I am all for experimenting with fashion of all shapes, sizes, textures, and colors, but in the cold winter months, in the dreary morning hours before double digits, faced with a walk to work and 10 hours sitting in a desk chair (or actually, on an exercise ball. I’m not sure if the thing is doing anything for my abs but it’s fun to bounce on, and certainly keeps me a bit more energized), I have fallen into an apparel habit. Laziness, coupled with a choice to only really invest in pieces I can wear 9-5 and buy the rest of my
slutty casual weekend garb from fun, trendy stores, has found me reaching for my work uniform more often than not. Let’s break it down.
Top: I own flowy silk tops in every pattern and variation available to womankind–long sleeved, short sleeved, quarter sleeved, collared, collarless, buttondown, buttonback, racerback–you name it, I’ve got it. My favorite brands for these, which can be worn season after season and styled in countless ways, are Equipment, Joie, Tibi, and Elizabeth & James, and the occasional classics from J.Crew and Madewell. Over my silk top I throw on several of three options: a structured blazer, a cropped jacket, or a long cardigan. Usually layered, often all three, and sometimes when I’m feeling super crazy, with a vest. My favorite blazers are Theory, J.Crew, and Elizabeth & James, and I pick up the rest in places ranging from Forever21 to Stella McCartney.
Bottom: This really depends on my level of laze and whether I went to bed at 11PM after yoga, dinner with my boyfriend, and Parks&Recreation like a good working girl orrrrr I let vodka soda #4 win again. When I am feeling pleasant and put together, I’ll toss on a pair of high waisted trousers or an A-line skirt. I get a lot of bottoms at J.Crew, Club Monaco, and Theory–they have excellent pants for smaller women. When I am feeling like crawling back into bed and ordering a BLT, or when I simply can’t be bothered, I go with what many consider a fashion faux-paux: leggings. Whether they’re jeggings, leather, printed, velvet, or any of the above, I obey a golden jegging rule when dressing for work: my top must cover my bottom. Ladies, this means: No.Ass.
[Had a casual dinner at Elephant & Castle last night. Thus, wearing Zara Harem Pants & Topshop skimmers]
Accessories: I wear the same arm candy every day: my big Michael Kors watch, and a bunch of Yurman and vintage stacked bracelets (most of my jewelry that is not designer I buy in the streets and markets of New York and cities I visit). I’ll throw on a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 8 rings (fun fact: coworkers have told me on separate occasions that I a) resemble a gypsy, and b) can be heard when I approach their desks due to clinking bling. I take both as compliments). I’m notoriouslyaloof about my earrings, (they hurt my little earlobes), so I put on studs and finish with a statement necklace. I’ve acquired quite a collection of neckli since I started working–they’re the perfect piece to send your outfit from “Blah, Girl” to “Haaaaaaaaay Girl (Hay)”
Purse/Shoes: My first three months at my new job, I wore flats on my commute and changed into killer heels at the office. Now that it is below forty degrees, I wear flats to work and have amassed a serious collection of heels under my desk. Sam Edelman and Vince Camuto make the best fashionable kicks, at price points that I’m comfortable wearing for a season and sending off to shoe-heaven. When I really can’t think at all, I reach for a pair of Tory Burch Revas. On legging days, I opt for boots. Since I like to bring all sorts of shit to work: wallet, notebook, pouches, change of shoes/accessories, overeager gym clothes, snacks, etc– I finish off with a large shoulder bag. Recently, it’s been a huge leather shopper that I bought in Madrid from Massimo Dutti. It matches everything I own, and best of all, no one in Amurrica has anything like it.
Finishing Touches: My nails, as a rule, are always painted. If I don’t have time to get a mani, I paint them myself, but really, women who say they don’t have time to get a mani are lying. In Manhattan, you can be in and out of a manicure in 20 minutes for under $10. Just do it. For work, my hair is either clean and pulled back in a braid with my bangs blown out, or dirty and in a ballerina bun on top of my head. When I have meetings, it is clean. When I do not, it is usually dirty. I have time for weekly manicures but clearly not to cleanse my scalp.
Ladies–do you have a work uniform? Does it make your life so much easier? Share yo tips.