What the men and women of retail wear to work

Retailers promote a certain aesthetic to their customers, be it athletic chic or American casual. But inside the offices of these companies’ headquarters, employees must look the part as well.

Digiday asked how people behind the scenes at several retail companies — not those on the sales floors, who are mandated to give up some free will — dress to hop from desk job, to business meeting, to after-work drinks.

Want to dress like you’re in the retail business? Take notes, and make sure you have plenty of denim and blazers on hand.

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Who: Aubrie Pagano, co-founder and CEO of Bow&Drape
What she wears: Blazer or overcoat, collared shirt, Bow&Drape sweatshirt.

“It’s my perennial outfit,” said Pagano. “It’s professional enough for all my important executive meetings, but it’s also casual enough to wear out after work.” To envision the full look, imagine that there’s a Bow&Drape-curated slogan written on the above sweatshirt in sequins — like “KALE,” as seen on Pagano’s sweatshirt in this Instagram.

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Who: Amanda Curtis, co-founder and CEO of Nineteenth Amendment
What she wears: One Nineteenth Amendment designer garment, something vintage, and a basic (like cigarette trousers or a blazer).

“Every meeting, subway ride, speaking and photo opportunity is a chance to showcase our talented designers, so I tend to I change my outfit multiple times during the day,” said Curtis, whose company serves as a platform and marketplace to help young designers make early sales. “Along with gaining exposure for our brands, this lets me product-test all of our garments. I post all of my outfits on my personal Instagram so people can see how these garments look on a non-model.”

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Who: Melissa Davis, executive vp and general manager of ShopStyle
What she wears: Shirt dresses by Theory or Vince paired with J.Crew’s Elsie pumps and a Mansur Gavriel tote.

“I’m constantly running from meeting to meeting, so I like to be as comfortable as possible while maintaining a professional appearance, which is why you will almost always find me in a dress,” said Davis. “My closet is stocked with J.Crew’s Elsie pumps, since they come in many different colors and patterns and immediately can change the outfit depending on my mood. When the weather is warmer, platform sandals are my go-to shoe. I still have the height, but they make it much easier to climb the hills in San Francisco!”

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Who: Dayna Isom, senior PR specialist at Etsy
What she wears: Jeans, a feminine blouse topped with a tailored blazer and paired with a stacked heel, statement necklace and bold lip.

“It’s a great option that’s not only office-appropriate, but it also allows you to sass it up when it’s time for dinner and drinks,” said Isom.

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Who: Rachel Silver, director of social media at Birchbox
What she wears: Madewell or AYR jeans, a chic jacket over a J.Crew T-shirt or silky blouse, and a chunky heel.

“I try to wear the same outfit every day but with different pieces. This way, I know I’ll look good and don’t have to stress in the morning,” said Silver. “I usually walk to work in my Yosi Samra foldable flats and then put on chunky heels at the office. My current obsession is these STEVEN casted leather booties that I’ve been wearing every day.”

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Who: Brad Lande, general manager of Birchbox Man
What he wears: Acme jeans or Thom Browne slacks, white Adidas Stan Smiths and a patterned shirt.

“Dark denim or gray slacks and my Stan Smith’s because they go with everything,” said Lande. “Patterned or fun print shirts because it’s a way to be playful and give my style some personalty, like this new fish short sleeve button-up from Bonobos or this floral/beach shirt from VISVIM.”

View the full collection on Polyvore here.


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