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The M Dash

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The December ’22 Power Casual Style Guide Is Here

Seven comfortable but stylish outfit formulas to try this month.

By Madeleine Kim

Power Casual is the clothing equivalent of work-life balance—and it’s basically the only way I dress these days. When I’m working from home but still want to feel put-together and professional? I wear stretchy pants with a soft turtleneck. When I’m going out to dinner with my husband? I reach for a knit dress and an oversized blazer. When I’m out shopping with friends? You’ll find me in jeans and a breezy button-down. What all of these combinations have in common is that they encapsulate the Power Casual mindset: They’re comfortable but polished, stylish but effortless. 

To set your wardrobe up for success, I’ve put together seven Power Casual outfits to wear this December and beyond. These looks feature some of my favorite new M.M. products, but you can also use the formulas to create similar outfits with pieces you already own.


Knit Base + Blazer

At the root of many great Power Casual outfits is the balance of sharp and soft. Wear a cashmere sweater and knit pants as your base layer, then add a double-breasted blazer and noticeable mixed-metal jewelry. The knee-high Nina boots will disappear below your black pants, making you look taller—plus, they provide extra warmth.


Turtleneck + Dress + Blazer

Gingham is typically associated with summer, so repurposing it for winter—and pulling it off—makes you look stylish and confident. Here’s how to do it right: Wear the flowy Nyla dress on top of the fitted Axam turtleneck, then add the Nina boots and tailored Kati blazer. In this outfit, the dress and turtleneck function as the “soft” half of the look, while the blazer and boots provide the “sharp” element. The resulting combination is fashion-forward without feeling try-hard. For extra warmth, add tights.


Textured Sweater + Patterned Skirt

Well-executed pattern mixing is a shortcut to looking chic—and you don’t have to love loud prints to pull it off. Try wearing a textured fisherman-style sweater with a plaid miniskirt for some subtle but impactful pattern play. Layering the Axam turtleneck underneath your sweater gives you that fully covered-up, Diane Keaton-eqsue vibe up top, which makes the miniskirt + knee-high boot combo on your lower half even more striking.


Button-Down + Sweater + Trousers

Layering isn’t just an easy way to keep warm. It’s also a powerful tool in your styling arsenal. Wear your favorite chunky pullover sweater over a collared shirt like the washable silk Tatum—collar peeking out, of course—for a very New England-chic look. The wide-leg Horton pants and comfortable Koio sneakers keep the outfit thoroughly modern.


Blazer + T-Shirt + Party Pants

Dressing in Power Casual usually means pairing relaxed and elevated pieces to create a balanced look. But there are some styles that do all the work for you. Take the Giana pants: These cargo pants feature an easy silhouette and drawstring waist (also, did I mention that they’re cargo pants?)—but we made them in a beautiful washable satin that gives them an elegant feel. Try pairing them with the Leslie T-shirt, Kati blazer, and Koio sneakers for an outfit that’s not a suit, but more like a suit’s very cool third cousin.


All-White Outfit + Contrasting Jardigan

A column outfit consists of a top and bottom in the same color (or a solid-colored dress), topped by a contrasting jacket or sweater. It’s an easy formula to follow and a fairly foolproof way to look put-together, so I find myself turning to the column look often. I especially love this one, because wearing white in wintertime always makes me feel stylish. Choose the sparkly Merritt jardigan for your layer to introduce some festive flair.


Turtleneck + Button-Down + Jeans

My summer wardrobe consists mostly of breezy button-down shirts, so during wintertime, this turtleneck-layered look is in my regular rotation. There are three ways to go about styling a button-down over a turtleneck: First, you can wear the Tatum shirt buttoned, but lower than you normally would (I usually go to the button at my bustline or the one below). Second, you can wear the Tatum shirt fully buttoned, with the Hugo necklaces sitting beneath the collar. And third, you can wear the Tatum shirt all the way unbuttoned, like a jacket. In all three looks, I recommend tucking in the Axam for comfort and cuffing the sleeves of the Tatum, allowing the sleeves of the turtleneck to peek out.

Written By

Madeleine Kim

Madeleine Kim is the Senior Brand Manager at M.M.LaFleur, where she started out as a stylist. She loves developing styling-focused content and creating newsletters that bring the M.M. community together.

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