Tailored, strong and definitely corporate, the power suit is back in a big way. We have 10 powerful fits that should suit you very well.
The 80s gave us a lot of trends, most of them requiring an entire can of Aquanet. But aside from some *regrettable* hair choices, it also gave us a major culture change. This was the decade when over 50% of women joined the work force, ushering in the emergence of corporate women and the now iconic, Power Suit. These suits were made to stand out. They projected strength through details like exaggerated shoulders, double-breasted fastenings, pinstripes and bold colors…and the working women who wore them loved it.
They grew more androgynous in the early 90s, and acquired some edgier elements in the aughties (thanks to the SciFi juggernaut The Matrix). There seemed no slowing them down. Then, as the rise of internet casual gained corporate cultural world dominance, power suits all but disappeared. Blazers were replaced with Patagonia fleece vests, button downs now shared cubicle space with polo shirts (usually with splashy corp logos displayed on the left breast) and blue jeans started regularly showing up in business casual attire.
But fashion is nothing if not cyclical, and with renewed buzz on the runways and filling the feeds, the nostalgia of the power suit is back in a big way.
As with all things, the major takeaway from this is ‘the nostalgia of’, meaning that we’re taking inspiration from, then making them our own with a 23/24 twist.
So if you’re ready to put on some power moves, let’s get into our editors’ favorite ten takes on the new Power Suits.
Starting with one of the most iconic features, the exaggerated shoulders pads. These pads were often large and structured, giving the illusion of broader shoulders, which was associated with power and authority in the workplace. Georgia-based label Materiel does an amazing take on this, combining a generously stacked shoulder with modern side cut-outs to really enhance the illusion of the broad shoulder + nipped waist. Paired with their pleated, tailored trousers in a pastel blush pink (a huge color for winter 24) this suit embodies the power suit of the past with a totally fresh vibe.
Materiel, Cut-Out Single Breasted Blazer $266 and Twill Tailored Trousers $525
Speaking of on-trend colors for 2024, this handsome suit by Elie Tahari comes in a beautiful burgundy that will serve you well not just this season, but many to follow. We love the updated take on the double-breasted look, which conveys all the confidence and sophistication of the traditional silhouette, with a 23-24 twist.
Elie Tahari, 7 Button Blazer $598 and Slim Fit Pant $348
It’s an interesting dynamic that both boxy and tailored blazers are sharing equal time this season. If nipped in is more your style, this ivory suit from Boston Proper should definitely be on your list. Lovely by itself, we’re really sold on this look when you add in a fantastic chain belt to really achieve that snatched look.
Boston Proper, Beyond Travel Classic Blazer $119.50 High-Rise Pant $79.50
Moody autumnal hues will forever be welcome in our closets, but this season we’re not limiting ourselves. Bold and bright colors, such as this sunny yellow, are finding their place alongside their neutral counterparts.
Adam Lippes, Single Breasted Blazer $1,690 and Slit Front Pant $1,290
Other bright colors joining our F/W this year? This brilliant green takes an already gorg suit by J. McLaughlin and brings the bold. The wide leg trousers are also spot on for the season.
J. McLaughlin, Emerald Mercia Blazer $398 and Newman Pants $228
Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t include a color that’s been showing up on everything from apparel to purses. Cobalt blue will add an intensity to all your outfits this year. The only thing more brilliant than this suit from Sugarlips is the price!
Sugarlips, Rica Suave Fitted Notch Lapel Blazer $105 and Wide Leg Trousers $75
Of course, neutrals are still very much in play for fall, especially when it’s a rich, caramel tone as this Karl Lagerfeld suit demonstrates. What else puts this one on our list is the four button detailing that adds visual interest to the straight leg trousers.
Karl Lagerfeld, Polished Suit Jacket $169 and Suit Pant $109
Upcoming holidays and special events are just around the corner, and if you’re looking to think “outside the dress”, you should know that metallic suits are really heating up. This vegan leather suit from Milly is definitely taking advantage of the fanfare. The muted shade of silver really sets it apart from its retina-blinding counterparts, giving it an understated sophistication that makes it approachable, even as a day wear piece.
Milly, Alexa Vegan Leather Blazer $495 and Rue Vegan Leather Pants $425
Pinstripes and power suits go together like H.E.R. and dripping shades. This black and graphite gray suit by Universal Standard is giving us such Wall Street power vibes, we may have to broker a few trades. Our editors love the long, 90s-inspo boxy cut of the blazer, that’s balanced out nicely with the straight leg trousers.
Universal Standard, The Pinstripe Blazer and Pinstripe Pant $168
Finally, nothing demands attention quite like a bold pattern. Diane von Furstenberg knows a thing or two about that. This knit jacquard suit from the brand’s new fall collection offers a truly unique pattern that will mix oh-so-well with your closet’s solid neutrals.
Diane von Furstenberg, Dion Knit Jacquard Jacket $538 Juno Knit Jacquard Pants $358
In summary, this season’s power suits are referential of earlier eras, but definitely have their own stamp. When looking for your suit, keep in mind the style of silhouette that reflects the past, then add your own fresh twist to it.