How to Master Power Dressing According to a Stylist

Just like how standing with your arms on your waist in a Superman pose for two minutes can boost your confidence, dressing in the right blazers, shirts, and pantsuits—aka power dressing—can do the same. Many S/S 17 designer collections including Prada, Céline, and Louis Vuitton reintroduced us to officewear that is no longer boring and conventional, but modern, bold, and statement-making. We’ll continue to see more power pieces for next season. At Tom Ford’s S/S 18 show, blazers with shoulder pads in hot pink, white, and black were slung coolly over models’ shoulders.

Even if power dressing may seem like a passing trend, it is in fact here to stay and highly political. Power dressing surfaced in the ’70s as a means to let women establish authority in the workplace which was dominated by men. Today, more women are in leading positions, and younger graduates and millennial women are eager to take on similar roles. There’s never been a better time to show your ambition through your clothing. To help you channel your inner power goddess, I asked New York City fashion stylist and producer Jessica Wu on tips to master power dressing and how you can dress the part now before you land your dream job.

PHOTO: Harleen Sidhu

1—Accessories are key

When it comes to power dressing, accessories can make or break an outfit. Wu says casual and dramatic accessories can be paired with power pieces to complete the look: “If I were to wear a pantsuit, I’d wear it with some chunky athletic sneakers or add a flashy or brightly colored bag.”

PHOTO: Harleen Sidhu

2—The blazer is your best friend

Don’t underestimate the power of the blazer. This versatile piece can be styled in a number of ways for a number of occasions and is a great power piece for college students. Wu says a longer blazer can be worn as a mini dress, oversize blazers can be layered with knits and blouses, and more fitted blazers can be dressed up with complementary bottoms or dressed down with boyfriend jeans.

PHOTO: Harleen Sidhu

3—Less is more

A good blazer is important, but what’s underneath can be just as powerful. Modern power dressing has seen a mix of traditional masculine styles and more wispy, baring feminine styles. Under your blazer, Wu suggests to “keep it bare so you don’t look too covered up—wear a silk camisole, crop top, or bralette.”

PHOTO: Harleen Sidhu

How do you style power pieces? Show us on social media! Don’t forget to tag @Cfashionista.

Fashion Inspiration from the Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition

I recently attended the Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style exhibition in Richmond, Virginia. Yves Saint Laurent was a trendsetting designer that became a global phenomenon for his original and creative style. As he so wisely stated, “Fashions fade, style is eternal.” He was a pioneer for models of color, and he wasn’t afraid to play with gender representation in his designs. Saint Laurent also popularized ready-to-wear high fashion. Here are some ways you can get fashion inspiration from his designs and incorporate them into your wardrobe.

PHOTO: Kristi Mukk

1—Primary colors. This trend is making a comeback, so get ready for bold and confident looks. If you’re afraid to play around with color, try bringing it into your wardrobe gradually by experimenting with accessories such as red shoes or a blue bag. I also love the look of a primary color paired with denim or black. For a more dramatic take, try scarlet or cherry red looks as they are trending on the runways this season.

PHOTO: Kristi Mukk

2—Embroidered and jeweled statement pieces. Embroidery has been around for a long time, but it has become a huge trend again recently. Choose an embroidered piece as the statement of your outfit and build the rest of your look around it. Whether it be an embroidered shirt, shoes, or jeans, be sure to keep the rest of your outfit simple. If you like making a statement, try jeweled or metallic pieces that will make your outfit shine.

PHOTO: Kristi Mukk

3—Color blocking. This mod shift dress is an iconic style from the ’60s. There are two ways to create color-blocked outfits: you can either choose complementary colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel, or you can choose analogous colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. Choose hues that are complimentary to your skin tone, and complete your look with neutral accessories.

