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The 12 New Rules Of Power Dressing

Less 1980, More 2019

Your working wardrobe can be your armour but also an excuse to indulge in your wildest fashion fantasies. 

Once upon a time, power dressing was a concept set in place by women to further assert their authority in a predominantly male workplace. Fast forward thirty years and those constraints are still very much in place. However, the new wave of feminism is not only breaking down patriarchal workforces but also reframing how we view power dressing. 

Nowadays, women power-dress for themselves. Your working wardrobe can still act as your armour but it now serves as an excuse for you to indulge in some of your wildest fashion fantasies and purchases - these are the clothes you spend 70% of your time in.

While the shoulders pads, codes and regulations of power dressing have relaxed since the 1980s, the struggle that is getting ready each day for work remains. So keep scrolling for the best power dressing items and stylish pointers to match, thanks to M&S.

On Mute

Hues of neutral linen, earthen and rust tones have gone from fashion norms to power pieces. Your It outfit? The linen two-piece is the ultimate summer statement.

1. The wear it with anything blazer:

We mean it, wear this blazer with anything. Jeans? Absolutely. Matching pants? Please. Pencil skirt? Do it. 

Single Breasted Blazer, €125, M&S

2. The optical illusion pant:

A well-known fashion hack is that vertical stripes make you appear to be taller. So the next time you're delivering a presentation to your colleagues, do it in these pants. 

Cotton Wide-Leg Trouser, €47.50, M&S

3. The definition of office casual:

Nowadays, most offices tend to have a casual dress code but that doesn't mean you're style needs to suffer. This crisp white shirt dress can be paired with trainers if you're afraid of overdressing or own that and pair with a court heel. 

Patch Pocket Midi Dress, €54, M&S

4. The perfect transitional jacket:

When the weather is having an identity crisis, knowing how to dress can be a challenge. This double-breasted linen blazer can be worn over any outfit you throw on. 

Double Breasted Linen Blazer, €110, M&S

5. The Friday feeling:

That feeling you get when you wake up on Friday morning knowing the weekend is just a few hours away is like no other - and that's the feeling you'll get wearing this jumpsuit, every. single. day. Wear with a black roll neck underneath or a tailored blazer to give it that extra edge. 

Striped Jumpsuit, €70, M&S

Colour Code

Summer shopping is nothing if not colourful, so now is the time to make an impact in sunshine yellow, hot pinks and denim blues for your nouveau take on rainbow bright. Colour us convinced.

6. The looks good on anyone skirt:

A-line + vertical buttons + belt at the waist = a silhouette anyone from Kate Moss to Kate in accounts can pull off. Pair with a pussy bow blouse or plain white tee depending on your office's dress code. 

Button Skirt, €52, M&S

7. The wear it anywhere:

The key to buying a staple power wardrobe is buying pieces that empower you outside of the office too. This floral printed shirt dress can easily go from conference room chic to a stylish Saturday brunch ensemble.

Maxi Shirt Dress, €60, M&S

8. The one to make you stand out in a sea full of beige trenches:

As soon as the temperature rises, our faux fur and parka jackets are sent to the back of the wardrobe only for our beige trench to take centre stage. This year, be bold - be different. Mustard yellow proved to be a powerhouse colour last season and it's continuing to shine this season too. 

Trench Coat, €70, M&S

9. The Warm Office Trouser:

Do you even work in an office if you don't complain about the temperature ten times a day? Now that Summer is here, your office is going to start heating up. These cropped culottes are super lightweight that they'll keep you cool and empowered, all summer long.  

Cropped Trouser, €34, M&S

10. The power stomp:

In the past, rules and regulations surround heel height were never to be ignored. Too high and your boss may suggest a different career path, too low and your fellow female colleagues would judge. Now, such ridiculous rules seize to exist - just be sure they are always smart, scuff-free and polished. 

Leather Sandal, €65, M&S

11. The desk to dinner staple:

It's no secret that a satin midi skirt has become the answer to all sartorial related questions. Wear with a blouse or jumper depending on your office's temperature for an empowering desk assemble. Switch out the blouse/jumper for silk camisole and strappy heels for an equally as empowering evening look.

Slip Midi-Skirt, €49, M&S 

12. The 80s blazer:

The concept of power dressing originated in the 1980s so it's only fitting that we remember where it comes from. A bold colour matched with masculine tailoring embodies the androgyny defined by the era but with a modern take.  

Cotton Blazer, €82, M&S

Now your outfit is bolstering with power, your talent and skills within are shining, you're now ready to take over the world. 

WIN: Your New Working Girl Wardrobe, With An €500 M&S Gift Voucher