03/11/2013 09:54 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Women's New Power Suits Are One Way To Lean In (PHOTOS)

There's a lot of talk right now about Sheryl Sandberg's book, "Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead," and the movement that is growing up around it. Sandberg's idea -- that women should step forward and prove that they can juggle work and family and be successful -- is aiming to empower women.

One way to lean in is by ditching that boring black or brown pantsuit and showing off your strength in suits that are as stylish as they are powerful. Of course, there are jobs where a bright yellow pantsuit might get you sent home, but why not take a little inspiration from these looks and inject a touch of whimsy into your corporate look?

Here, four takes on the new suit. No beige suits need apply.


A printed suit is a daring twist on the traditional silhouette. The jacket and pants are cut very simply (and flattering, to boot), but the floral pattern will certainly get some attention. The white Oxford shirt and pointy-toe pumps keep the look classic. And if the pattern-on-pattern is too much, you can choose to wear just one of the printed pieces and keep the rest of your outfit monotone. For an even more conservative suit, wear a navy or black jacket and pants and add a patterned blouse.

Ann Taylor blazer, Ann Taylor pants, Ann Taylor shirt, J. Crew pumps


Who can resist a sunny yellow suit? This look is screaming for cat-eye sunglasses and cherry-red lips. The secret to this suit is in the cut: The slim, cropped pants lengthen legs, while the tailored jacket isn't too boxy. The lace blouse adds a feminine touch. Need a more business-appropriate outfit? Choose a bright blouse and layer it underneath a neutral-hued suit and sweater so that only the collar peeks out.

Anne Klein blazer (similar one here), Anne Klein pants (similar ones here), Topshop shirt, Kate Spade pumps


A skirt suit is just as polished as its counterpart. Add a little volume, and things just became more fun. Watch the length if you're concerned about office dress code. Knee-length hems are just right, and a pencil skirt silhouette is even more professional, without losing the ladylike feminine vibe.

Anna Sui blazer (similar one here), Anna Sui skirt (similar one here), J. Crew shoes (similar ones here)


We know, we know: an orange short suit is really pushing office-appropriate boundaries. Even if you can't wear something like this to work, you can certainly be inspired by the slim fit, the bright hues and the great accessories. Try pairing shorts with a jacket -- just stick to slim Bermuda shorts. Have some fun with the blouse and try out a sweet spring color like seafoam green or coral.

LOFT Blazer (similar one here), LOFT shorts, J. Crew Pumps

Check out more celebrities who have embraced menswear-inspired style over the years.

Celebrity Style: Menswear-Inspired

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