PHOTO: Kristi Mukk

4—Menswear-inspired fashion. Saint Laurent created pantsuits and tuxedos that were tailored to women. Don’t be afraid to incorporate menswear looks into your style. When wearing a pantsuit, wear a feminine blouse underneath like the polka dot bow blouse pictured above. You could also experiment with a pantsuit in a feminine color such as the pinkish-beige ensemble above. Don’t forget to finish off the look with a stylish heel and feminine accessories.

PHOTO: Kristi Mukk

Which designers inspire you? Let me know in the comments below. 

Hello Sunshine, Summer, and Swimsuits

The universal “first signs of summer” usually go something like this: pink lemonade, flip flops, and trendy swimsuits. While everyone else is burning their textbooks, I’m too busy shopping for the latest summer trends from my favorite bloggers. Searching for a new swimsuit is a seemingly daunting task; however, this summer’s trends of halter tops, high-waisted bottoms, and bright accessories practically have me booking my plane ticket to Florida.

As someone who wants to make a statement at the beach, high-waisted bottoms and a halter top are definitely one of my favorite looks this summer. For those of you who think they will feel like saggy pants when wet, do not fear! Instead, these bottoms are flattering, as they cover up the area I’m most self-conscious of—my stomach. Additionally, the halter is great for those of us with the fear of losing our top to the violent waves. Rather than baking on the hot sand and just wishing to take a dip in the water, I can now swim among the waves like a graceful mermaid without the fear of being topless.

Don’t forget to have fun with your look and use some accessories to make it your own. By adding a floppy hat that says “Hello Sunshine,” it not only keeps away the sun but also the impending sunburn on my nose. This hat adds a cute touch of personality, as you can search for one with a saying that speaks to you! If you don’t like hats on the beach, then sunglasses are a perfect way to keep out the sun and continue with the fun. My blue tinted sunglasses reflect the ocean as well as my favorite color so they are always a staple for me on the beach. These sunglasses can be found in a range of colors from blues to yellows and pinks, so pick the one that complements your outfit.

Bright tasseled shoes are also big this summer, so don’t be afraid to throw some in with your swimwear look! By channeling the tassel trend through shoes, earrings, or a cute clutch, anyone can rock this trend that symbolizes the happiness of summer.

Summer is a time full of fun adventures so don’t be afraid to do a little exploring, a little swimming, and of course, a little tanning. Weird tan lines here we come!

What’s your favorite swimsuit style? Let us know below or tag @cfashionista in your stylish Instagram posts!

WHAT TO WEAR: Sophisticated Suit

Spring is here and why not start it in style? Although it’s sometimes nice to dress casually, there are a lot of occasions that call for something a little more formal that require the everyday jean and T-shirt combo, to be swapped for something a little more swanky. This Fashionisto shows us how he dresses for a day that calls for a sophisticated look, and he sure knows what he’s doing!

Inspired by all things dapper, this Fashionisto is rocking a truly great look. He’s sporting a gray Hugo Boss blazer with light beige trousers. Similar trousers can be found here. A nice blazer is a must to any wardrobe and can turn an outfit from casual to formal in an instant. The mismatched blazer and pants add an element of interest and fun that traditional suits sometimes lack. His navy tie he pairs with his light blue shirt is a great combo, combining various shades of blue so the look looks put together and cohesive without looking too matchy. He accessorizes his outfit with an impressive looking watch with a leather band from MVMT. You can find a similar watch here. To really tie the look together he matches his belt to classy brown shoes.

Though on the formal side, this outfit is versatile and can be worn to various occasions from interviews to dates out on the town. This Fashionisto shows that you can have fun with suits and still look just as sophisticated. He shows us that adding accessories like watches, and paying attention to little details like matching your belt to your shoes, really amps up a look. Take note of this Fashionisto’s style because it exudes confidence, class, and success!

