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Welcome to the latest edition of Working It, where Racked National takes street style to the next level—the office. The litmus test of a true fashionista is how she (or he) rocks her style on any old day to work. Forget the pedestrian khakis and a button downs—these fashionable professionals take the office dress code to a whole other dimension. Quick, somebody call HR!
This week we bring you to the Freeport, Maine offices of L.L.Bean Signature. Signature takes inspiration from the L.L.Bean archives, which goes back almost a 100 years, but with a more modern fit. Alex Carleton is Signature's Creative Director and has previously done stints at Ralph Lauren, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Rogues Gallery. Carleton was finalist for the GQ/CFDA Best New Menswear Designer in America award in 2009.
Alex Carleton, Creative Director: My style is practical and uncomplicated. I live in boots, jeans, and plaid shirts. I always keep a piece of outerwear in my truck for unplanned dog walks in the woods.
Carleton is wearing an old pair of jeans, a belt with a Cat Boat on the buckle, his favorite L.L.Bean Signature plaid shirt, vintage leather boots, two rope bracelets my friend of mine made me, and Eau Sauvage by Dior.
Style advice: Keep it simple. Invest in solid basics. You can never have too much navy, black, and brown in your wardrobe.
Katie Pulsifer Martin, Design and Product Development Manager: My personal style is a mixture of classic city girl and a touch of femininity. It’s a reflection of my travels in the world combined with the more comfortable, conservative lifestyle in Maine.
Style advice: Always let your personal style shine thought in your work wardrobe. Dress appropriately, but add a personal touch—whether it is a pair of colorful shoes or a fashion forward handbag. Make sure your work wardrobe reflects your style, and don’t comprise on great fit and flattering silhouettes.
Julia Labbé, Product Assistant: My style is comfortable, casual. On any given day at work I could be doing a number of different things: working at my computer, packing and schlepping boxes of product for a photo shoot, etc. So I try to dress comfortably and reasonably—usually nice jeans, flats, and a casual top.
Labbé is wearing Kennebunk silk V-neck tee, boyfriend jeans, and men’s handsewn D-ring belt all by L.L.Bean Signature. She paired them with flat sandals.
Style advice: Confidence. As long as you’re confident in what you are wearing you will always look good!
Owen Patrick, Merchandising Manager: My starting point is usually the "guy's uniform:" button-down shirt and khakis or jeans. Depending on what my day looks like, I'll vary it from there—add a blazer or sweater, go with Tretorns, different belts, etc. The most important item in my closet is an Oxford shirt.
Style advice: Focus on fit and buy the highest quality you can afford. In particular, do your feet a favor and invest in your footwear. Well fitting, high quality, classic pieces will never let you down.
Laura Serino, Copywriter: I mix old and new pieces everyday. If I'm wearing a vintage dress, I'll pair it with modern flats or heels to avoid going too retro. I also rely on layers since the weather can change in an instant in Maine. I left NYC for Maine over two years ago when a very handsome lobsterman asked me to move. Now I'm just living the dream.
Style advice: If you buy pieces you really love, getting dressed in the morning won't be a chore. Also, keep a good tailor on speed dial and don't wear heels unless you can walk in them!
Caitlin Kelly, Designer: My personal style is very eclectic, and often reflective of my mood. I tend to gravitate towards bright colors and bold prints, which I will then off set with a perfectly broken in vintage piece.
Style advice: The key to building an outfit that looks interesting and put together is to start by determining one statement piece. Then, just layer in pieces that will play a supporting role and complement your look, keeping one primary focal point. Don’t be afraid to add an element of surprise!
· L.L.Bean Signature [Official Site]
· All Working It posts [Racked]