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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 buttondowns—these fashionable professionals take the office dress code to a whole other dimension. Quick, somebody call HR!
All photos by Porter Hovey
Today's edition of Working It brings us to the Manhattan offices of Haute Hippie. Started in 2008 by Trish Wescoat Pound, the line is the embodiment of chic, gyp-set style. And so is the office: "I am committed to maintaining a non-corporate environment that is collaborative, inspiring, and inspired. That's part of the reason we listen to rock and country music in the office and have dogs sleeping at our feet," says Wescoat Pound. The staff looks pretty good, too. Here's how they work it when they're working.
Elise Draude, PR Manager: My style is classically chic. I love to wear jeans with a great blouse or sweater and an awesome pair of boots or heels in the fall and winter. Also, I love to mix in a great piece of jewelry. You will normally find me wearing a necklace and bracelet, and of course my engagement ring is now a staple!
Style advice: I think that you should always buy investment pieces that are timeless and chic, and then mix in affordable trendy ones. By doing this you are able to have what's on trend while always keeping classic pieces in rotation. Also, don't be afraid to mix patterns and textures—this is the number one rule I've learned at Haute Hippie!
Elise is wearing a draped open jacket and embellished tank from Haute Hippie Spring '13, Haute Hippie ponte and leather pants from Fall '12, Michael Kors watch, Lulu Frost cut-steel cuff, custom made engagement ring, Nine West booties.
Michael Grant, Executive Assistant to Trish Wescoat Pound: I like to call my style the new age prep. Coming from Boston a button down and loafer has always been a staple, and I am definitely not afraid of color. Going to school in California got me in touch with a laid back esthetic, and now being in New York has introduced me to the importance of a combat boot and leather jacket.
Style advice: To be honest, nothing looks better than confidence. Not every piece of your wardrobe is going to please everyone, but if you like it and stand by it then nothing that anyone says matters. Feeling good about what you are wearing is the number one rule for style. If you feel good, you look good.
Michael is wearing an H&M denim shirt, Paige blue jeans, a vintage belt, and Del Toro black velvet slippers.
Alana Marrie, Production Manager: New Yorkers don't have too much time for anything, and since moving here in 2010 my style has definitely become more about efficiency: wearable pieces that instantly take an outfit from good to great, and will last for several seasons (or longer). So for me this means: great denim, leather, colorful print blouses and dresses, Ray-Bans (never go out of style), statement jewelry, and wedges in any season (because here, you have to walk!). I like my clothes to work for me, not the other way around. I'm from Maryland, so I've always been drawn to nautical influences in my style, whether it's stripes, cable sweaters, or boat shoes. I think it's fun to take places with you when you leave them by continuing to incorporate parts of them in your wardrobe.
Style advice: Don't skimp on accessories—they can make a big difference and really tie looks together. It's fun to design an outfit around a colorful statement necklace. Hair and makeup count too! A bold red lip can change the way you look and feel instantly. One of my favorite pieces of jewelry I own is an old silver spoon twisted into a ring from Brooklyn Flea, because it looks like a piece of armor. Interesting pieces make your style more dynamic, and they're just more fun to wear. Concerning clothing, fit is the most important thing to remember: a "boyfriend" style blouse and a shirt that is 3 times too big for you are not the same thing. Know the difference. There's also a very high chance you won't be the same size in every brand. Try things on so you know what cuts, silhouettes, and materials make you feel comfortable and confident. And never be afraid of color!
Alana is wearing a Haute Hippie embellished high-low gown from Spring '13, Haute Hippie leather/knit combo moto jacket from Holiday '12, Steve Madden t-strap platforms, and a Haute Hippie Longhorn ring.
Kate Kolb, Technical Services Director: My Style was recently quoted by one of my co-workers as "'70s art school teacher, but with a biker boyfriend" so I'm going to go with that. I live for floral maxi dresses mixed with vintage Harley tees, Edwardian corset covers with ripped jean shorts, as well as anything topped with a leather jacket and everything mixed with tribal jewelry.
Style advice: For me great style is not just about the clothes you wear, but the sense of ease and confidence that you exude while wearing them. That being said the most important thing to me is that I feel comfortable in what I'm wearing, that I can run around and live my crazy life and wear the clothes without them wearing me. I love combining textures and try and wear as many different fabrics together as possible! It adds a layer of depth and interest without having to use a lot of color (being more of a neutrals girl and all). I also always try and have at least 3 pieces to an outfit, anything less looks flat!
Kate is wearing a laser-cut suede jacket and chiffon tee from Haute Hippie Spring '13, modal maxi dress from the Summer '13 Haute Hippie Beach line, leather thong sandals from Forever 21, and vintage bangles and earrings.
Kaitlin Kading, Designer: As a designer I think my style changes constantly. I'm forever learning, inventing, and evolving according to the things that inspire me. I could never plan an outfit in advance, as I dress according to my emotions. Clothing is my platform for expression and point of view? whatever that may be that day. It tells my story in a way that words could never express. It frees my soul of suppressed feelings and frees my mind of ideas and imagery that I don't always know how to put to paper. Its my platform to be me.
Style advice: There are a few truths I live by for styling: First, a half-tuck and rolled sleeve makes any look effortlessly chic. Second, a tux blazer elevates any look for day or night. Third, when you don't know how to wear something, turning it front to back or upside down can completely change your perspective. Fourth, try adding a belt to any look, it'll give you a waist and make any outfit more flattering. And fifth, dress comfortably. If you don't feel good in your clothes you won't look good in your clothes.
Kaitlin is wearing Haute Hippie Spring '13 swan tux blazer with black lapel, a white ribbed Haute Hippie boyfriend tank, Haute Hippie black ponte pants, and Brian Atwood heels.
Matt Demgen, Head Designer: I have to keep it basic. My attention is more than often thinking about the Haute Hippie girl and what she should be wearing, rather than myself. I can say that I usually find myself in a button down, jeans or cords, and a grandfather cardigan. It's basically my uniform. Distressed boots and my rodeo belt buckle also fall into the mix, they just make me feel like a cowboy. When in doubt though I always fall back on a blazer or a tuxedo jacket, which makes anything polished and put together.
Style advice: The way you dress is your strongest form of nonverbal communication, so make sure your sending the right message.
Matt is wearing a Haute Hoodie grandfather cardigan, vintage Ralph Lauren button down oxford, J Brand cords, a Championship rodeo belt, vintage McQueen boots.