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
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
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.