Women are doing more and more to make their voices heard. They are making bold moves in their careers and at home. More women are entering into fields such as politics, science, technology and they are starting more businesses.
The fashion industry has surely recognized this and for fall 2017 designers are offering clothing that will help these strong women tell their story at work. From the power pant suit, to bold red, to plaid and metallic prints and everything in between, these trends are perfect for any woman who is making strides in her career.
1. The Pant Suit
How's that for a trend that's perfect to wear to work? Power pant suits are the backbone for fall 2017 and they are completely customizable. Create a pantsuit outfit that best speaks to your personal style / brand and office dress code. You could wear a trendy oversized jacket with oversized pants in this season's hottest color- red. Or for a modern look wear a long, tailored jacket with slim pants in plaid. If a classic style is more your taste go for a double breasted jacket with trouser pants in a neutral grey or navy.
2. The Mule Loafer
The “It" shoe for fall brings comfort, ease, style, versatility and it happens to be a great commuting shoe. The mule loafer can be worn with skirts and pants and it could be dressed up or down. If your day consists of back to back meetings pair the mule loafer with black pants, a white shirt and a plaid menswear inspired blazer. For casual Friday take those same mule loafers and wear them with a midi skirt and western blouse.
3. Wild West
This fall's take on western wear is tough cowgirl chic. We're talking cowboy hats and boots, leather, fringe, western tops, cow prints, cactus prints, and more. So how can one possibly incorporate a western inspired look in a NYC modern office? Well for one you could wear a floral or pleated maxi skirt with a denim top, cowboy booties and a fringe jacket. Or, add a fringe vest to a long sleeve blouse, leather pants and cowboy booties. Both are perfect outfits for a casual day at the office.
4. Red Hot
Speaking of fashion and power, it's no surprise that the color of the season is red. Pantone has named Grenadine as one of the top 10 colors for fall 2017 and describes it as, “A powerful, evocative, dynamic red, Grenadine is a confident and self-assured attention-getter". It's bright, bold and statement making which makes it the perfect color for any professional woman. Show the world you're fearless by wearing a red sweater with a red skirt and black pumps to your next executive meeting. If you're looking for a bold yet understated look, pair a red blouse with a grey or camel colored pant. And, if red isn't your thing, burgundy is coming in a close 2nd for the top color of the season.
5. Statement Earrings
From large hoops, to long earrings to big mismatched earrings the message is- go big or go home. A bold accessory, like statement earrings, help people notice and remember you- a plus for women in business. My favorite thing about this trend is that it's a great way to incorporate your personal style in your outfit. If you're quirky, try a mismatched look with a chandelier earring in one ear and a long earring in the other. If you lean towards a more clean and modern look, go for large hoop earrings.
6. Cuff 'Em
Sweaters for fall 2017 are not only comfy and cozy, but they also incorporate many fun elements like ruffles, embroideries and balloon sleeves. But sweater cuffs with details such as ties, fluted cuffs, ruffles, bows, zippers and slits are taking sweaters, and wrists, to a whole new level. Get pumped to go to work a blustery Monday morning by wearing a burgundy cashmere tie sleeve sweater with navy pants and block heel booties.
7. Menswear Inspired
Menswear inspired prints like plaid, checks, houndstooth and pinstripes, tailored jackets and ties are now being found in the women's ready to wear section. While the inspiration comes from the fellas, women are taking these items and making them all their own. For a day of tough negotiations wearing a plaid midi dress with red pumps will help you stay in the zone.
8. Luxurious Velvet
Celebrities, models and everyday gals are sporting the most sought-after fabric for fall, velvet. Velvet can take any clothing item and convert it into a fabulous, head-turning outfit - which is why it's perfect to wear to the office. A velvet pantsuit or velvet skirt with a white button down shirt are great ways to infuse this trend in your workwear. Don't be afraid by the material - more often than not it has a slimming effect and can enhance your figure.
Stylist Tip- When wearing velvet make sure to keep the outfit simple. Velvet offers enough pop so don't overdo it by adding big prints or too many accessories.
9. Furry Bags
Whether it's a tote, a clutch, a bucket bag or satchel, fur (real or faux fur) is what's making these bags fresh and fabulous for Fall. These furry bags offer just the right amount of pop to help complete an outfit.
