The look of workwear has shifted substantially in the last decade, but the change that has occurred since 2020 has been nothing short of seismic. The pandemic created a work-from-home construct that’s still, to a certain degree, in place. Suits are out, but what’s in?
Introducing a moniker you will start to hear more and more: Power Casual. Why do we love it? It’s a pairing of pieces that are structured and profesh with pieces that are stretchy and comfortable. This is a trend that’s not going away any time soon, so here are our 4 tips for the new power casual, whether you’re home on your laptop or in a corner office.
Pieces that are flattering, professional, and comfortable are a must, and thankfully brands (like Ripley Rader and Spanx) are coming out with amazing products to match. Cotton knits are used in all sorts of great ways—as blazers and button-downs–and it’s chic with a side of comfort. Look for a stretch in the material composition (lycra, elastane, or spandex) to get that “give” you need without the wrinkle, even when you’re sitting for long periods of time.
If you’ve worked your entire adult life you probably have a closet full of suits. Problem is, those shoulder pads and darts are much too formal. To avoid coming off as circa 2015, your first line of defense is to break up the suits and try the jacket with, say, a midi-length printed skirt or jeans. When you DO add to your wardrobe, think in modern terms. The “new” suit is a matching blouse and trousers, and it’s a great option (can be worn together or separately, of course, just make sure to clean them together so you get the same rate of fade).
Try the “new” suit: a matching blouse and trousers.
A pop of color moves you from too serious to current and fresh. Not only does color boost your mood, but it’s our number one trick for looking great on that Zoom call. Shades of greens, blues, and even mustard can completely liven your workwear fit.
If your look seems too neutral or underwhelming, try topping it off with a statement piece. A necklace or vibrant scarf, a pair of statement earrings, or even a fun tote, will give your fit a bit more oomph.
Observe your colleagues' wardrobe choices and take note of what you like. If you’re working in a creative or tech field, perhaps a graphic tee (with a blazer on top) may be just the thing. If you’re working in corporate, invest in a phenomenal pair of white sneakers to pair with those ponte pants for casual Fridays. The key here is finding ways that are authentic to you to integrate the casual and elevated with comfort and professionalism.
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