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8 Power Casual Work Outfits for Going Back to the Office

Heading back to work? These outfits combine work-from-home comfort with office-ready polish.

By Emma Steinbergs

April 1, 2022

Reassured by the hopeful state of the pandemic and invigorated by the thawing weather, many of us are heading back to the office, at least part-time. I have committed to a hybrid schedule as of late, and I relish the opportunity to give my outfits some extra thought before commuting to the office (instead of walking ten steps to my at-home desk). However, we consistently hear from women who do not share this feeling.

We’ve long served women who prefer (or need) to spend their time and effort on anything but getting dressed. But now, the boundaries between work and life have blurred, and many women face the additional challenge of returning to a workplace that’s slightly more casual than before. 

Luckily, we have a solution, and it’s called Power Casual—a way of dressing that’s simultaneously put-together and easygoing. It’s like having your cake and eating it, too. It’s the best of both worlds. It’s another cliché saying about “having it all.” And to help you make the most of it, we’ve assembled eight office-ready, Power Casual outfit ideas.

The Easy, Breezy Blues

Power Casual is all about feeling great while looking great, and the Malala dress in steel blue strikes a breezy balance between the two. The combination of an elegant-yet-relaxed silhouette, a unique-but-subtle hue, and a machine-washable, eco-friendly fabric allows you to appear put-together while maintaining comfort. Sharpen up the look with the Rowan flats and the denim-jacket-inspired Anna jacket. Bonus points for going with the dusty indigo version, which creates a sophisticated tonal palette when paired with steel blue.

The Neutral Separates

We (hypothetically) challenge you to come up with a bad outfit made up of high-quality, neutral-toned staples—because we’re pretty sure it can’t be done. In other words, sticking with versatile essentials is a recipe for success, because neutrals are forever chic, and complex color-coordinating is not for every day. You can’t go wrong with colors like black, white, and beige, but don’t forget about more punchy neutrals like olive and navy. Mixing a few shades from the same color family is an easy way to create a cohesive look with separates. Stock up on classic, wear-with-anything separates (e.g. the Merritt jardigan, Vicky tank, Curie pant, and Koio sneakers) to multiply your office-ready outfits and fill your closet with pieces you can wear for years to come.

The Streamlined Statement

The Tippy dress is just one of those undeniably special pieces. Not only is it visually stunning, but the strategically placed geometric pattern also complements your curves and does away with the need for intricate accessorizing. Pair with an ivory jacket and footwear, and you’re ready to take on whatever your calendar throws your way.

The Elegant Essentials

Clean, impeccably tailored silhouettes are about as dependable as you can get when dressing for the workplace. Elegant essentials like the Lagarde shirt and Archie jean channel modern style and timeless refinement, so you look thoughtfully put-together while not overly trendy. Add the heeled Ella sandals to (literally) elevate your look. Your wallet will love seeing the cost-per-wear decrease as you don these items season after season.

The Knit Set

An emblem of Power Casual’s polished-casual dichotomy, our jardigan knit fabric has the structure of a jacket with the ease of a cardigan. And while jardigans may have started as jacket-cardigans, we’ve expanded our assortment to include tops, pants, and skirts—so you can luxuriate in sophisticated comfort from head to toe. Pair the Malki top with the matching Finley pants for a stylish monochrome set, and finish the look with the similar-in-tone Jensen trench and the elegant Ella sandals.

The Elevated Sweatshirt

Bear with us while we keep gushing about our jardigan knit styles for a moment. Meet the Para sweatshirt: a grown-up version of your go-to crewneck pullover. Since you already know what makes its fabric so special, let us just say that the Para is not only a bestseller but also an employee favorite. We love to style it with the similarly laid-back Milo jeans, leather sneakers, and statement earrings for an outfit that exudes both cool factor and comfort.

The Shirt-Jacket

As with the term jardigan (jacket + cardigan), shacket (shirt + jacket) is all in the name. Loosely inspired by work shirt-jackets, the Sierra shacket is a sleek take on a utilitarian staple. Complete your Power Casual uniform with the near-matching Curie pant (it works, we promise), and reach for an easy underpinning like the Alina T-shirt.

The Boyfriend Blazer

A fantastic blazer is your best friend on mornings when you have mere minutes to get dressed. Just rely on this foolproof Power Casual outfit formula: polished T-shirt + well-fitting pant + flat shoe + slightly-oversized blazer. The first three elements serve as a feel-good foundation, and the unrestricting-yet-structured blazer instantly transforms your essentials into a beautifully balanced ensemble.

Written By

Emma Steinbergs

Emma is M.M.LaFleur's Senior Brand Associate. She previously worked as an M.M. stylist and Customer Communications Associate, and she still loves thinking through styling challenges and solutions for customers.

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