You could take a classic pinstripe pant suit and add an all-over pink fur tote for a fun office look. Also, taking a cue from the younger set of girls, poof or fur balls are a wonderful accessory for your accessory. Take your current bag and clip on a fur ball and viola, you've got an on trend furry bag.
10. Heavy Metal
Once reserved only for formal wear, metallic prints can now be found in jackets, skirts, pants, dresses, shoes and much more. While silver and gold dominate the metallic color palette other colors like pink, blue and green are popping up. Depending on your work dress code you could wear head to toe metallic or choose a staple piece like a skirt, jacket or top as the metallic item and layer in non-metallic items.
Fall 2017 is truly made for today's modern working woman. The trends this season lean towards appropriate workwear, yet still offer many innovative and fun ways for her to showcase her own sense of style.
New parents re-entering the workforce are often juggling the tangible realities of daycare logistics, sleep deprivation, and a cascade of overwhelming work. No matter how parents build their family, they often struggle with the guilt of being split between home and work and not feeling exceptionally successful in either place.
Women building their families often face a set of challenges different from men. Those who have had children biologically may be navigating the world of pumping at work. Others might feel pulled in multiple directions when bringing a child into their home after adoption. Some women are trying to learn how to care for a newborn for the first time. New parents need all the help they can get with their transition.
Women returning to work after kids sometimes have to address comments such as:
"I didn't think you'd come back."
"You must feel so guilty."
"You missed a lot while you were out."
To counteract this difficult situation, women are finding mentors and making targeting connections. Parent mentors can help new moms address integrating their new life realities with work, finding resources within the organization and local community, and create connections with peers.
There's also an important role for parent mentors to play in discussing career trajectory. Traditionally, men who have families see more promotions compared to women with children. Knowing that having kids may represent a career setback for women, they may work with their mentors to create an action plan to "back on track" or to get recognized for their contributions as quickly as possible after returning to work.
Previously, in a bid to accommodate mothers transitioning back to work, corporate managers would make a show at lessoning the workload for newly returned mothers. This approach actually did more harm than good, as the mother's skills and ambitions were marginalized by these alleged "family friendly" policies, ultimately defining her for the workplace as a mother, rather than a person focused on career.
Today, this is changing. Some larger organizations, such as JP Morgan Chase, have structured mentorship programs that specifically target these issues and provide mentors for new parents. These programs match new parents navigating a transition back to work with volunteer mentors who are interested in helping and sponsoring moms. Mentors in the programs do not need to be moms, or even parents, themselves, but are passionate about making sure the opportunities are available.
It's just one other valuable way corporations are evolving when it comes to building quality relationships with their employees – and successfully retaining them, empowering women who face their own set of special barriers to career growth and leadership success.
Mentoring will always be a two way street. In ideal situations, both parties will benefit from the relationship. It's no different when women mentor working mothers getting back on track on the job. But there a few factors to consider when embracing this new form of mentorship
How to be a good Momtor?
Listen: For those mentoring a new parent, one of the best strategies to take is active listening. Be present and aware while the mentee shares their thoughts, repeat back what you hear in your own words, and acknowledge emotions. The returning mother is facing a range of emotions and potentially complicated situations, and the last thing she wants to hear is advice about how she should be feeling about the transition. Instead, be a sounding board for her feelings and issues with returning to work. Validate her concerns and provide a space where she can express herself without fear of retribution or bull-pen politics. This will allow the mentee a safe space to sort through her feelings and focus on her real challenges as a mother returning to work.
Share: Assure the mentee that they aren't alone, that other parents just like them are navigating the transition back to work. Provide a list of ways you've coped with the transition yourself, as well as your best parenting tips. Don't be afraid to discuss mothering skills as well as career skills. Work on creative solutions to the particular issues your mentee is facing in striking her new work/life balance.
Update Work Goals: A career-minded woman often faces a new reality once a new child enters the picture. Previous career goals may appear out of reach now that she has family responsibilities at home. Each mentee is affected by this differently, but good momtors help parents update her work goals and strategies for realizing them, explaining, where applicable, where the company is in a position to help them with their dreams either through continuing education support or specific training initiatives.
Being a role model for a working mother provides a support system, at work, that they can rely on just like the one they rely on at home with family and friends. Knowing they have someone in the office, who has knowledge about both being a mom and a career woman, will go a long way towards helping them make the transition successfully themselves.