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What the Editors of InStyle Wear to Work

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Photos by <a href="http://drielys.com">Driely S.</a> for Racked</span></p>
Photos by Driely S. for Racked

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Welcome to Working It, where Racked follows street style into the office. Forget pedestrian khakis and button-downs—these fashionable professionals take dress codes to a whole new dimension. Quick, somebody call HR!

This week we stop by New York City's Time Life building to visit the stylish set that helms InStyle magazine and InStyle.com. The glossy—which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year—and its website are dedicated to all things fashion and beauty, with a healthy dose of celeb inspo. We were curious to see what editors with access to the latest pick for themselves, from officewear to the trends they're most excited about (and the ones they'll be opting out of).

Check out what the team wears to work, hear how they landed their gigs, and get their best shopping advice in our interview below.


Brooke Mazurek, Assistant Editor, wears a DKNY dress; Christian Louboutin shoes; Louis Vuitton handbag.

How did you get your job at InStyle?
I began working at InStyle almost three years ago as the assistant to our editor-in-chief, Ariel Foxman. I had recently graduated from Barnard College and was interning for Vanity Fair when I heard about the job opening. A week later I had an interview with Ariel, and the rest is history.

What's the best perk?
Being able to sit down with some of the most creative and inspiring minds—actors, artists, designers, musicians—and ask them questions. The brand is so well-respected and never antagonistic, so people are always willing to speak openly.



Where do you draw the "too casual for work" line?
Hoodies. They're better left for lazy Sunday afternoons.

Your closet's on fire! What three items do you save from the flames?
My "Brooke" nameplate necklace—my grandparents gave it to me when I was three years old and all of the women in my family have one; my Mom's gold ram's head hoops from the '70s because my style veers towards the classic and conservative, and they remind me to have a little fun; my Louis Vuitton bag that was a holiday gift from Ariel. When he handed me the brown embossed gift box, I felt like Jennifer Hudson's character in the Sex And The City movie. Seriously though, I screamed.


Who would you swap wardrobes with in a heartbeat?
Phoebe Philo. Every day would be like walking down the Céline runway.

What's the best piece of shopping advice you've gotten?
Three words: Quality over quantity.

What was your worst fashion faux pas?
A senior prom dress so poofy it would put every Disney princess to shame.

What do you splurge on?
I'm always willing to spend more on dresses and handbags than I am on shoes—they have a much shorter shelf life in NYC.

Which trends do you love, and which would you never be caught dead trying?
You will never ever see me wearing a crop top. I love them on other people, but it's just not for me. Dresses worn over pants and larger-than-life turtleneck sweaters are the fall trends I'll be going for.

What have you learned about the fashion industry by working at InStyle?
The industry has a rep for being cutthroat and unkind, but it isn't at all The Devil Wears Prada.


Dana Avidan-Cohn, Senior Market Editor/Digital Correspondent, wears a Rag and Bone jumpsuit; Alexander Wang shoes; earrings by Avidan; rings by Vita Fede; Cartier men's watch; Fendi bag; Chanel nail polish.

How did you get your job?
I was actually an intern at InStyle right out of school. I left for a few years to go to another magazine, but I ended up coming back. It's such a great place to work.

What's the best perk of your job?
Variety. I get to sample so many types of media from TV and video to digital and print. It keeps my attention.

Where do you draw the "too casual for work" line?
I would never wear denim cutoffs to the office.

Your closet's on fire! What three items do you save from the flames?
I would grab my jewelry tray that has all of my favorite pieces, my newest Fendi 2jours shopper, and my Cartier watch that I got for my birthday and would be devastated if I lost.

Who would you swap wardrobes with in a heartbeat?
Alexa Chung—she's got a good thing going.

What's the best piece of shopping advice you've gotten?
To buy things you WILL wear, not pieces you THINK you will wear.

Your worst fashion faux pas?
The '90s were pretty bad. I definitely wore a choker necklace.

What do you splurge on? Cheap out on?
Splurge on accessories and coats; cheap out on denim. I love Zara for jeans.

Which trends do you love, and which would you never be caught dead trying?
I'm into rich textures and a more tailored look. I would never try punk.

What have you learned about the fashion industry by working at InStyle?
That there is a true art form to fashion at the highest level and that there are many emerging collections that are creating beautiful pieces each season. I feel so lucky to get to work with new designers and help our readers discover them.


EJ Briones, Fashion Assistant, wears a blazer by Mugler; T-shirt by OAK; Topman jeans; Kenneth Cole belt; Givenchy shoes; Balenciaga watch; bracelet by Eddie Borgo.

How did you get your job?
Like most, I started out as an intern in the fashion closet. Then I became a freelancer until I was asked by Fashion Director Cindy Weber-Cleary to become her assistant. Now I assist both her and Eric Wilson, our Fashion News Director.

What's the best perk of your job?
Oddly enough, Cindy, Eric, and I all have similar shoe sizes (ahem...sneakers...ahem).

