I’m going to be upfront with you. I started watching USA Network’s “Suits” , the third season of which premieres on Tuesday, because Gabriel Macht is hot. And because Gabriel Macht in a suit is even hotter. But I kept watching because it’s a truly great show with a creative plot (college dropout with a photographic memory lies his way into a job as an associate at a high profile law firm, mentored by Gabriel, whose character is Harvey Spector on the show).
It’s also filled with strong, compelling characters … including three powerful women: Jessica Pearson (played by Gina Torres), partner at the firm; Rachel Zane (played by Meghan Markle), the paralegal who is one successful bar exam away from becoming a lawyer herself; and Donna Paulsen (played by Sarah Rafferty), Harvey’s all-knowing executive assistant.
Harvey isn’t the only character on the show with stellar fashion sense, either -- Jessica, Rachel and Donna’s wardrobes are also ideal examples of power dressing for modern career women. You know that saying, dress for the job you want, not the job you have? If you take a cue from these three ladies, you’ll be VP in no time. Their stylish, strong yet office-appropriately-attractive looks are easy to emulate at any budget -- just follow these simple rules:
Rule #1: You can definitely rock a skirt and still wear the pants in any situation. Pencil skirts are both sexy and professional -- just make sure the hemline isn’t too far above your knee. Pair it with a simple button-down, cardigan or sweater for an easy Monday-Friday look.
Rule #2: Tailoring is key. Look for figure flattering pieces in cuts that skim your figure, rather than tight, body-hugging silhouettes that aren’t quite safe for work. Also, remember that alterations aren’t just for bridesmaids dresses. Your local tailor can take your work dresses, skirts, jackets and pants from meh to amazing.
Rule #3: A shift or sheath dress in dark or jewel tones will easily take you from the boardroom to happy hour. I own several of these one-piece wonders. There is nothing easier a woman can put on to feel instantly ready for whatever the workday has in store. They’re also ideal for traveling. Just make sure to look for dresses in wrinkle-free fabrics, and with special details (a gathered waist, an exposed zipper, etc.) that give it a bit of personality.
Rule #4: Heels add instant polish. Don’t get me wrong - I wear flats to the office several times a week. But stepping into a pair of heels makes me feel more powerful in an instant.
Rule #5: It’s all in the details. The outfits of the ladies of “Suits” tend to be fairly unfussy. After all, to be taken seriously in a male dominated field like law, it makes sense that they don’t opt for more outwardly feminine looks. Yet they still let a bit of their ladylike flag fly with select pieces of stylish statement jewelry, belts and handbags.
The pieces, clockwise from top left:
- Twist Wrap Jersey Dress in Tropical Jade, Ann Taylor, $80
- Three Quarter Sleeve Stretch Perfect Shirt, J. Crew, $64
- Gemma Wrap Dress in Mystic Blue, Banana Republic, $65
- Origami Bow Dress in Stretch Wool, in Seaside Coral, J. Crew, on sale for $150.
- Pencil Skirt in Super 120s, Vibrant Cobalt, J. Crew, $120
- Cotton Eyelet Pencil Skirt, Loft.com, $70
The accessories, clockwise from top left:
- Michael Michael Kors York Platform, Piperlime.com, $125
- Gemstone Bib Necklace, Forever21, $15
- Nine West Jonah, Zappos.com, $67
- ASOS Curve Mixed Plate Belt, ASOS.com, $26
Which character’s style is your favorite? Don’t forget to tune in to “Suits,”Tuesdays at 10/9C on USA!
Photos Courtesy of USA Network.