Power Points

By Sharon Mosley

March 7, 2008 3 min read


New pieces make dressing for work your strong suit

By Sharon Mosley

Copley News Service

The menswear look with the matching trousers and jacket is always a safe bet that many professional women turn to when they get up to dress for work every day. But that kind of dated suit has deflated in fashion power. For spring, you can relax the rules of the game a little bit and loosen up. Here are some new pointers for the new power dressing:

- Buy a new jacket. The boyfriend jacket has always been a lifesaver for women who like to wear a jacket, but don't like the confines of strict tailoring. If this is the case for you, stick to a little longer jacket with a little slouchier silhouette - just don't make it sloppy.

- Experiment with vests. This classic piece is another alternative for topping off a pair of trousers or a skirt this spring. You can wear it either by itself (the sleeveless vest look is very popular) or you can layer it over a short-sleeved knit top. Belting the vest gives it even more of an updated feeling.

- Mix your prints. Wearing one solid color or pattern from head to toe is boring. Spice up your work wear by wearing different patterns - a pinstriped navy pant with a subtle navy and orange plaid jacket and a paisley patterned blouse. The key is to keep the color coordinated.

- Stick with one neutral. Even when you're relaxing the rules, it's easier to keep your base neutral with navy, gray, black or camel. Then pull apart the pieces and mix and match with trendier separates. Add jeans to the mix for weekend looks.

- Invest in updated classics. Yes, you need the basics; a great tweed suit, menswear trousers, a knee-length skirt, a tailored trench coat. But you buy these in new shapes that are still feminine, but more modern and edgy. Think classics with a twist - a jacket with flared sleeves, a slimmer skirt, a trench in a bright color, a ruffled shirt.

- Think creatively. Just because you can't part with your favorite black jacket for work, doesn't mean you can't wear something a little more daring with it, say a colorful lemon-yellow satin shirt underneath. Or top off a slim khaki skirt with a fresh green boxy jacket.

- Keep accessories in scale. If your go-to-work clothes are all business, then you can style your look with bigger-scale accessories - an oversized jewel-toned handbag or colorful pumps. If your separates or dress is a little on the edgy side, keep your accessories simple - a neutral peep-toe pump or a glossy snakeskin clutch.

? Copley News Service

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