What to Wear to Work: Vintage Inspirations

By Julie Conway

So, you’ve got a new job… congratulations! You prepared, you practiced, and you have a lot to offer. Once you’ve filled out all the forms (havent I filled enough out already?) and determined all the details (where do they keep the caffeine around here?), you may need to take a good look at your wardrobe.

You carefully planned and chose an outfit for your interview… but what are you going to wear, day in and day out?

It may take a little while to figure out what’s appropriate for your new workplace. You probably got a glimpse in your interview: were people wearing suits? Jeans? The ever-popular “business casual”? Are there certain days when a different attire is acceptable? After a week or two you’ll probably know what’s expected at your specific workplace.

And once you know the boundaries, your imagination and your wallet are in charge. In my next post I’ll discuss wardrobe staples; but for now, though, let’s look at a few stores for creative inspiration. Each of the places listed below do a great job of combining work-appropriate wear with distinctive styles.


For Unique and Colorful Finds, with a Range of Prices




Modcloth is an online store with a large following- what’s special is that their website has a forum for people to share photos of themselves wearing their new purchases. From the retailer’s standpoint, this works well: a steady stream of free models and fresh content for their site. But for shoppers, this forum is even better: you get to see real humans wearing Modcloth clothes and accessories, before you buy them! In addition, Modcloth shows models on the shopping pages, where you can choose from a multitude of unique finds (often with bright colors and patterns). Modcloth is accessible and fun, with a wide range of prices in its offerings. And a distinctively cool, vintage vibe.


For Sophisticated and Eye-Catching Style




If Modcloth offers stylish opportunities to stand out, Boden offers a more refined, sophisticated version- and at a bit of a higher price. Now this doesn’t mean that one store is better than the other; it just depends what you’re looking for. Boden, like Modcloth, has a solid community of followers. Rather than a forum, though, Boden’s community is encouraged to use specific hashtags to showcase their purchases. If you’re looking for good quality professional wear, with a distinct sense of color and style, you can’t go wrong with Boden. And they regularly have sales, so your wallet will thank you!


For Stylish, Modern Basics, with an Ethical Code




Everlane’s focus is on basics- they produce their products and have direct relationships with the factories that make them. They have a dual goal of social corporate responsibility and cutting down on the price markups for the consumer. With all those great things in mind… these items are on the pricey side. But Boden has an interesting concept: they will choose certain products they’ve overproduced, and you get to choose what you want to pay (there are three suggested prices). So, if you had your eye on something, visit their website often. And be sure to check out their amazing shoes!


For Authentic Vintage Clothes- Locally!

Vintage Haberdashery


Vintage Haberdashery

If you haven’t been to this St. Louis original, you must go immediately. Vintage Haberdashery, a small store near Tower Grove Park, has everything your retro heart could ever desire. The selection (from “the 1890s to the 1980s”) can be overwhelming, so just be prepared. You just may find the right piece to help your everyday work wardrobe stand out: a handbag, some retro glasses, a shirt with an amazing pattern to wear under a blazer. The great thing about Vintage Haberdashery is that it is, after all, a local store and the staff are friendly and ready to help. And, if there’s a costume party your co-workers invite you to, they rent outfits!

Do you have a favorite store for adding style and character to your work attire? Let us know in the comments below!


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