Your ultimate power dressing hit list for 2024

Our step by step guide

power dressing catwalk imagery
(Image credit: Future)

When it comes to inner confidence, fashion has always been a catalyst for self-empowerment. There really is no denying that the right outfit can work to give you that extra boost to conquer a strenuous meeting, an important presentation, and even that long-awaited interview. The concept of using fashion as a sleek secret weapon or suit of armour is often referred to as 'power dressing', and here at MC HQ, we are big fans of using fashion as a way to positively influence our everyday lives.

Power dressing is a simple derivation of using an outfit to support your inner confidence. It has been a concept that has long inspired street-style icons, celebs, and women worldwide, with the power dressing movement coming to the fore in the 1980s, when women were taking the corporate world by storm. Reflections of voluminous shoulder pads inserted in blazers, silk shirts, bold-coloured suits, and sharply tailored silhouettes became the workwear norm as a means to support women and assert their authority in the workforce.

Over the last couple of seasons, power dressing hasn't been limited to the workplace exclusively but has also quickly become an integral part of our every day wardrobe. Blazers became key players in our capsule wardrobes - paired with our everyday jeans, and laptop-friendly XL bags - and have surpassed their mundane duties of navigating meeting-heavy days to being chic everyday staples when running errands and or even over a simple slip dress for a low-key weekend stroll.

This year, it's all about incorporating power dressing motifs into your everyday wardrobe. Allowing these classic investments to work beyond the office and become part of your daily routine. Not sure where to start? Why not take inspiration from the likes of Saint Laurent, Max Mara, Bottega Veneta, Coperni, and Dries Van Noten, all of which incorporate power dressing into their Spring/Summer 2024 collections.

So if you're looking to invest in classic power dressing staples or are on the hunt for new ways to rework their wardrobe, we have curated an expert edit below of the key new season buys and styling tricks that are equally as empowering as they are chic.

The Sculptured Blazer

One of the easiest ways to inject your wardrobe with a large dose of authority, is with a blazer - and not just any blazer. This season, it's all about the sculptured blazer. Taking a slightly different approach whilst still paying homage to the 1980's oversized silhouettes, this new season style is cinched in at the waist to form a killer silhouette.

Previously to create this look you would need to belt your blazer, but this season designers like Max Mara, Saint Laurent, and Jacquemus played with this shape and presented their own iterations through conceptual materials and designs that featured built in corsetry and lacing. Take inspiration from these fashion houses and pair them with wide-leg trousers, the perfect summer-heeled sandal, or a size up for a sleek mini dress. The possibilities are endless.

power dressing: structural blazer at Dolce and Gabbana

Dolce and Gabbana Spring/Summer 2024

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Modern Suit

Over the past couple of seasons, the classic suit has continued to be reworked into various iterations from the oversized mannish suit to the more feminine midi skirt suit. But for Spring/Summer 2024 its all about the short suit.

Adapting a comfortable approach, as seen at Dries Van Noten's Spring/Summer 2024 show, the luxury house paired a classic blazer with slightly longer shorts, AKA bermuda shorts. A much more spring-friendly variation to trousers, we can expect various members of the fashion team to sport this chic pairing over the coming weeks.

power dressing

Dries Van Noten Spring/Summer 2024

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Slingbacks

The humble slingback heel is a true wardrobe icon. Featuring an ultra-feminine silhouette at the heel with a smidge of added height, you can't go wrong with them. Popularly adorned by French girls and French fashion houses alike. Chanel, Christian Dior, and Saint Laurent are just a few to look at for quick inspiration.

This season, the slingback heel has been imagined in voluminous silhouettes by Bottega Veneta and its traditional figure by Prada. Perfectly paired with a midi satin skirt or wide-leg trousers, you can't go wrong with a slingback heel.

Saint Laurent runway model wearing slingback heels

Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 2024

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Do-It-All Dress

The do-it-all dress is one of the hardest working pieces in your wardrobe. From crisp shirt dresses to cinched-in structured options, and my personal favourite, the asymmetric dress. A do-it-all dress really does it all. For those days when you're in a rush and want to reach for a quick and effortlessly chic outfit option, they are there to save the day.

On the runway, brands like Prada, Max Mara and Jacquemus are opting for khaki dresses, all-white linen ensembles and some sleek denim options that are not only modern but extremely versatile. Pair under a blazer and strappy sandals and you're good to go in less than five minutes.

Prada runway image wearing power dressing dress

Prada Spring/Summer 2024

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Modern Heirloom

This season's jewellery trends are all about key pieces that will live on for generations. From Bottega Veneta's infamous teardrop earrings to Saint Laurent's edgy geometric shapes, these pieces are true works of art in their own right.

If you're looking at ways to elevate your power dressing looks with minimal effort, incorporating striking jewellery pieces is a great way to go. Opt for clean, metallic, sculptural designs if you want a more sleek look à la Bottega Veneta. Whilst those looking at statement pieces similar to the ones seen at Saint Laurent's Spring/Summer 2024 show look for exaggerated compositions or vintage pieces that will see you through the office and beyond.

Saint Laurent SS 24 show statement earrings

Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 2024.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Versatile Shirt

The enduring appeal of a crisp shirt lies in its versatility and endless designs. It can be paired over denim or tucked into A-line skirts, shorts, and culottes; the possibilities are endless. Over on the runway, 16 Arlington's recent collection paired perfectly tailored shirts over white and red sequinned skirts for a chic day-to-night look. Think billowy sleeves, wrap waist belts and open back lacing.

Why not borrow some inspiration for the runway and match it with statement earrings and slingback mules? Or alternatively, opt for a more colourful shirt and style it under a structural blazer and matching trousers.

16 Arlington

16 Arlington Spring/Summer 2024

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Oversized Bag

This season, forget your smaller crossbody - it's time to invest in an oversized shoulder tote that is actually practical. For seasons, a big, laptop-friendly bag that was stylish was hard to come by, however, 2024 is here to prove that practical bags can be stylish and are readily available at every price point too.

Bottega Veneta and Acne Studios are among the many brands introducing larger handbag styles and in suede, leather, canvas and woven details to name just a few - the options are endless.

Bottega Veneta oversized bag

Bottega Veneta Spring/Summer 2024.

(Image credit: Getty Images)
Sofia Piza
Fashion Writer

Sofia Piza is the Fashion Writer at Marie Claire UK. 

Sofia Piza is a Fashion Writer with experience working across runway trends, shopping picks, creative production, and celebrity fashion news. Born in Mexico and raised in five countries, Sofia decided to settle in London after spending four years at the London College of Fashion, studying Fashion Journalism. When she's not sourcing inspiration from social media, you will most certainly find Sofia anywhere from a local vintage market to busy central London streets people watching - the possibilities are endless.