Be a Boss Lady: Vintage Inspired Style for Work

As the final season of Mad Men winds down, we are left with a lot of questions. Will Don Draper assume his true identity? Will Peggy break through the glass ceiling? Will Roger ever run out of one-liners? Most importantly, WHERE will we get our vintage office style inspiration? This show has been a huge part of the mid century style revival, and it deserves all of the fashion notoriety it has gained. Mad Men’s costume designer Janie Bryant has been nominated for six Emmys (and won once) for her amazing work with Joan’s pencil skirts and Peggy’s schoolgirl plaids. If you are looking to step up your work wardrobe from secretary to boss lady, Heart of Haute has the pieces you need. We can help you to present a professional image, while still staying true to the retro style that you love.

 

Beyond the Basic Button Down Shirt

When you think about dressing up for work, one of the first things that comes to mind is typically a button up shirt. Our Estelle blouse is popular for several reasons, including fit and unique style. For all of the women who had given up on button-up shirts due to gapping at the bust or a tent-like fit - the Estelle blouse is the answer. A bold neck bow for interest, and a shaped cut for a perfect fit - it’s anything but button-down boring. If you have tattoos to cover, or just a freezing cold office, try our Elsa blouse. With long sleeves, pleated details, and a bow v-neck, it is a versatile basic loaded with style. Try it tucked into a high waisted skirt or pants. Our Stella dress features the same fit as the Estelle blouse - in a full outfit! With cap sleeves and a back tie, this 100% cotton dress is office-worthy retro fashion.

 

Work Wardrobe Staples With Vintage Style

What is your go-to work outfit? The one that makes you feel fabulous - even on a long and difficult day. If you don’t have one, stocking a few work-wear basics is a great place to start. The Super Spy dress is a work wardrobe staple - dress it up with a scarf, belt and heels, or down with leggings and boots. The super-comfortable knit keeps its shape - a great choice for business travel or a long day at at trade show. Our Bella dress is a refined knit choice that is easy to accessorize for a big meeting or casual Friday. Looking for some basics to match with your wilder pieces? The Spy Top features the same fit and neckline of the Super Spy dress in both solids and patterns. Our new Haute Circle Skirt in Black GoGetter another great basic - a full skirt in a wrinkle-free fabric that will match with nearly anything. Want something more fitted? We have pencil skirts in a number of versatile colors and two styles. As Mad Men ends, let’s all tip a cocktail to some of the most detailed (and gorgeous) vintage costuming that television has ever seen. Be inspired to rock some 1960s style at your job - don’t forget to tie a scarf on your purse, and no crying in the break room!  

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Heart of Haute: Attire for the Workplace

For many years, I had my "work clothes" and my "real clothes." My work clothes were your typical boring unflattering dress pants, ill-fitting collared shirts, and floppy cardigan sweaters that I had somehow decided were what office jobs required. I put much more thought and effort into my "real clothes" and felt more comfortable in the unique dresses and outfits I wore to fun events with my friends. I have since largely integrated my work wardrobe and my "real clothes." I no longer have a division in my closet, and I am not ashamed to meet friends at the tiki bar right after work (in fact, sometimes that mai tai is essential and must be acquired ASAP). Many of us have requirements for work wear (no jeans, covering tattoos, natural hair colors) that are limiting, but they don't make expressing your style and feeling great impossible. If you are in a conservative industry or position of authority (yes, and yes for me), the rules (or rules you place on yourself) may be even stricter. Thankfully, a lot of retro dresses and other pieces work well for the office. I like skirts and dresses for work to touch the top of my knee when standing. Feel free to disregard my suggestions if you are confident that you are in a more creative or permissive arena, but I don't think that miniskirts belong at any type of office job. I also abide by no cleavage at work, but daring dresses and tops can easily be worn with a scarf or camisole. A few items that do more than their share of heavy lifting in my work wardrobe: Dresses - comfortable, cute, and great for those mornings when you forgot to pick an outfit the night before - no decisions to make! I wear both knit and cotton dresses most days of the week. Ponte knit is a great fabric that is comfortable yet has a very refined look. Cotton dresses will keep you looking sharper and feeling more comfortable in the warmer months. High-waisted black pencil skirt - any top tucked into this looks more pulled together. The three piece rule can also be helpful. Three pieces can make a more complete looking outfit. Skirt, shirt, sweater. Pants, top, scarf. Dress, jacket, scarf. Plain black blazer - great for making any outfit look like serious business. Look for jackets that are fully lined. A structured blazer thrown over a cotton dress like the Monique is a great look, and an easy way to make more casual dresses work appropriate. Leave the blazer at work during the summer to take the chill off of excessive air conditioning. A sleeveless Ella blouse and swing skirt like our Twirl Skirt is an outfit that can keep you cool during a hot commute. My business travel and or conference uniform is one blazer thrown over several knit dresses. It is as put-together as a suit and certainly more comfortable for long days in meetings. A large tote bag is essential for carrying your shoes, lunch, work, purse, and even gym clothes without looking like an overburdened pack rat. I have this canvas tote - it is stiff enough to keep its shape well, and has a zip top. It is decent enough to carry into a meeting, yet can be thrown into the washing machine. With spring comes many graduations, and then new jobs and internships. Take some time to really think about the look that you want to project at work, and invest in a few key pieces. You will feel better, and look great – the corner office is waiting for you! Mrs. V
Retro style at work

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