7 PureWow Staffers Took the Power Suit Trend to Work (and to Brunch…and to a Wedding)

Ah, the power suit. It probably brings to mind images of extremely generous shoulder padding, an ill-fitting skirt and sheer pantyhose. But it's not the '80s anymore; now, the modern two-piece comes in so many iterations that it couldn’t be further from its origins. Some are tailored and office-friendly (minus the football player silhouette), while others are so casual you could roll up to brunch in a blazer and slacks—but not appear overdressed at all.

The PureWow team decided to put the powerful trend to the test: We asked seven PureWow staffers to get suited up for a specific and not always suit-worthy situation—say, happy hour or a wedding—and then let us know how they felt in each outfit. The results (and photos, which we snapped at Queensyard, a British-inspired restaurant in Hudson Yards) are below.

Intimidated by Power Suits? Here’s How to Find One You’ll Actually Wear

Chelsea Candelario, Editorial Assistant

The Occasion: Happy hour

Her Suit Story: “I’ve never worn a suit. Ever. I don’t even own a blazer. I think I’ve always felt like I couldn’t rock a suit because of my curves or being petite.”

How She Felt: “When I wore this suit, I felt invincible. Like I was ready to take on the world! I felt confident and I was also super impressed that it was the perfect fit—something I was nervous about. It was tight at first, but once I moved, it felt comfortable to walk in. It also didn’t drag or scrunch up at the bottom like most pants do on me. #Shortpeopleproblems. Oh, I also felt like a combination between Rihanna and AOC, so do what you want with that information.”

Survey Says: “I’d buy a power suit! I think it’s a great outfit to wear to an event or for a night out with friends. Even the blazer alone with a casual outfit would be a great addition to my wardrobe.”

Get the look: Cara Santana blazer ($47) and  pants ($35); 3.1 Phillip Lim shirt ($325); Jeffrey Campbell shoes ($125)

Kate Mitchell, Chief Revenue Officer

The Occasion: A client meeting

Her Suit Story: “I used to wear suits all the time. I love the ease of it and how put-together the look actually feels. Now, I rarely wear a full suit anymore, just a blazer.”

How She Felt: “I loved the color! I typically don’t love a long jacket since I’m not the tallest and it tends to take over a bit.”

Survey Says: “I’m not sure I would buy a suit after this, but I may break out some of my suit favorites from the back of my closet.”

Get the look: Theory blazer ($535) and pants ($275); Madewell tee ($16)

Alex Hough, Associate News Editor

The Occasion: Brunch

Her Suit Story: “I’ve never worn a full-blown suit before. This was my first time even putting one on. I am a huge lover of blazers, so I do wear those often.”

How She Felt: “I loved everything about this suit. It was comfortable, warm and I felt so confident in it.”

Survey Says: “I wouldn’t say I’m running to the store to buy a suit at the moment. However, if I came across a cute one while shopping, I would be more inclined to try it on. That’s something I never would have done prior to this experience.”

Get the look: Little Moon blazer ($228) and pants ($148); Amour Vert tee ($38); Rag & Bone sandal ($237)

Jenny Jin, Beauty Director

The Occasion: A coffee meeting to discuss her YouTube show, The Glow Up

Her Suit Story: “I’ve been a skirt and dress wearer for most of my adult life, but have slowly been testing the waters with culottes and blazers.”

How She Felt: “Overall, I felt surprisingly good in the suit. Admittedly, I was a bit hesitant about the fitted pants at first, but I loved the head-to-toe blush pink and the way the fabric felt against my body.”

Survey Says: “I like how streamlined the look is. I don’t know that it will replace my preferred uniform of a skirt and sweater or a long, flowy dress, but I could see myself adding a power suit to my rotation to switch things up once in a while.”

Get the look: Theory blazer ($475) and pants ($275); Free People shirt ($40); Margaux heel ($295)

Dara Katz, Senior Editor

The Occasion: Another day at the office

Her Suit Story: “I never wear suits. I tried on a Zara pink corduroy suit about a year ago, but the fit was bad. Ever since, I’ve been accused of wearing sweatpants to work. Because I do.”

How She Felt: “I was shocked with the fit—it was nearly perfect. As soon as I zipped up the pants and looked in the mirror, I was reminded that wearing clothes that are tailored to your body can be just as comfortable and a lot more flattering. Changing from slouchy jeans to this high-waisted bright pink suit was like caffeine straight to the veins. I was ready to pose for the camera WERQ.”

Survey Says: “If I had an event to wear a suit like this—say, a wedding—I would definitely want one in my closet. But for the regular workday? No way. Thinking about my commute alone, this gorgeous suit would be traveling two subway stations and a million avenues while exposed to the whims of the weather gods. No way. I don’t think I’m at the right place in my life to bring a power suit into the daily mix, as much as I want one.”

Get the look: Argent blazer ($338) and pants ($238); Give a Fuck tee ($30)

Dabee Kaye, Vp, Brand Partnerships

The Occasion: Date night

Her Suit Story: “I haven’t worn a suit in years.”

How She Felt: “I was surprised that I actually liked wearing this. I loved that mine had texture—thanks to the satin collar—and that the tuxedo shape gave it a bit more character. It also helped that this jacket fit me so well. Wearing suits can be a challenge for me because my body is so disproportionate, so I always have to get something tailored to make it fit just right.”

Survey Says: “If all suits were sold with the option to mix and match sizes, I would be much more open to shopping for one. I’ll definitely pay attention to jackets more after this.”

Get the look: Universal Standard blazer ($210); Zara pants ($49); Single Thread top ($68); Bottega Veneta bag ($1,250); Imagine by Vince Camuto heels ($59)

Abby Hepworth, Associate Editor

The Occasion: A wedding

Her Suit Story: “The last time I wore a suit was to my grandma’s 90th birthday party, which was well over 15 years ago. But I love them and keep wanting to wear the trend…but I just haven’t found that perfect suit yet.”

How She Felt: “There were a lot of things about this outfit I would never have picked for myself, like cropped pants. Also, a strong shoulder is rarely my friend—but I actually loved the way this one looked. Even better, I loved the way it fit. It was comfortable, but still form-fitting and could easily be made to work for a fancy occasion, like my cousin’s wedding or toned down for work or a casual dinner with friends.”

Survey Says: “I’m now even more dedicated to finding and buying that perfect suit. There are many more suiting opportunities in my future. This was just the start.”

Get the look: TAILORED Rebecca Taylor blazer ($395) and pants ($295); Cami NYC top ($148); Nina heels ($49)

Styling by Dena Silver

Rachel Bowie Headshot

Royal family expert, a cappella alum, mom

Rachel Bowie is Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals at PureWow, where she covers parenting, fashion, wellness and money in addition to overseeing initiatives within...