By Lauren Saxe
We’ve all had that time-consuming wardrobe struggle for our first day at the office. You take several trips to the mirror and dozens of rejected outfits end up strewn across your bed. Do you choose something business professional? Business casual? Maybe just casualAs many workplaces become more lax, any notion of a standard office dress code has been thrown out the window and everyone is trying to adapt.
“I’ve always worked in a creative field, so my industry inherently invites more casual dress than the average corporate job,” says Alex Apatoff, Deputy Style Director at People. “I still have friends who are expected to wear skirts and hose to their law firms, while ripped jeans and skin-baring sandals, when done right, are totally okay at a magazine job.”
That doesn’t mean every media office is the right place for ripped jeans, though.
“You’ll likely dress differently at a fashion glossy versus a food monthly versus a women’s service title,” says Danielle Deavens, Assistant Editor at Brides. For example, if you’re at a fashion or design magazine, you’re likely to put a little extra flavor into your looks, whereas as a fitness or sports publication might be more into athleisure.
The easiest way to ace the dress code test? Pick up on what your colleagues are wearing—and err on the side of being overdressed. “You’ve already been to the office for the interview, so you should have picked up on the office environment and how everyone was dressed,” says Tom Losinski, Senior Motion Designer at Cosmopolitan Snapchat. “I would take those social cues and elevate it just a touch so when you meet someone that day it says, ‘I’m taking this seriously,’ and put your best foot forward.”
Still unsure? We asked these editors what staple pieces to stock up on this season.
“I’m loving a little velvet on my favorite staples. It looks luxe even if you don’t spend a ton. A little velvet trim on a dress or a pretty velvet flat dresses things up and is an easy way to update your basics.” —Alex Apatoff, Deputy Style Director at People
TRY THIS: Sam Edelman loafers, $120, samedelman.com
“A nice chunky cardigan that goes with a lot, or a really clean kind of oversized neoprene sweatshirt. Both are ways to be casual at work, but also look professional and like you care about your style.” —Tom Losinski, Senior Motion Designer at Cosmo Snapchat
TRY THIS: Schott NYC cardigan, $150, nordstrom.com
“Black boots with a comfortable heel. They can dress up an otherwise casual look, and you can walk around in them all day without hurting your feet. They can be ankle length or thigh-high—that’s up to you and your personal style. Either way, a versatile boot will never fail you.” —Danielle Deavens, Assistant Editor at Brides
TRY THIS: Steve Madden boots, $80, stevemadden.com