Power Play: The New Urban Woman

Make a workwear statement, the ELLE way

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This content has been created in collaboration with Tu.

The power suit is back in town. 

As a recurring visitor to the workwear scene, we've witnessed it take on a number of guises - from the bold shoulder of the 1980s, to the low-slung cigarette trousers of the 90s and androgyny of the 00s.

In this, its most recent incarnation, though, we're seeing much more of an interplay between the masculine and the feminine. 

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The bold, statement-making masculine influence comes from the strong tailoring, the sharp shadows cast by thick lapels, shirts buttoned up to the nape and dramatic, geometric prints. 

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The femininity peeks through in the styling. 

As Senior Fashion Editor Michelle Duguid demonstrates, in her styling of Tu's new workwear range, softening an otherwise tough look is down to the details: 

  • Colour choices are paramount, the dusty coral of this Tu two-piece is a nice way to offset the formality of the suiting. 
  • When opting for tailoring and bold prints, swap statment-making accessories out for simple fine jewellery; such as slender, delicate chains, little stud earrings and brushed metal stacking rings.
  • Don't be afraid to play with colour, as long as you keep it within the tonal range. By adding a burnt orange outer layer to the coral suit, Michelle has created a new kind of three-piece.

By Michelle's own admission: "black always puts a full stop to an outfit," so if you want to exude the confidence of a modern working woman, a black graphic print shirt and a pair of chelsea boots are the perfect top and tail to your Spring/Summer colourblocking. 

"The girl we're portraying is stomping and confident. Her look and the styling are all made to reflect the architecture of the city," says Michelle, "she's the new power woman."

Watch our power play shoot in action, video below:

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