When it comes to a working wardrobe, the phrase “power dressing” is one that usually calls to mind big shoulders, big hair, and even bigger attitude - an 80s heyday we might perhaps prefer to forget.
These days, power dressing isn’t just about storming boardrooms and showing you mean business. Instead, it’s about building a reliable workwear wardrobe to ensure you both look and feel like the professional you want to be. Research has shown that what we wear to work can directly impact our performance, with psychologists Hajo Adam and Adam Galinsky of Northwestern University conducting studies on ‘enclothed cognition’. In short, their studies show that if your brain associates a Balmain blazer and a pair of Gucci loafers with a smart, powerful woman, it’s more than likely you’ll embody these qualities whilst wearing them.
With the help of our excellent team of buyers, below we've curated an edit of the essential components to see you into the new season, whatever your professional personality.
We may want to lose the frosted lip, but we’re in full support of a hint of 80s shoulder pad, as evidenced by Olivier Rousteing’s Balmain offering. At Prada, Miuccia nipped in the waists for a feminine silhouette, where Low Classic and Khaite went with a more androgynous style of suiting. Easily worn on and off-duty, the blazer looks as good with jeans as it does as head-to-toe tailoring.
Acting as an instant outfit, your workwear dress can vary from a structured statement to an elevated basic. Saving our cocktail numbers for the weekend, we turn to muted tones, higher necks and longer lengths for the office. Comfort is key and there’s potential to add extra layers when facing daily aircon battles. This season we are keeping it simple with Lemaire and Jil Sander.
The shirt is a necessity in any capsule wardrobe. Whether you prefer a crisp Oxford, a silky blouse or a Western style button-down, there’s no end to the textures, shapes and prints we’ve got to offer. Pair your trousers or skirt with a crisp, tie-neck number from Givenchy or a cotton classic from Totême.
Finding the perfect pair of trousers can be a tricky task, but with a range of tailored, wide leg, skinny and cropped in our seasonal edit you’ll find your match in no time. Raise the waist in Saint Laurent, go long with Vetements or experiment with texture with Etro’s flared styles.
When it comes to skirts for work we often think of Marilyn’s trusty pencil skirt as our smart staple. Whilst we love this feminine, fitted style, this season we’re adding pleats, leather and asymmetric hems into the mix. Pair your blazer with a high-waisted fit from Alexandre Vauthier or loosen up with a stretch style from Pleats Please by Issey Miyake.
Ankles, rejoice! This season reaching for higher heights in the workplace means reaching for lower heights in our wardrobe. AW19 re-introduced us to the 90s square toe, the mid heel mule and the ballet flat. We’ll be facing the commute in our Bottega Veneta pumps, Gia Couture flats and Gucci loafers.
Date: 12th September 2019
Category: What To Wear