Power Dressing – September’s Style Not Age

September 25, 2023

Happy new week! It’s the last Monday of the month so it’s time for another Style Not Age challenge. It was my turn to choose the theme for September which prompted me to research the key trends for A/W. One that particularly appealed to me was power dressing, or corporate style. While the rather exaggerated shapes seen on the runway are neither affordable or practical, as with all trends, they filter down on to the high street in more wearable incarnations.

Purple is associated with luxury, ambition and creativity – the ideal colour for power dressing

I have a lot of trouser suits, in fact, they make up the vast majority of my work outfits. My bold print slouchy Monki suits are more casual (seen here, here and here), but I I do love sharp tailoring too. I bought this purple suit at Zara in Madeira last year but the trousers were too long, so it has been hanging in the wardrobe ever since. I finally got around to taking the trousers up last week and wore the suit to work.

Actually, I’m not sure it is technically a suit because the fabrics are slightly different; the trousers are a bit lighter than the jacket, but you’d have to look very closely to notice. They were on display next to each other in the store so that’s good enough for me! There was also a deep forest green version and I deliberated over which colour to choose. I know green looks good with red hair but I was drawn to this vibrant shade. Purple is associated with luxury, ambition and creativity – the ideal colour for power dressing.

This silky blouse was a charity shop bargain a few years ago

A silky pussy bow blouse softens the look of a structured jacket, although you could create an androgynous look with a cotton shirt and tie. (I think ties look great on women). This silky blouse was a charity shop bargain a few years ago; there were three in exactly the same style but different prints, all £3.75 each (you can see the others here and here). I’ve since purchased three others from the Hawes & Curtis website (two orange print and one navy print). The brilliant thing about these blouses (apart from the gorgeous prints) is the little bit of stretch in the fabric which ensures a great fit.

Of course, a classic, well made handbag is key to feeling powerful and this lilac tote from Teddy Blake fits the bill perfectly. What does diminish my power is uncomfortable shoes; you need to be able stride out with confidence! Thankfully, trainers are now considered acceptable footwear in many workplaces (quite right too!). That doesn’t mean you have to skimp on style though. There are some seriously luxe trainers out there. These gold ones weren’t expensive – about £40 from TK Maxx. I’ve worn them loads. The slim design and gold knit material gives them a stylish look that makes them ideal for teaming with suits.





Zara jacket (similar, similar, similar, similar) and trousers (similar, similar, similar) | Hawes & Curtis blouse (charity shop, similar, similar, similar) | Teddy Blake bag (previously gifted) | Guess trainers (old, similar, similar, similar) | SkinnyDip London sunglasses (old, similar) | Ottoman Hands earrings | Yaa Yaa London ring (similar)

Now for my blogger friends in their power dressing outfits…

Anna is wearing a shorts suit that was new in June from Primark, in the sale for £34. The fabric is a boucle knit/tweed effect and it’s lined. The shirt and belt were charity shop finds. The boots are from ASOS, tights from Number 36 boutique and the handbag from Oliver Bonas. See more of this glorious outfit at Anna’s Island Style.

Hilda is looking very much the part in this navy suit (borrowed from a boutique in Malahidewith) with red shoes and bag. You can see all the details at Over the Hilda.

Gail thought she might struggle with this theme at first but she’s looking very much in control of the situation in this colourful ensemble. The red jacket, cream skirt and top are all from Kettlewell. The vegan leather bag is by Fenella Smith (I have one too!). Gail’s scarf is by My Season Accessories and the red boots are old. Visit Is This Mutton? to catch up with Gail.

Jacqui has chosen a suit from H&M with a blouse from River island (Christmas present ages ago). She is also wearing another Christmas gift – the Valentino bag – with block heel sandals. Head over to Mummabstylish to read more.

That’s all for this month. We’ll be back on the last Monday of October with another fun theme! Do you like the power dressing trend?

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18 responses to “Power Dressing – September’s Style Not Age”

  1. Jacqui Berry says:

    This is such a striking trouser and jacket combo and they go nicely together to make them look like a proper suit. Love the trainers with it too, such an easy to wear style. Jacqui x

  2. Marsha Banks says:

    Oh, I think this purple works wonderfully with your red hair! I love that floral (?) blouse, too! Such a powerful look, Emma!


  3. Ann says:

    Your outfit is stunning, Emma. When I was still working, I had a beautiful wool jacket that was a favorite. You just reminded me of it!

  4. Nancy says:

    Love this theme! And what a beautiful suits! I love a tie on women too, I must have one somewhere. I like the fact that the colours of your suit are a bit different. Makes it even more you!

  5. Suzy Turner says:

    I would have been absolutely stumped for this challenge if it had been me, Emma! It’s been years since I worked in an office and even back then, jeans were acceptable, thankfully!
    I love how you created your power dressing outfit though and the colours are just stunning!
    Suzy xx

  6. Emma, I love this powerful purple pants suit on you! How fabulous! I bet the green one was equally beautiful and would have also looked amazing on you. Your lavender bag really is perfect with this outfit and the gold trainers were brilliant a choice of footwear. I am heading off to see all the other blouses you got similar to this one. (I have 5 open tabs waiting for me!)


  7. Lizzie says:

    Purple is your color! You look like royalty!! So chic!


  8. That purple is such a pretty color on you, especially with your hair!

  9. Anna Parkes says:

    Great styling as ever Emma! I love the shirt and suit combo, great modern take on Power Dressing x

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