With so much noise in the world, It’s not uncommon to think that you have to practically hit people over the head with your message.  However, there really is something to be said for a more understated yet powerful approach. In this post, I am sharing some work style looks that are soft, subtle, sophisticated and strong.

Subtle Power: Soft, Sophisticated Work Style

Outfit #1

work style

Soft colors don’t have to be whisper light to be soft.  There are shades out there that are darker but that have a dustier or more muted quality.  Take for example this ruched top from Ann Taylor that is in a dusty blue and very soft despite its saturation of color.  With this top, I added these soft taupe pants from Reiss, this zipper jacket from BOSS Hugo Boss and finished the look with these novelty heels from Boden and drop earrings from Julie Vos.

Outfit #2

work style

Light colors often come across as more professional and powerful when they are in tailored looks.  The strong lines balance out the softer shades, plus lighter colors are a nice suiting departure from the common navies, blacks and greys often found in a work wardrobe.

In the look above, I styled this sage green suit from Reiss (link to jacket and link to pants) with an ivory mock wrap top from MM LaFleur.  The outfit was accessorized with tan pumps from French Connection and a multi-strand necklace from Atelier Mon.

Outfit #3

work style

This soft, sophisticated abstract print in this dress from Worth is a perfect work print.  The shape of the dress is classic and with all the colors it’s actually quite versatile.  You can darken the look with a brown blazer or cardigan or lighten it up, like I did here, with an ivory cardigan from Theory.  To pull out the blue found in the dress, I added these suede ankle strap pumps from and layered pendant necklace from Stella & Dot.

Outfit #4

work style

As I said earlier, soft doesn’t necessarily need to mean light or exclusively pastels.  You can look for more muted shades that aren’t so clear and bright.  This look is soft without being too light with a camel pencil skirt from J. Crew, a rose colored top and olive blazer.  The look is finished with a light horn necklace from Nest and nude pumps from Cole Haan.

Outfit #5

work style

This last look is more casual using pink and grey, a classic color combination that is feminine yet still professional.  In this look, I grounded the outfit with grey chinos and added a pink shirt from Banana Republic.  Over it I layered this clip dot cardigan in grey from J. Crew.  The outfit is finished with hoop earrings from Topshop, bangles from LOFT, a grey handbag from Vince Camuto and two tone d’Orsay flats from Shoes of Prey.

Soft work style does not have to mean passive when you choose the right colors and silhouettes