STYLE GURU STYLE: Polished For Public Speaking

After a lovely spring break down in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, I’d be lying if I said I was happy to be back in the frozen abysmal of Pittsburgh. However, I was feeling much more refreshed and ready to get back into the swing of things for classes, which was a good thing considering I was jumping back in with both feet for a class presentation! Though public speaking isn’t something I get incredibly excited about, I don’t absolutely hate it and it’s a great excuse to dress up. So for my presentation I decided to wear one of my charcoal pant suits from Ann Taylor, along with this adorable ruffled collared blouse, some gorgeous shades, this pretty layered pearl necklace, and these adorable black pumps. 

The reason I chose to wear this ensemble for my presentation was not only due to the cold weather, but also because it is a classically chic look. The reason I chose this ruffled collared blouse to pair with this suit is because I liked the little extra detail that it added to the suit’s neckline. And to up my accessory game, I chose this layered pearl necklace because I felt it added just the right amount of shine to complete this polished look.

The other reason I love this working woman look is because it truly gives me confidence. Not only does this suit look chic and professional, I also feel like it looks great on me, which adds a bit of pep to my step for presentation day! 

I don’t know about you, but when I look my best, I feel as though I do my best work. So perhaps dressing to impress isn’t just a cheesy line my mum used to tell me as a kid. 


Menswear has always been in vogue. Tailored suits, button-downs, and loafers are all signature to the style with recent collections featuring more feminine silhouettes. While I love the direction menswear is headed, particularly when it comes to catering to all body types, I rarely see a show featuring classic looks.

Officine Generale recently released their fall 2017 ready-to-wear collection designed for women. Pierre Mahéo, the founder of Officine Generale, has consistently produced modern, tailored suits with incredible design, but for men. His first collection for women did not diverge drastically from his classic design featured in his menswear shows. Modern, crisp lines define many of the looks, favoring longer silhouettes, natural tones, scarves, and turtlenecks. It is safe to say I am in love.

What makes this look so easy is that it is made up of four parts: shirt/sweater, tailored jacket, straight pants, and shoes. Since it’s winter, I’ve been living in turtlenecks, so I started with that as my base. While you can mix and match your pants and jacket, I kept my look simple with a matching black look. Finally, I opted for booties over loafers given the shorter cut of my pants and because I liked the height they gave me.

In the past, I typically brushed by the menswear collection reviews given the looks always seemed boxy and straight (while I identify as the opposite). However, after browsing Officine Generale’s first collection for women I found myself flipping through their past shows and feeling very inspired. Although I will not be adorning a boxy trench coat any time soon, I will definitely pay more attention to men’s style and try to incorporate it more in my everyday looks.

WHAT TO WEAR: Internship Success

Spring-like weather is on its way to Michigan, which means that the summer is not far behind. Though we are slowly but surely making our way through midterms at the University of Michigan, the search for summer internships continue to cloud our heads as we have just a few short months left of the semester. While some students have their summer plans set in stone, others, like our Fashionisto, are in the midst of second and third round interviews in the hopes of an offer. This Guru was spotted in front of Yost Ice Arena on the way home from an important meeting when this look was captured. While he has yet to secure a coveted position for the summer, it is important to be prepared with fine clothing when a professional opportunity rolls around.

Pairing a classic navy blue suit with a simple button-down shirt and striped tie, this Fashionisto was dressed perfectly to make a lasting impression. The light blue squares in his button-down contrast nicely with the darker blues found in his suit and tie, even bringing out the shades of blue in his eyes. His look is professional yet attracts attention when seen from across a room. The yellow in his tie is bold, but not too overbearing for the garments he pairs with it. By securing a Windsor Knot near the collar of his button-down, our Fashionisto’s look is elegant and extremely appropriate for an internship interview. Whether the jacket is buttoned or unbuttoned, there is no doubt that our Fashionisto will be taken seriously in the boardroom. Plus, how could a Michigan Wolverine go wrong with a little maize and blue.

