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The M Dash

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The One Thing Your Power Casual Outfits Might Be Missing

PSA: Your outfit is only as good as the bag it’s paired with.

By Emma Steinbergs

Do you consider your bag part of your outfit? The answers here are probably quite mixed, but in our opinion, your bag is just as sartorially significant as any article of clothing. We’ve all seen a great purse make a look—and we’ve also seen a low-quality (or overly flashy) purse transform an outfit for the worse.

Not only do bags have the power to make or break your outfit, but they also have the potential to be the hardest-working pieces in your wardrobe. Many of us have one go-to bag we use on repeat, and if it’s high-quality, we might have it for years—or even decades—to come. This leads to an unbeatably low cost-per-wear, giving other workhorse pieces, like blazers and coats, a run for their money. Even better? Bags are immune to life’s inevitable size fluctuations. So it’s settled: a well-made bag is well worth the investment.

Ready for an upgrade? You’re right on time. After searching for the perfect partner, we’ve joined forces with luxury handbag brand SENREVE to bring you two of their bestsellers in one exclusive color. Meet the Aria and Maestra bags in Chablis—streamlined in design and crafted in Italy. As you’ll see below, both of these styles are the perfect neutral-hued companions for all your Power Casual ensembles.

Scroll to see 10 Power Casual outfits and the polished, practical M.M.LaFleur x SENREVE purses that complete them.

1.

Luxurious Layers

More layers equal more luxury—especially when they’re made from the softest natural fibers around. The pima cotton Axam turtleneck is form-fitting and buttery soft against your skin, while the cashmere Thomas hoodie provides warmth that doesn’t weigh you down. Complement these pieces’ neutral tones with the contrasting Sammataro jean in dusty indigo, a cool-toned hoop, and a crisp white sneaker. For the finishing touch, we’re pretty confident you won’t regret investing in the sophisticated cashmere-wool-blend Kasha coat—or the stunning Maestra bag.

2.

A Radiant Gradient

Few things are more pleasing to the eye than a color gradient. I could look at paint swatches for hours—anyone else? Create your own tonal masterpiece by starting with the chocolatey Nicky jacket and gradually going lighter as you work your way down. The warm tan Arbus sweater, cream-colored Milo jean, and clean white Koio Capri sneaker form a palette that flows from head to toe, while the pearly Etel earring and Chablis Aria bag tie it all together.

3.

Epic Proportions

Chunky knit sweater + sleek suiting trouser = chic beyond belief. Go with the fisherman-style Somers sweater (with or without a cotton T-shirt underneath) plus the elongating Horton pant for a combination that’s cozy up top and elongating on bottom. Commit to your camel-cream palette while continuing to play with different forms. We suggest the sharp Rowan flat, organically shaped Amari earring, and sculptural Aria bag.

4.

Rise and Shine

For those days when you need some extra pep in your step, reach for a couple of pieces that will lighten you up—literally. Try the reflective yet refined metallic version of our Para sweatshirt, the lustrous Nene dress in champagne, and the translucent Dora earring. For a beautifully balanced look, incorporate a couple of non-shiny pieces, such as a sunny, suede flat and a perfectly pebbled purse.

5.

Everything’s Roses

That’s how we feel in this outfit. Enveloped in a slightly oversized cashmere cardigan and a rose-colored silk set, it’s hard not to feel as though everything’s going your way. Further elevate your mood-boosting ensemble with the Irene slingback in rosy taupe, which serves as a muted, textured counterpart to your Lisey cami and Orchard skirt in vintage rose. For your accessories, a small gold hoop and the Maestra bag finish off your light-hued, luxurious look.

6.

Go Green

Deep hues like hunter and forest operate as neutrals, streamlining styling while allowing you to subtly stand apart in this season’s sea of black. For a verdant palette with varied texture, layer the washable silk Alyssa jacket in hunter over the matching Lisey cami, and slip on the Smith pant in forest. Don’t have deep green accessories in your closet? No problem. Introduce coordinating elements of black and ivory such as the snakeskin Rowan flat, geometric Wanda earring, and off-white Aria bag.

7.

Sophisticated Staples

This outfit proves that making small tweaks to your essentials can take your style to the next level. The evidence: When you ditch your old sweatshirt for a cashmere half-zip, upgrade your jeans to a Better Than Denim pant, and trade your backpack in for the grown-up Maestra bag, everything changes. Fill in the rest with other polished yet practical pieces like a washable silk jersey turtleneck, pearl stud, and leather sneaker.

8.

Evening Essentials

Date night? Play it cool in medium-wash denim mixed with evening-ready black styles like the satin Hyo jacket, mock-neck Malki top, and low-heeled Zelda boot. Don’t forget to pop your favorite lipstick in your Aria bag before you head out the door, and add your two-toned Mildred earring to tie Chablis back to your black-focused outfit.

9.

Elegance with an Edge

Everyone can enjoy our new sparkly jardigans—even those with edgier style. If this is you, transform the sparkly Merritt jardigan into a slightly punk piece by pairing it with a black T-shirt, vegan leather pant, and leather sneaker. Add a silver earring for another metallic element, and fashion your Maestra bag into a backpack for a look that’s beautiful yet laid-back—and a little bit badass.

10.

Foolproof Plaid Pairings

Timeless and visually interesting, plaid is perhaps the perfect pattern. It also makes styling a breeze. All you have to do is select a plaid piece and pair the rest of your look back to the colors of the various stripes. For instance, take the plaid Whitney skirt, which features lines of black, white, and yellow. The beautifully busy combination of black and white creates an overall gray-adjacent palette, so your pairing options open up even further. Try the light gray Sophie sweater and the coordinating Koio sneaker, and reference the black and white stripes via your small earring and Aria crossbody.

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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