Do you have a go-to office outfit? We get comments all the time asking for workwear ideas. So, on Instagram, we asked people who work in offices to send us photos of their ensembles. Here, six readers share their favorite outfits and tricks of the trade…
Name: Preeti (above)
Location: Sydney, Australia
Job: On the New Arrivals & Multicultural team at a bank
A signature look: I had a baby 15 months ago, and it tilted my body image. A stylist friend told me to keep it simple and keep repeating the silhouette that works on me. It worked – black A-line midi dresses are now my staples, and I feel chic, confident and less anxious about what to wear (except on teething nights). I add color with accessories, like these Maryam Nassir Zadeh sandals. Also, my trusty black hair tie, which I always wear around my wrist — if my hair is tied back, you know I’m on deadline and trying to get things done!
Job: High school English teacher
On a capsule wardrobe: I try to look professional because I want my students to know I care about my job and take it seriously. My sister helped me come up with a six-piece work capsule. I have three tops and three bottoms to wear for the next three months, and I can switch up the shoes and accessories. I have to say, I’m LOVING it. Getting dressed now feels easy and painless. I wear my Everlane high-waisted skirt the most. The length is perfect, and it’s a fun twist on a classic skirt.
Surprising part of the job: I’m happy to report: Kids want to learn, believe it or not! Makes my job a lot sweeter.
Job: Financial Advisory (my first job!)
On changing shoes: I carry my Jim Thompson bag that’s large enough to fit my laptop, charger and an extra pair of shoes to change into because we tend to walk to many meetings. Uniqlo and COS are great for basics. Wherever I shop, I always look at the material because I favor cotton, wool or silk.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Job: MBA candidate at Vanderbilt
Finding a cool, affordable suit: I’m currently interviewing for internships and had the hardest time finding a suit that didn’t look outdated and wasn’t $500. I got inspired by the suits of Issa’s best friend Molly on Insecure and literally googled ‘Molly Insecure suits.’ I read an interview, where the show’s costume designer said Molly’s wardrobe comes from ASOS, Reiss and Ted Baker. Now I have a suit from ASOS.
On fun jewelry: I wear fun earrings every day so I can incorporate my personal style. My sister got me Matisse-inspired earrings last Christmas, and I love hoops. I also wear these loafers all the time. Side note: Women are a very small fraction of business school students. In fact, only 26% of my classmates are women. For any Cup of Jo reader out there considering business school, you should totally do it!
Location: Falls Church, Virginia
Job: Production and operations director at POLITICO Pro
Power suits with a twist: I wear a statement outfit when I have an important meeting (especially if it’s one that makes me a smidgen nervous), but it has to be comfortable. Recently I had to present to a large group, so I chose this red dress, antique-style necklace and heels.
On durable clothes: For workwear, I’m loyal to Target, Madewell and Nordstrom (their return policy cannot be beat!). And I don’t wear anything too precious. My two boys are the cutest and sweetest but they are forever sticky.
Location: Salem, Massachusetts
Job: Clinical social worker and director of a mental health clinic
Mixing styles: I walk a fine line between looking pretty fringe (I have a septum piercing, gauged ears and tattoos) and having a high-profile position with a dress code. One of my teenage clients said to me recently, ‘Your tattoos make you approachable,’ which made me smile, because I feel like adults often think the opposite. I work with LGBTQIA clients, and being trusted with people’s stories, traumas and successes has been one of the biggest gifts of my life.
Favorite workwear: I love a blouse with a bow at the neck, like the one pictured here. (This blouse is actually a very low-quality number from Marshall’s. I don’t have a ton to spend on clothes — I buy a lot from Old Navy, T.J. Maxx, ModCloth, etc.) And I can’t believe it took me so long to embrace high-waisted bottoms. I’m plus-size and somewhere along the way I got the message that high waists and tucked-in shirts weren’t allowed for babes with bodies like mine but they’re so flattering! Tuck in those shirts, ladies!
Thoughts? What do you wear to work? Any tips you’ve learned? The brand Of / Mercer also looks really nice. If you’d like to be part of a future workwear post, please feel free to email a snapshot to hello at cupofjo dot com. Thank you! xoxo
(Photos courtesy of the readers.)