To complete this look, our Fashionisto chose to wear a silver Fossil watch with a brown leather band. This creates a timeless appearance, as these watches never seem to go out of style. The brown meshes well with the neutrals color in his ensemble, only drawing attention to his wrist when light is reflected off the watch’s face. His black dress shoes tie everything together as they are the last accessory seen when looking at our Fashionisto from head to toe. Though his outfit is intended specifically to impress a potential employer, our Fashionisto makes sure to be himself, wearing two elastic wristbands that have special meaning to him. He is able to keep them out of sight by tucking them into his sleeve when necessary, but knows they are there to bring him good luck on interview day. Though there is still plenty of time to land that perfect internship, if you follow our Fashionisto’s lead, you are sure to be the most stylish applicant in the room.

WHAT TO WEAR: Fancy First Day of Class

There is no better way to kick off a new semester on the right foot than by going to the first day of classes in your best attire. The first day is an opportunity to start fresh with new professors and classmates, so it is always good to be feeling and looking your best. This Fashionisto chose to don his best suit on the first Monday of the spring semester in order to get back in the zone and routine of school after a relaxing winter break.

He’s keeping his look timeless, fancy, and classy by sporting a black suit with a black Nike backpack and black dress shoes. He even pulled out his favorite black and blue patterned tie for the occasion. To complete the look and complement the tie, he is wearing a light blue button-down dress shirt under his suit. And, he used a little bit of extra hold hairspray to achieve a more polished hairstyle and to ensure his look stays frizz-free for classes.

Sporting a comfortable look to class is never a bad way to go, but there is also nothing wrong with choosing a more formal outfit once in a while. Looking professional is a great way to show new professors that you are serious about their classes, as well as your own education and future. Never be afraid to go all out for the first day of classes; sometimes fashion is all about making a statement! Make sure that first impression is one to be remembered (in the best way) by taking some tips from this dapper Fashionisto.

WHAT TO WEAR : Suave Suiting

Men, do you ever get tired of wearing the same suit pieces to every event that you go to? Are you constantly deciding between the simple all-black suit, brown suit or even a white button-down? You deserve to stand out with your looks also; that is why this look is a great way to change up your style and stand out, but also stay budget friendly!

This look is great for the upcoming season, as it includes different shades of blues and grey, but adds a touch of brown with the accessories to tie the whole look together. Remember, simplicity is key when it comes to tying your suit together! Stick with one color hue and alternate your jacketpants and tie around these colors; then let your accessories do the rest of the talking.

As you can see with this Fashionisto’s look, his tie barglasses and shoes all take his outfit to the next level while adding contrast with the shades of blue that he has used. Also, do not be afraid of patterns! Whether it is dots, stripes or plaid, play with your patterns, and find a way to tie them back into your outfit.

Now before you go out and buy pricy suit pieces and accessories, remember to start with what you have first. If you have a black suit, start by adding a patterned button-down underneath, and tie it together with a colored tie—or even invest in a different color jacket that you can combine with all of your dress pants.

Always be knowledgeable and willing to learn what suits you best, but also be willing to adapt to the changes that fashion has to offer. Before you know it you will be standing out at any event!


Whether you are hitting up a dance club at night with friends or going out to lunch with your family, you always want something cute, comfortable and easy. The new trend of the bodysuit is great for all occasions. They can easily be dressed up or down depending on what you pair them with and are perfect for the girl who has many different things going on in one day and little to no time to change her outfit completely.

The great thing about bodysuits is that they fit the needs that people have in this world where people are constantly running from one event to the next. From work to weekend the bodysuit is very versatile and can be worn a number of different ways. No matter your age, everyone could use a bodysuit in their closet.

The bodysuit this Fashionista is wearing is a classic black suit that is easy to dress up or down. Pair this with a pair of jean shorts and sandals, as shown, for a day out on the town or trade them out for pumps and a skirt for a night out with friends. The bodysuit is also finding itself into the world of business fashion. Throw a blazer and black slacks over it and you will be the most stylish one in the office. Bodysuits can be for everyone no matter your personal style.

What is your STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK? “My favorite thing about bodysuits is how versatile they are. They’re easy to throw on with a simple pair of shorts or dress up and accessorize for any occasion.”