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How to wear - the office style for feminine and powerful women

Updated on May 12, 2013

You may think that femininity and dressing powerful do not go together. Well I vote, yes - they do! A combination of these two will produce captivating results that make you stand out. You will feel more confident and it will communicate 'a determination to succeed' to those around you.

Suit jacket - this outfit will make you look smart and 'in-the-know'
Suit jacket - this outfit will make you look smart and 'in-the-know' | Source

If you take two extremes such as the power dressing in the eighties with shoulder pads that eclipsed the sun and the flattering feminine high waists of the fifties and tone these down a notch, then you've got a match made in heaven!

It's easy to keep wearing the same clothes at work, maybe because they are comfortable or you know they 'do the job'.

But dressing for work doesn't have to be boring, all you need is a bit of creativity and a few fabulous pieces. If you arrive at work feeling well dressed and professional - it will easily reflect in your mood and confidence and put a smile on your face!

I have put together a list of staple pieces for your 'office look' wardrobe. These items can provide a platform for further experimentation with combinations and colours. Feel free to try these looks yourself.

Nip it in with a belt!
Nip it in with a belt! | Source
Vary your look with a colourful scarf.
Vary your look with a colourful scarf. | Source

A few staple items can make you look attractive and businesslike

Cardigan - a couple of these in your wardrobe and you will be able to mix and match into many combinations. I would choose one darker colour and one light so that you have more choice. A colourful top together with a cardigan and a belt will always look smart.

LBD - or the 'little black dress' is a staple item that should not be underestimated. It is so easy to grab an LBD from your wardrobe if you don't have much time or can't decide what to wear.

Pencil skirt - one item and so many possibilities! The pencil skirt will flatter your waist and curves, and a floaty blouse or top will provide the perfect pairing. Be careful not to buy a skirt that is too tight though - if it's impossible to walk it will not make a good impression, trust me!

Scarf - if you have a colourful scarf, this can lift any outfit. There are various sizes but for the more 'I'm in charge' look - I would choose a medium to large scarf. Adjust this look depending on the weather and season. Lighter scarves are preferred during the summer!

Suit jacket - this structured look will instantly make you look smart and 'in-the know'. You will look trustworthy and your outfit will demand respect. If you would like to soften this style - just add a scarf, a colourful top or an eye-catching necklace.

Use statement jewellery!
Use statement jewellery! | Source

Colour combinations

Keep the colors simple, just mixing one or two together. Break up blacks and grays with a splash of color. Stick to the classics, add a dash of color and you'll always feel confident and look great!


As for accessories, use simple statement pieces. A long silver necklace or stud earrings will add interest to an outfit. I love bangles but I have found that they make a lot of noise against the desk when typing! If your office has a very formal dress code - let your personality shine through by keeping to a few of your favourite items - sometimes less is more!

Office wear - no no's

Try not to buy anything too small, as nothing will fit, or too oversized, as that will look messy. If you want to look serious and professional I would not show too much skin. Believe me, excessive cleavage, midriff or see through tops will not earn you any points. A few no no's that I've seen colleagues wear in a formal office are flip flops, shorts and t-shirts.

On your feet

When choosing your footwear for the office you will want a comfortable and unique shoe that can be worn all day. Keep it classic with neutral colours or wear shoes with embellishments for an extra boost in the 'style stakes'. I have photographed some of the shoes from my wardrobe to provide some examples.


Courts and high heels - add some old school glamour with a pair of courts or high heels. It will add instant sophistication and it will look classic together with a pencil skirt. High heels can also improve your posture and contribute to your 'power' look.


Ballet flats - are a perfect combination of comfort and chic. They add a feminine touch and will be your best friends if you need to be on your feet all day.


Leather boots - for walking to the office leather boots can be a good option. They will add a stylish and polished look to wearing both trousers or a skirt.


Brogues - for a bit of a 'many suit inspired' look - try a pair of brouges! Pair with trousers and a suit jacket to create a lasting impression.

The key tip for dressing feminine and powerful is to feel comfortable with your new style.

Flatter your body shape and you will feel confident! Hopefully these 'how to wear' tips will have given you some new ideas. Please let me know if you have any thoughts!

What do you wear for a day at the office? (please comment below).


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    • Louise Lately profile image

      Louise Lately 4 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for taking the time to read my hub Michelle - I'm happy that you like it!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Simple, creative and chic, Louise. Love all these ideas! Thanks for sharing! Passing round.

    • Louise Lately profile image

      Louise Lately 4 years ago from London, UK

      Careermommy, I'm very glad that you found it useful:) Looking at adding colours can be a lot of fun. Thank you for reading.

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      LouiseLately, thank you for your tips. I wear black to work so often. I like your idea to splash some colors in the mix. I also love the Cardigan suggestion.