9 Ways to Funkify the 9-to-5 Suit

I have never really worked in an office. I’m a hair and makeup artist by trade, so my environment changes often and depends on the job at hand. It involves a lot of traveling, a lot of running around and zero formal dress code.

There are days when I wish I had one, just like those business women and men I used to see during rush hour in NYC. Dressing within the confines of specific guidelines makes for more efficient mornings while encouraging creativity. Of course, just because I don’t have a dress code to adhere to doesn’t mean I can’t dress with one in mind. I love suits, and I love dressing up, so why not take the uniform of the 9-5 to the nines?

Below, 9 spins on the office suit. Sorry, HR.

1. The Primary-School Teacher

House of Dagmar blazer and pants, Mary Katrantzou shirt via MATCHESFASHION.com, Dolce & Gabbana bag, plastic banana holder inspiration for the new Charlotte Olympia collection

This shirt makes me think of my entire childhood. Remember those optical-illusion posters that hung behind the cool teacher’s desk which, if you squinted hard enough, you’d be able to see in 3D? They blew my mind. This shirt takes it up a notch, but all patterns seem to clash particularly well with subtle gray plaid.

2. The Fashion Journalist After a Stanley Tucci Makeover

These Tod’s sandals are from a second-hand store in Mallorca. Little did I know that they would be a match made in heaven with this Gucci suit that resembles 1970s wallpaper. See this Joseph shirt? It’s worn the wrong way ‘round.

More than anything, this outfit is about the beauty of the color orange. Why have I been underestimating it for so long?

3. The Secretary

If I were a brand I’d be Miu Miu. Okay and Prada. Miuccia if you read this (which I am sure of) you are my goddess. Here’s me dressing like the way I imagine you do in your office, or the way I would if I took your calls and booked your travel.

4. The Architect

Pallas Paris blazer and pants, Miu Miu shoes, father-in-law’s vintage shirt

My version of an architect is always looking for her next big potential construction site, with drawings at the ready in a massive portfolio. Her outfit, meanwhile, is a reminder that all it takes to get weird with a classic suit is to rethink the shirt (why bother buttoning it?) and pair it with unexpected shoes that don’t totally make sense.

5. The Broker

All imaginary brokers know that you must carry the largest bag possible, because the imaginary broker has has tons of very important files and also a lot of cash. (She keeps her savings on her at all times.) She is also a hobby gardener with no time to change. Time is money, after all.

6. The Miranda / The Lawyer

There is literally nothing else to say about this.

7. The Scientist

As a scientist who studies important science (this is not a joke, so glad you exist) you have to wear white. I imagine there’s a scientific reason for this, but also suspect that a white lab coat quickly exposes the truth as to who’s clumsy and who’s not.

8. The LA Yoga teacher

A suit’s no more required for a yoga teacher than a makeup artist — the mat is her office! The yoga teacher in my closet is from sunny California, which means the hat is a must. She takes conference calls in downward dog.

9. The Nosey Neighbor

Most important job on the block, she would say. She runs home from her job, swaps pants for shorts and takes off her bra (ahhh), then gets focused on her most important to-do list of all: neighborhood observation. There’s great street style where she lives.

Follow Stella von Senger on Instagram @stella_vonsenger. Photos by Marlen Mueller, @marle_mue; makeup by Annika Noack @aennikin; styling assistance by Anna Ahlers @annamateur and Paulina Schulz @dj_gigola.

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  • FlexMami


  • Hilary

    These gorgeous photographs combined with the impeccable shoot styling is like a sugar rush to my eyeballs. ADORE.

  • This is a Candy Land of styling goodness, I want everything. Literally everything. And my office doesn’t even have a dress code…

  • NINE OUTFITS?! Now this is what I’m talking about!! Stella, you are Killing it! And your writing is fun to read. Needed this.

  • Franzi

    Stella, this is amazing. So glad to see you here <3

  • su

    WOW!!!! This is not only Styling goodness- she is a styling goddess!

  • Pao Fentanes


  • Michaela H

    I zoomed immediately to the lawyer outfit I knew would be here, passed out from joy, and then came down here to tell you about it. I’m going to look at the rest of the outfits now and if they’re as well styled as the lawyer I may get no work done for the rest of the day

  • Kay Nguyen

    Love all of them, especially the nosy neighbor look! It’s so fun and different <3


  • I don’t even really come here for the fashion features and I wouldn’t be brazen enough to wear any of these outfits outright (except for the scientist…that skirt! that top! those shoes!) but I have to say THIS WAS A GREAT FASHION FEATURE. I feel very passionate about that hence the all caps. The modeling, the styling, the backdrops, the photography, all extremely ridiculously good.

  • Nev Bebedjian

    kind of obsessed with this girl. So much beauty, style and humor.

  • Hannah Warner

    love all the Miranda Hobbes tributes on MR lately. also, great makeup/no makeup choices, not enough mascara-less redheads out there.

  • Delphine C

    Definitely a awesome looks and pictures!!
    On the other hand, when I clicked on the title I was sort of hoping for something that people with an actual corporate 9-5 may be able to wear. I love love MR but I honestly cannot use any of those to inspire my daily dress-up routine. I would love to see a feature aimed at millenials in corporate environments working hard to build a career and establish their credibility.
    In general, cool fashion features about office wear tackles either a fashion editor styles or high-power lady bosses who can basically do whatever they want because, well, they are THE BOSS. How about the non fashion employed / non boss among us?

    Now, I’m off to work on a toned down version of the oh-so-good Nosey Neighbor!

    • Lil

      Exactly my thoughts. I love pieces like this, but more inclusion for the rest of us who don’t work in fashion or a trendy start up would be nice.

    • Lola

      Yes please! would love MR to find an actual corporate person (like a junior associate at a law firm) who is cool and do a story. I sometimes feel like fashion people’s ideas about corporate dress codes are a little inaccurate (for the record, understand that this was not the aim here!)

  • Aydan

    yaaass! the secretary is def one of my fave looks! especially when its warmer — linen collard shirt under a mini shift dress — SO awesome! and even good for the weekend when you throw on your high top converse!

  • brie


  • Maggie Lanham

    How do I press “purchase all” (including that gorgeous hair)? Every outfit is something I would 100% wear and be thrilled to slide into each morning! A resounding AMAZING to this whole feature.

  • definitely trying out “The Fashion Journalist After a Stanley Tucci Makeover” and “The Secretary”!

  • The broker is possibly the most delicious looking suit ensemble I have ever seen. YES BROKER.

    But I think we need a story labelling change, because while I have no strict work dress code and LOVE these features, I feel for those who click through in the hopes of finding a tip or look that they can really use in their suited up life (and MR definitely has those, I’ve seen and loved them).

    Anyway. Still drooling over the Hermes bag. It’s a lot.

  • chouette

    Jeezy creezy call me a love fool for tailored clothing but every time you do a feature like this it becomes my new favorite. It’s like the Vetements tropes collection via MR. I wore a vintage oversized Armani suit to a meeting at Target corporate yesterday and I think I was literally the only person in the compound in a suit. (which is too bad because I felt AWESOME.)

  • Frok

    THIS is freaking amazing!

  • Alexandra Mitchell

    Is that a giant croc clutch “The Architect” is carrying?? Is it a portfolio? I need details!!

  • Liz

    The model has the most amazing hair!!!!

    • Liz

      Ah the model is also the writer is also the stylist. Yes