12 modern takes on suits for the boardroom and beyond

Power dressing is back and it's better than ever.

Power dressing is back and it's better than ever.

While your basic matching blazer and straight-leg trousers will last for years, be honest, you're probably not excited to wear them. A suit can be so much more—and even retailers known mostly for wear-to-work essentials are offering modern or novelty takes on the trend. Look for jackets that aren't blazers, pants-and-blouse matching pairs or totally original suiting like a blazer dress or suiting plaid jumpsuit. It's the perfect season to buy a 'not just any suit' suit. Here are 12 great ways to wear the ensemble in a way that will take you to work, to a holiday party and beyond.

The Blazer Dress

Like wearing an entire suit, but in just one piece! This great dress is such a simple way to instantly look put-together and professional. Wear it on its own, wear it over a more fitting sheath or wear it open over a button-up and jeans on the weekend. Simple, stylish and super versatile.

The Blazer Dress, $395, grayes.com

The Jumpsuit Suit

This is a really fun take on the suit and with its metallic silver thread, it's evening-ready paired with a statement necklace. Wear it with its matching blazer or a soft grey cardigan and it's work-appropriate.

Banana Republic Shine Plaid Strappy Jumpsuit, $195; Banana Republic Classic Fit Shine Plaid Blazer, $240, both bananarepublic.ca

The Bomber Jacket

Your suit jacket doesn't have to be a two-button blazer. A coordinating pants-and-jacket combo in more modern silhouettes looks just as pulled together, yet a bit more modern than the old standbys. Plus, this jacket is reversible, so you get twice the wear!

Kit and Ace Reversible Raglan Bomber, $298; Kit and Ace Cropped Stretch Trouser, $158, both kitandace.ca

The Robe Jacket

Long, soft jackets don't have to be saved for weekends. This pinstripe pair of jacket and pants looks completely sophisticated and the pieces can be mixed and matched to create so many work and play ensembles in your wardrobe. Wear this jacket with matching pants and a button-up, over a slip dress, or with a t-shirt and jeans.

Babaton Kahlo Jacket, $225; Babaton Modesto Pant, $125, both aritzia.com

The Tucked-In Tee

Have a suit you want to update quickly? Try wearing it with a polished-looking t-shirt instead of a more formal shirt or blouse. This striped navy tee under a navy suit looks fresh and professional at once. Try a band or graphic tee and sneakers with your suit for a fun off-duty look or if you work in a casual office.

J.Crew Tailored blazer in Italian Super 120s wool, $325; J.Crew Tailored trouser in Italian Super 120s wool, $194, both jcrew.com

The Coloured Suit

Some of the biggest fashion houses like Emilio Pucci, 3.1 Phillip Lim and Oscar de la Renta have created pink two-piece suits. While not for the faint of heart, it certainly makes getting dressed for work a little more fun. And again, those pieces can be mixed with more casual basics in your wardrobe for lots of possibilities.

Mango Essential Cotton-Blend Blazer, $79.99; Mango Slim-Fit Cotton-Blend Trousers, $59.99, both mango.com

The Blouse Suit

Creating a monochromatic look with a button-up or a blouse the same shade as your pants can create a very polished look. Take it one step further with a matching patterned set, like this one. And, of course, the pants and top can always be worn with your other work separates.

Babaton Kallmus Blouse, $110; Babaton Modesto Pant, $125, both aritzia.com

The Dressed Up Canadian Tuxedo

Denim on denim may not be the best option for your office, but a denim shirt and structured jeans topped with a tweed jacket looks fashion-forward on casual Friday or in a casual workplace. The jacket can be worn with your suit pants when you need to look more professional.

J.Crew Lady Jacket in Sequin Tweed, $234, jcrew.com

The Double-Breasted Jacket

The double-breasted jacket was a runway trend for fall/winter and it's a surprisingly wearable look. Wear the jacket open over a shirt or camisole or wear it buttoned-up with nothing underneath for an evening look. Ankle-length matching pants look great with heels or brogues and keep the look from overwhelming your silhouette.

H&M Double-Breasted Jacket, $69.99; H&M Ankle-Length Pants, $34.99, both hm.com

The Clueless Suit

Take inspiration from Clueless's Cher and Dionne in bouclé skirt suits. Obviously, leave the knee socks at home — pair instead with opaque tights and booties. Wear the skirt with a white tee and leather or denim jackets on weekends.

Balmain Double Breasted Bouclé Blazer, $2,665; Balmain Bouclé Mini Skirt, $1,685, both net-a-porter.com

The Patterned Blazer

A suit doesn't always have to be a perfectly matched set. Take a patterned blazer, and pants in a tone that matches the pattern, and you've got a polished pair. While a pattern on a black jacket and black pants is a simple way to try the look, try colours for a more modern look.

Ett:twa Tavie Blazer, $148; Evidnt Los Angeles Sliced Trousers, $118, both anthropologie.com

The Patterned Suit

A patterned jacket and solid pants not enough excitement for you? Try a fully patterned suit. The loose fit and flowing fabric of this set makes it comfortable and easy to transition to weekend wear.

Loft Crane Fluid Pants, $92.68; Loft Crane Blazer, $118, both loft.com