Power dressing has never been so feminine. A term that traditionally brings to mind 9-5 pant suits and shoulder pads evolved into the perfect blend of sexy and sophisticated. Most importantly, this isn't a trend that is reserved for the office. In fact, it will likely fit in best at cocktail hour.
This season's spin on power dressing look is all about silhouettes and fabrications. It comes down to the strategic placement of sheer fabrics and keyhole cutouts that really sets this movement apart. The details command such attention! But what makes this trend all the more powerful is it's embrace of the female body. The curve-hugging silhouettes and plunging necklines scream girl power.
To really drive the look home, accessorize with strong pieces, like chunky, architecturally-shaped jewelry, structured handbags, and look-at-me shoes. And, most importantly, don't be afraid to give the look a touch of personal style. If sexy cutouts aren't for you, look for a piece that will accentuate your frame. Or if blazers are too polished for your everyday style, create a strong combo with streamlined separates. Another option if you fear you won't get a lot of wear out of a sheer-paneled dress: opt for a top with a little peek-a-boo detail instead. No matter what you choose, all looks will be equally strong—especially for spring. Besides, it doesn't hurt to add yet another black piece to your wardrobe.
1. How to wear it
Make black even more authoritative by accenting it with chunky gold jewelry. Matching cuffs on both wrists serve as modern-day body armor. A confident flash of skin is in. But if plunging necklines and copious cutouts feel too revealing, opt for pieces with patterned overlays that offer just a glimpse. The effect is no less daring. For a tough-girl take on cocktail dressing, layer sporty elements, like a cropped top, under a deftly tailored jacket.
Runway inspiration (L-R): Salvatore Ferragamo, Lanvin, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana
2. White House Black Market
3. Cole Haan
5. River Island
$235 (top) and $350 (skirt); milly.com
7. Edge of Ember
9. Hugo Boss
$545; hugoboss.com for stores
10. Helmut Lang
14. Calvin Klein