Michelle POW: Working It Navy Power Wednesday

Outfit Mission Statement: For an easy, chic, classic, and powerful formal office look, dress in all navy

Working it Wednesday outfits are professional career clothes, often a step or two above Manic Monday outfits. The POW (Piece of the Week) is the cabi Spring 2016 Michelle Cardigan. One easy way to look professional is to choose professional pieces in the same neutral color. Monochrome dressing is chic and classic. This can get rather boring though, or it can get very formal if the neutral is black. The best way to prevent either is to choose a “new neutral” with some pop, like navy. Another way to prevent it is to choose different fabrics along with garments that have unique elements, such as bold trim, chiffon ruffles, tiered hems, pockets, and drapes. Then, add some bold accessories. Depending on the formality of the office go with neutral shoes (formal) or fun bold shoes too (more casual).

Let’s talk a bit about the choice of navy for a moment. Navy is a fabulous color. I saw navy called a “new neutral” in some places, because it is not the traditional black, white, or earth-toned neutrals, but it still goes with everything. Try it. See? It does! (Olive green is another new neutral.) Most women can find a flattering navy, and really many navy tones are flattering on everyone. For those who want a dark color, but get washed out with black, navy is a great choice. Navy reads as professional and business-like, so it is the perfect choice for a more formal business environment. It is also a timeless color, which gives it some sophistication. The darkness and strength of the color makes it a power color—perfect for your power suit (or running for president). Because it is a dark color, it tends to be more slimming. I also saw it suggested as a good color for petites. Thus, navy is the perfect neutral color for a formal business environment and really the perfect color for any environment. Why aren’t you wearing more navy?



  • For an easy to put together, chic, and more formal office look combine three professional garments in the same neutral color, but consider navy or another “new neutral” to add visual interest
  • Choose pieces with other elements of visual interest, such as bold trim, chiffon ruffles, tiered hems, pockets, and drapes, to keep the single color look from being boring
  • Add bold accessories to also add visual interest and to make a statement—the monochrome dressing provides a perfect platform to display these pieces
  • For a more formal work environment, consider natural shoes—but in a more casual environment feel free to be bold there too
  • Turn your necklace over and see what the back looks like—some pieces have interesting backs that can also be worn and may work better for some outfits. Here I am wearing a lovely necklace with bottle green etched glass, but backward so you see the gold and silver backing, which is its own fabulous necklace too. I have a few other necklaces I can do this with, which extends my necklace wardrobe significantly
  • For important meetings, presentations, days with the client, or other days you want to look strong, powerful, and sophisticated, consider dressing in navy


Outfit Breakdown:

Note: The Michelle Cardigan I am modeling here is a sample and a size too big. Correct fit would be more fitted and flattering.

Images in this photo shoot were taken by Bill Ruhsam.