Where do you draw the "too casual for work" line?
Booty shorts. Throwing on a blazer couldn't even save that look.

Your closet's on fire! What three items do you save from the flames?
My Pyer Moss camouflage leather jacket, my Balenciaga cut-out boots, and my dad's old Yves Saint Laurent watch.

Who would you swap wardrobes with in a heartbeat?
Jared Leto. Some may question his taste, but I think his style is fearless and—most importantly—quintessentially him.

What's the best piece of shopping advice you've ever received?
Don't buy something just because it's on sale.

And your worst fashion faux pas?
There was a time when baggy clothes were in. Let's put it this way: That's A LOT of extra fabric for a man of my stature.

What do you splurge on, and what do you cheap out on?
I splurge on shoes and outerwear. I think these are the two things that can turn your outfit into a look. I actually cheap out on underwear, which may explain why I'm single. But H&M has the best underwear that doesn't bunch, and, a as a proponent of skinny jeans, this factor is crucial.

Which trends do you love? Hate?
I love that hats are making a strong comeback. What's nice is that the trend runs the gamut from baseball caps to wide brim fedoras. There's a hat for everyone! I just can't do the socks-with-sandals combination.

What have you learned about the fashion industry by working at InStyle?
The industry carries this stigma of being both elitist and frivolous. Working at InStyle has shown me the exact opposite. We're always thinking about our readers.


Kahlana Barfield, Beauty Director, wears a vest by 3.1 Phillip Lim; T-shirt by Michael Stars; Citizens of Humanity jeans; Jimmy Choo shoes; bracelets by Hermes, Vita Fede and Celine; ring by Burberry.

How did you get your job at InStyle?
I started as an intern many years ago and worked my way up. Thinking back, I'm surprised they hired me for the internship, considering the fact I wore a tweed suit to my interview. I really thought I was killing the game.

What's the best perk of your gig?
Aside from all the beauty products I get to test out, I've been able to travel to some amazing places on assignment. One of my most memorable experiences was traveling to Bora Bora to shoot a beauty story with Francois Nars on his private island, Motu Tané. That place is heaven on earth.

Where do you draw the "too casual for work" line?
That's the great thing about working in a creative environment — you can pretty much wear whatever you want. I'm naturally a heels girl, so I'm always dressed up. Normcore is not my thing.

Your closet's on fire! What three items do you save from the flames?
My Hermès Collier de Chien cuffs, Chanel bags, and a gold ring my mother gave me. I've been collecting Hermès cuffs for almost ten years, and ironically just got them insured in the event of a fire. Chanel bags never go out of style and only get better with age. And the gold ring my mother gave me is my most prized possession. She has the exact same ring, and we both wear it on our right hand. I never take it off, but if I did and a fire broke out, it would be the first thing I'd grab.

Who would you swap wardrobes with in a heartbeat?
Diana Ross in Mahogany. I have a thing for '70s fashion—I love the draped gowns, lavish furs, and rich embellishment.

What's the best piece of shopping advice you've gotten?
My nana always taught me, "Quality over quantity." That's really stuck with me. Growing up, one weekend out of every month we had a shopping date at Nordstrom.

What was your worst fashion faux pas?
There was a time when I thought long, acrylic nails were the best thing since sliced bread. When my friends from high school try to reminisce about that period, I act like I have amnesia.

What do you splurge on? What do you cheap out on?
After years of shopping like a maniac, I learned to stop splurging on trendy, recognizable prints that I could only wear for one season. I invest in solids and love to buy unique pieces—especially jackets—that have interesting shapes and textures. I'm a big fan of designers like Balmain, The Row, and Rosie Assoulin. But I buy denim shorts for $15 a pop at vintage shops!

What trends do you love—and hate?
I love a cropped top with a high-waisted pant. You'll never see me wearing Uggs.

What do you splurge on, and what do you cheap out on?
I splurge on handbags and statement rings; I cheap out on basic tees and tanks.


Kim Peiffer, Senior Editor, Instyle.com, wears a top by Sandro; jean jacket by Paige; Club Monaco skirt; shoes by Altuzarra; Rebecca Minkoff ring; necklace by Lola James.

How did you get this job?
I was an intern at InStyle LA right after college. I worked a few places after my internship, but always dreamed of ending up back here.

What's the best perk of your gig?
Getting to work with such an amazingly talented team—and being one of the first people to get a hard copy of the magazine each month.


Where do you personally draw the "too casual for work" line?
Lululemon. And flip flops.

Who would you swap wardrobes with in a heartbeat?
Olivia Palermo. Every time she steps out I want to go buy exactly what she has on, head to toe.

What's the best piece of shopping advice you've ever gotten?
Never buy an item at full price.

And your worst fashion faux pas?
I had some pretty hideous prom dresses back in the day.


Which trends do you love—and hate?
I love jumpsuits: They're easy, classic, and a great travel companion. I loathe socks with sandals. I just can't get into it.

