We hear a lot about business casual and its impact on the work environment and that is because business casual typically has a negative impact on the corporate environment. Modern habits have pushed all of us toward a more casual way of being and dressing. In this weeks post we take a look at how to dress to create a more positive impact in the work place by wearing a power suit. A power suit is constructed using elements of styling, fit and quality to tell the viewer your status as a powerful and successful person via your apparel.

But what are these elements of a great power suit, and what should you look for when you are ready to make that purchase? Look for:


Fine fabrics

Quality construction

Dark, neutral, solid colors

Classic style

Perfect fit


Always purchase the best quality garments you can afford. In the long run it saves money, because you will have a suit that wears well and lasts for years. Saving on an inferior garment will only mean you have to replace it sooner, and more frequently. Quality shows. If it is a quality piece and you know you look great, you enjoy wearing it and you feel more confident.                          

Choose a suit in a dark neutral color. Navy is one of the most popular options because it is a color that looks good on everyone and is quite versatile. Women can wear the jacket paired with contrasting trousers or skirt for a more casual look, if a more casual look is appropriate. Fine wool is the fabric of choice. Women have the option of some high-end microfibers as well.

Other good color options include charcoal for men, and charcoal or black for women. Avoid wearing a brown suit, even if it complements our personal coloring. Some research suggests that brown is not well received by everyone.

When you are shopping for a suit, you do not want the most fashion-forward styles available. Instead, stick with classic styling. If you do not even know what qualifies as “fashion-forward,” it will be even easier to purchase classic items, such as the standard jacket, pants, tie, and shirt. If you feel lost when you look at the formal items in your clothing section, you may want to consider hiring an image consultant. If that is not an option, bring a friend to get a second opinion on everything.

Finally, do not compromise when it comes to fit. You can buy the most expensive suit in the store, but if it does not fit properly it will not create the desired effect. If you must compromise on everything else, do not compromise on fit.  Most stores have in-house tailors and alterationists on hand to give you the custom and powerful look you are after. Invest in the extra dollars it may take to get you that all-important tailored fit.