion indulgences and shopping joy—after all, these are the clothes you spend 70% of your time in.

So the codes and regulations of modern power dressing have relaxed, but that can actually make the process of getting ready each day for work somewhat more complicated. How casual is too casual? Do suits sit within an entire no-go zone? Can flats command a room in the same way heels (supposedly) do? There are some seriously archaic rules that we are more than happy to break, so keep reading to receive some stylish pointers on power dressing for work now.

Not all suits are equal—you can wear the most exciting versions:

Photo:

Darja Barannik

Style Notes: If you've long thought of a tailored suit as being a far too corporate choice, think again. There's a new wave in town, and they're different: Whether it's bright, floral, or rendered into more pajama-like shapes, you can still look the business while feeling more enthusiastic about your wardrobe. Just add polished accessories and a bun for the full effect.

Pop socks are your new best friend:

Photo:

Darja Barannik

Style Notes: Not only do pop socks make for a very great partner in fighting the crime of blisters and new shoes, but they also enable you to wear summery pieces earlier than planned. All that and they're very popular within the fashion world right now.

Flats, midis and high heels are all entirely acceptable, but do this one thing:

Photo:

Style du Monde

Style Notes: There are no hard-and-fast rules about what heel height you should wear to work (or whether to wear them at all), but all smart ladies would agree on the fact that whatever your shoe choice, make sure they are always smart, scuff-free and polished.

A power coat makes a great first impression:

Photo:

@parkncube

Style Notes: It's all too easy to rely on the same worn-out black coat, but as Shini Park proves here, there can be nothing more entrance-making than something in a powerful colour or print.

Culottes may be the answer to your every work-outfit woe:

Photo:

Hug You

Style Notes: When a skirt feels too fussy, tight trousers too uncomfortable, long-line pants too likely to get dirty and wet in puddles… Along comes a pair of culottes to save the day. Team up with a smart jumper and mid-heels for the most directional effect.

Classic accessories are still worth the investment:

Photo:

Style Snooper Dan

Style Notes: There is a reason they're called investment pieces. Classic leather goods and jewellery are the gifts that keep on giving—matching up with almost every outfit and continually catching the interest of other in-the-know women.

A blazer with a pair of jeans is the best way to do smart-casual:

Photo:

Style du Monde

Style Notes: We've said it once, and we'll say it again: A blazer and a pair of jeans are about the most fashion-forward way you can dress right now. They also just so happen to be great for casual Fridays or offices with more lenient dress codes.

Working from home requires simple staples:

Photo:

The Frugality

Style Notes: A long cardigan, a fashion-aware tee and jeans are easy enough to slouch around in at home, but they also can be dressed up in an instant when you grab the right accessories on your way out the door.

Next up, the best new workwear brands that will really give you extra motivation.