What have you learned about the fashion industry by working here?
It's not all glitz and glamour, although there is indeed a healthy dose of it. It's also a lot of hard work!


Leah Karp, Accessories Director, wears a Roberto Cavalli top; pants by Zara; Alexander McQueen shoes; bracelets by Jennifer Fisher, Anita Ko and Cartier; Rolex watch.

How did you get your job at InStyle?
I was working at Allure as the accessories director there and was contacted by HR to come in. I got my job offer two days before Christmas. Best gift ever!

What's the coolest perk?
The best perk is getting to go to Europe and see all of the new accessories six months before anyone else does. Also, getting to go to sample sales and getting the chance to buy things that often are one of a kind.

Your closet's on fire! What three items do you save from the flames?
My mom's ring, my black Chanel jacket and my Alaia silver studded sandals.

Who would you swap wardrobes with in a heartbeat?
Kate Moss. Everything she puts on looks cool and effortless.

What's the best piece of shopping advice you've ever gotten?
Don't buy things that don't fit just because they're on sale. You may be wasting less money, but you're still wasting money.

What was your worst fashion faux pas?
Big black chunky-heeled boots were the uniform in college, and I'm as guilty as all of my friends.

What do you splurge on, and what do you cheap out on?
I splurge on shoes and bags. I buy cheap basics and stick with black and white. Wear great accessories and you always look put together!

Which trends do you love, and which would you never be caught dead trying?
I love a midi skirt, but hate a crop top.

What have you learned about the fashion industry by working at InStyle?
I've learned how important it is to our readers to know what the trends are and how to wear them, and to show a range of prices so they're accessible to everyone.


Melissa Rubini, Style Director, wears a top, skirt and belt by Hugo Boss; Reed Krakoff shoes; jewelry by Saint Laurent.

Where do you personally draw the "too casual for work" line?
If you could go to the beach wearing it, you shouldn't be coming to the office in it. If you would binge watch Scandal wearing it, you shouldn't come to the office in it.

Your closet's on fire! What three items do you save from the flames?
My Chanel lizard Boy bag, my classic Burberry navy wool coat, and my grandmother's multi-pearl earrings. If I'm fast, can I also take my Louis Vuitton monogram shoulder bag that I customized with pins from all my trips in my 20s?

Who would you swap wardrobes with in a heartbeat?
I could do a total swap with Cate Blanchett. She is just brilliant and sophisticated and cool and amazing and totally chic.

What's the best piece of shopping advice you've ever gotten?
Put your credit card back in your wallet.

What was your worst fashion faux pas?
A broken heel during New York Fashion Week in the middle of Lincoln Center.

What do you splurge on? Cheap out on?
Splurge on accessories for sure. I cheap on clothes in general, but I do have a weakness for dresses.

Which trends would you never be caught dead trying?
No neon for me, ever. Besides that I'm pretty open, but with a subtle approach to trendy things.

What have you learned about the fashion industry by working here?
Celebrities are just like us.


Violet Gaynor, Senior Fashion Editor, InStyle.com, wears a Rebecca Taylor dress; Stuart Weitzman shoes; Jennifer Fisher cuff.

How did you get your job at InStyle?
I had been working as an online fashion editor for about five years when I started to work with InStyle.com on a few freelance projects. I quickly fell in love with the team and felt a strong connection to the brand, so when a full-time position opened up, the timing was perfect.

What's the best perk?
I had fantasized about working in fashion since birth, so I'm really living my dream. One of my favorite parts is getting to meet with designers and talk about the inspiration behind their collections.

Your closet's on fire! What three items do you save from the flames?
My mom's red Chanel bag from the '80s that I've had on permanent loan for about ten years, my Zac Posen wedding dress and my Jennifer Fisher rose gold necklace that says my daughter's name on it.

Who would you swap wardrobes with in a heartbeat?
Gwyneth Paltrow: She's mastered the art of undone chic. Her wardrobe is the perfect mix of everyday staples like the well-fitting jeans, slouchy T-shirts, and boyish blazers, as well as sexy cocktail dresses and statement accessories.

What's the best piece of shopping advice you've received?
Walk away if you're on the fence about buying something. If you're still thinking about it an hour later, you're meant to get it.

What's been your worst fashion faux pas?
The wrong undergarments can completely ruin an otherwise perfect look.

Which trends do you really like, and which would you never be caught dead trying?
I love the maxi skirt trend. I'm short, and while it would seem counterintuitive that a long hemline would elongate your figure, I actually always feel taller in a long silhouette worn with heels. A trend I would never try: Overalls. I love how they look on Alexa Chung, but can't help feeling like a five-year-old in them.

What have you learned about the fashion industry by working here?
Being nice goes a long way.

· What Allure Editors Wear While Beautifying the World [Racked]
· What the Editors of Harper's Bazaar Digital Wear to Work [Racked]
· See What the Editors of Fashion Blog The Cut Wear to Work [Racked]