As a communications specialist with a Manhattan law firm, Nicole Bruno is always brainstorming cool workwear. “The dress code is business-y for sure,” she says. “Yet I still want to look like myself and feel comfortable.” She has a knack for coming up with professional outfits that have small twists or fun details. Here, Nicole shares what she wore in a week…
“I’m drawn to monochromatic dressing. It’s a simple way of making a statement. These shoes are by Sigerson Morrison, but I found them on sale at Lord & Taylor. That department store is my secret weapon, since they have great brands and huge sales all the time. Block heels are super comfortable, even on my wide feet, even running up and down subway stairs. My other two favorite stores right now are Uniqlo and Muji.”
“I love the print of this dress, but the cut felt very shapeless at first. I looked like a giant rectangle! So, I added a belt to give it a waist. I have a small waist but wider hips, so the straight up-and-down silhouette doesn’t work. I also try to take good care of my clothes. Multiple stain sticks are in my bag. I once spilled a full cup of coffee on a white shirt and rubbed a Tide to Go stick over my entire shirt. Everything came out.”
“I got reading once from one of the Astro Twins and was told that I was a man in a past life! Maybe that’s why I’m constantly combing the men’s sections for sweaters and button-downs — especially at J. Crew, Uniqlo and Muji. The fit is generally more classic. If you’re at an outlet or thrift store, head straight to the men’s section, too. The selection will be so much better than the women’s side, which gets picked over.”
“I bought this dress for work. I love the print and shape, and the front zipper gives it a little edge. My style icon is probably Jackie O. or her sister Lee Radziwill. I love the tailored look of the 50s and 60s. Their clothes looked great, but you saw them first. I try to do that. I want people to see me first. Also, I’m always cold, so I wear Heattech layers, top and bottom, under everything, even jeans. They’re so thin and don’t add bulk. Now I want to tell everyone! Surviving the winter on the East Coast basically depends on whether you’re wearing Heattech or not.”
“This is my ‘casual Fridays’ look. I had been obsessing over Gucci loafers, but they’re so expensive, and it was hard to find a vintage pair. Then I saw these knock-offs at Nordstrom. The quality is great — the bottom feels like wood, and the leather is really soft. And my pinkie ring was my grandmother’s wedding ring, which I had resized. I wear it every day; it’s so special to me.”
“I have thick dark hair, and growing up I had a unibrow during the worst part of your life to have a unibrow. A unibrow and mustache are part of every Cuban-American girl’s recurring nightmare. When I was in high school, the trend was thin brows, and I made the mistake of letting a lady wax mine pencil thin. It was horrible. I finally stopped plucking them a couple years ago, and now they’ve grown back. I fill them in with a BrowGal pencil. In the end, I just want to feel like me.”
Thank you so much, Nicole!