Pencil Skirt Power Suit

For an all gray and black look, layering different textures is key to amping up the outfit’s appeal.

Ah, the power suit. When I hear “power suit,” I think of those thick, starched suits from the 80s-90s with huge shoulder pads and pleated, boxy pants. Quite masculine, actually. Women were joining the workforce more and more in the 80s as the recession hit hard and baby boomer moms could re-enter the workforce. Did women wear those masculine-like suits to emulate their male co-workers? A lot has changed—the power suit has certainly evolved.

I vary my more formal attire during the week. Suits are nowhere near as comfortable as yoga pants and a tunic with dainty flats but I like wearing a suit when I have a point to prove. Far from the 80s masculine power suit, I’m looking for a suit combo that screams: look at her; she knows what she’s talking about.

Top tips for the new power suit: Fit, Fabric and Fun.

I paired a charcoal gray pencil skirt with a black sleeveless shirt and a similarly-colored gray blazer with black piping. My booties are a gray suede and black leather combo with a mid-sized heel. I love how the shirt’s cut-out at the collar mirrors the blazer’s lapel, almost forming > < on either side of my collar. I decided against a necklace for exactly that reason—the pattern was strong enough at the collar and didn’t need further emphasis. Simple white gold studs completed my look.

Skirt – Vintage (Similar here)

It’s an easy look to wear. I’ve got to give credit to the power suit. It’s powerful in that it requires so little thought to pairing. In this case, my gray tones didn’t match exactly but it was close enough. As I’m looking at myself in the pictures, I think how the suit could easily be paired with a crisp white shirt or a colorful blouse. The options are endless since the gray and black combo is so forgiving.

Suede gray and leather black booties by Vince Camuto. Vince Camuto “Vala”

You can see the booties better in this shot. They are surprisingly comfortable for heeled boots. I only started feeling foot fatigue very near the end of my day.

Add some fun! Embossed buttons and textural piping on this Gap blazer is a nice touch. Blazer – Gap (Similar here)

I love the cute buttons on this blazer from Gap. The blazer is a jersey material so it pairs well with the jersey-feel skirt. It’s a nice contrast to the darkness and texture of the poly-blend, sheer skirt. There’s a lot of button texture with this suit and I think it really draws the eye in—it’s an intriguing combination. The blazer has a college-styled embossing while the skirt’s buttons are a shiny, round black row. The skirt has two small black buttons at the bust.

I’m keeping this look comfortable with a loose blouse over a tight skirt. Eyeshadow – Buxom – May Contain Nudity palette 

Blazer off. I rarely take off my blazers/cardigans at work because the A/C is constantly blasting over my cube. I wanted to show the shirt’s indented detail at the collarbone. Angular but still very feminine. I’m keeping with the power suit but I’ve left behind the vestiges of a male-dominated suit. Mine is all woman.