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Welcome to the latest edition of Working It, where Racked takes street style to the next level—the office. The litmus test of the true style-savvy is how she (or he) rocks a look on any old day to work. Forget the pedestrian khakis and button downs—these fashionable professionals take the office dress code to a whole other dimension. Quick, somebody call HR!
All photos by Porter Hovey
A quick look around the Huge offices proves that the new millenium laid-back workspace fantasy is real. A digital agency based in DUMBO, Brooklyn, Huge's space is lofty, casual, and communal (there's even a dog on hand). But don't let that relaxed attitude fool you: with clients like Barneys New York, Target, Rue La La, and Under Armour, these creatives know how a thing or two about dressing for the office. Here's how they work it when they're working.
Kendra Jones, Senior Copywriter: My personal style can be summed up in a couple of words: fun and easy. I don't stress, I act on impulse a lot of the time, and I have fun. I like trying all kinds of things, from conservative and chic to super-colorful and wacky. I like to layer and I like prints and patterns—I'm so in love with houndstooth, don't even get me started! I don't stress labels, I'll go from casual to super fancy or cheap to designer in the same outfit. Payless? Bring it.
Style advice: Find things you really love, and wing the rest. Seriously. Don't waste time trying to keep up with local trends or what's "in season" according to all the fashionheads. Who cares? Stay true to you, man. Take this outfit: I wore my creamsicle tights today because I cannot wait for summer. Everyone's walking around in drab black and gray but I've got my mind fixated on the sun. These shoes are old as hell and seriously need to be repaired but they're my favorite shoes ever and the holes don't bother me. In fact, I find them kinda charming.
Kendra is wearing boots by Bronx Shoes; ombre tights by BZR from Etsy, shorts from Forever 21; striped tee, ring, necklace and bracelet from H&M; blazer by Last Kiss; glasses from Urban Outfitters; and hair clips from Forever 21.
Kate Watts, Vice President, Program Management: I like to dress in clothes that are comfortable, understated, but pulled together.
Style advice: Less is more. Tailored, classic pieces go a long way to bring a look together. I am a bit obsessed with blazers, tees, and a go-to pair of dressy jeans.
Kate is wearing a Theory blazer, J Brand jeans, Trina Turk cami, and Bloch flats.
Jorge Balarezo, Art Director: I'm always changing it up. Lately, I've been really into the "chill Brooklyn look," even though I don't really know what that means. I just wanna shoutout to my friends salmon, black, white, gold and camo.
Style advice: I admire when people really own their look. I'd say my own word of advice is just be yourself and go crazy. If you don't think you have the eye to get that weird, I suggest just sticking to feeling comfortable and functional.
Jorge is wearing a J.Crew sweater, Nudie jeans, Acne boots, Tom Ford glasses and Casio watch.
Shirley Au, President: My style is understated, relaxed and, at times, boyish. My wardrobe is a mix of basic tees, cozy sweaters, skinny jeans and blazers. Sometimes, when I'm feeling lazy, I love to throw on a dress, so I don't have to think about accessorizing. I get a lot of inspiration from my travels, like to Tokyo and Stockholm. Whenever I'm in Asia, I'll pick up local fashion magazines and flip through for ideas.
Style advice: I like to put together outfits that are versatile and can be appropriate for both client meetings or a drink with a friend after work. I love fashion and I see it as a way to express my mood and my personality. Right now, I'm really into colorful blouses and brightly-colored manicures, in anticipation of summer!
Shirley is wearing J Brand jeans, shoes by Swedish brand Catwalk, blazer by Japanese brand Moussy, boys' oxford shirt from J.Crew, leather bracelet from a Turkish bazaar; and Black Ice watch ("a gift from a friend who bought it on an airplane, of all places!"
Kunal Patel, Senior Interaction Designer: My style draws upon my interests. I have a background in architecture, a love for live music, and I am a diehard baseball fan. For shirts and coats, I prefer solid colors or simple patterns with slim, clean lines. For T-shirts, I pride myself on the collection of unique graphic tees I’ve amassed from concerts and traveling. Regardless of the season, I love to dress in layers. In the winter, I’ll sport sweaters over plain or patterned shirts, and in the summer, I’ll reach for a hoodie over a graphic tee. I always look to add a little character to any outfit: a bright bowtie for a blazer, fitted baseball hat for a button-down and jeans, or a wool fedora for a night out.
Style advice: Fit is the first and last thing I look for. You can wear nothing but the basics, but if it looks like it was made for you, it makes so much more of an impression. For the follically-challenged among us, hats are a great way to add character to your wardrobe. From fedoras to fitted hats, they can pull an outfit together or give you a great starting point.
Kunal is wearing jeans and a cardigan from Uniqlo, a tee by The Thing, sneakers by Adidas, and baseball cap by New Era.
Virginia Alber-Glanstaetten, Planning Director (and her dog, Atlas): I'm a big fan of Japanese design and Japonica, from brands like Sunny Sports, Engineered Garments, and Woolrich clothes designed by Daiki Suzuki. I tend to wear raw selvedge jeans—I break them in and then never wash them. I wear men's clothes exclusively, so I look for preppy with an urban edge: plaid, gingham, stripes, skinny jeans, and vintage Levi's. For shoes, I love good lace-ups and brogues, and bow ties are my go-to festive wear.
Style advice: Wear clothes that reflect who you are, rather than how others expect you to look and present. It's easier to engage in the world on your terms, than to try to meet others' expectations of how you should look. I believe in building your wardrobe around a signature look. Branch out with fabrics, patterns, and designs, but stay true to who you are at the core. Also, mix up high- and low-end designers and hire a good tailor to help you get the drape and style of your clothes to fit right.
Virginia is wearing a bowtie from Bergdorf Goodman, shirt from J.Crew, hoodie from Uniqlo, Japanese selvage jeans from Our Heritage, socks from Askel, shoes by Moods of Norway.