Intimidated by Power Suits? Here’s How to Find One You’ll Actually Wear
The power suit is back, baby! And we’re not talking about the oversize, padded versions of the ’80s (thank goodness). The 2019 suit looks just as good at work with sneakers as it does for a night out on the town with strappy heels and a low-cut cami. Seriously, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re going; there’s a suit out there for you. Here’s exactly what to look for when shopping for a trendy power suit, no matter your body type or lifestyle.
But first, two tips that apply to any and all suits:
Simple classics always look best when they’re tailored.
If you’re struggling to find that perfect suit, you might want to consider taking the one you love to your local seamstress for those final, flattering edits.
Confidence is key.
Quite a few women in the PureWow office said they were intimidated by the power suit trend, but admitted that feeling was really a form of imposter syndrome. Believe us when we say this two-piece style can look good on absolutely everyone, regardless of body type or profession.
If You’re Petite
Start with a cropped skinny leg and a blazer that hits no lower than mid-hip. The key here is to avoid XL silhouettes or you’ll run the risk of looking like you’re playing dress-up. Leave the shoulder pads back in the ’80s (where they belong) and stick with slim, structured jackets that will highlight your petite frame.
If You Have a Big Bust
Circumvent buckling buttons by tying on a wrap blazer. It will be much easier to adjust and will actually fit your chest, without a trip to the tailor. A wide-leg trouser, like Coterie member Alyssa Amoroso’s, maintains balance between your ample bosom and slimmer stems.
If You’re Long and Lean
A double-breasted blazer adds just the right amount of curve and volume without overwhelming your slim, leggy frame. However, a super-slim-fit suit may leave you looking like a stick figure or Mike Teavee, post taffy puller. To avoid that unfortunate aesthetic, opt for a roomier blazer and slightly looser trousers, to fill out your frame in a complimentary way.
If You Have a Short Torso
Select a blazer that’s a bit longer in length, preferably one with longer lapels (aka a longer neckline). The idea is to draw the eye down toward your mile-long legs to create a sense of balance. Bonus tip: Make sure the hem of your pants isn’t too cropped (if cropped at all) or it can compress your frame and counteract the lengthening power of your blazer.
If You’re Tall
You’ve got the height to pull off bold prints, intricate patterns and/or textured finishes. Just be sure to pay extra close attention to where your sleeves and pant legs end. A hint of wrist or ankle is fine, but a flash of elbow or calf will leave you looking like your suit shrank in the wash.
If You’re Pear Shaped
Leave the stiff wool and corduroy to the others and familiarize yourself with flowy jersey or loose linen. These easy fabrics will move with your curves, rather than constricting them. You may also find it flattering to add a wide belt (or belt bag, if you so prefer) at the waist to draw attention up to your tiny midsection.
If You Have Broad Shoulders
Step away from the shoulder pads! Or any structured jacket, for that matter. Looser silhouettes are your friends, as are wide-leg or loosely-cut pants that work to balance out your strong shoulders. Bonus tip: Opt for single-row styles over double-breasted blazers. One neat line draws the eye inward, while two rows tends to widen you out again.
If You’re Plus Size
Make sure your blazer isn’t too long and hits no lower than the widest part of your hips or you’ll run the risk of having your jacket swallow your frame and create an unflattering “apple on stilts” effect. Showing some skin at your ankles or wrists by pushing up your sleeves can also prevent the suit from overwhelming you (especially if you’re also petite). And of course, if you’re looking to create or emphasize your waist, opt for a jacket with bold buttons right at your smallest point.
If You’ve Got a Long Torso
Avoid cropped and skinny-leg trousers, and instead try a flared or wide-leg pair with a high rise. As for the blazer, look for one that hits at your hips (too long and you’ll look like you’re wearing a dress over pants), even better if it has interesting button or label details to draw the eye upward.