Dressing for a Creative Office // Wear to Work #4

To conclude my wear to work series this month, I wanted to cover the one type of office I dress for on a daily basis: the creative office. If you’re new around here, you may not know that I work for a small tech start-up in Seattle as a designer by day. For me, these rules (or rather lack of them) is what I abide by.

How to Dress for Creatives // Hello Rigby Seattle Fashion Blog

What I’m Wearing

Jeans: Thrifted via Seattle Goodwill {You can see how I DIYed the hems here!}
Coat: Thrifted via Value Village {similar under $50, similar under $100}
Blouse: Violet Ruffle Sleeve Top via Boohoo
Bag: Rebecca Minkoff Regan Satchel in Dark Cherry {The pom-pom on the bag is actually a phone charger! ;)}
Necklace: Kendra Scott Phara Tassel Lariat in Gunmetal via Nordstrom
Ring: Kendra Scott Boyd Druzy Ring in Hematite
Shoes: Madison 12 Hour Pumps in Pink c/o Banana Republic

Photography by Megan of Diary of this Girl

Dressing for a Creative Office

I remember when I was interviewing for jobs post-graduation, the one thing I was most worried about was finding a culture fit when it came to my wardrobe. Several places I had applied for had strict dress codes, and for someone who’s grown up in Seattle and is used to casual everything, it became evident to me that those places wouldn’t be a good fit. My favorite responses included things like “what dress code?” because if it’s not obvious based on the topic of my blog, personal style is kind of important to me. ;) Today I thought I’d share some of my tips and tricks for what I’ve learned about dressing for a creative office!

How to Dress for Creative Office // Hello Rigby Seattle Fashion BlogJeans? Yes, please!

One of the best things about working in a creative office for me is the ability to wear jeans every day if I want to. For me, denim is the most versatile clothing item I own, and it means that I can wear almost my entire wardrobe to work without feeling too dressed down. There are a couple of rules I stick to when it comes to finding the right pair of jeans to wear to work.

The first rule I abide by is no distressed denim in the office. I personally just find destroyed denim to be only appropriate for casual wear, which is why I don’t bother investing in or owning too many pairs in this particular style. More than likely, light distressing in a flattering wash and fit would be okay for many offices, but your mileage may vary depending on location and how others in your office dress. If in doubt, look around to see what others wear to gauge what’s appropriate and what’s not!

The second thing I keep in mind when purchasing denim is color. While I own many different shades of denim, the majority of my jean wardrobe is filled with fitted dark wash jeans. Dark wash jeans are not only the most flattering, but the most versatile and often can look much higher end than they actually are. I look for saturated washes, avoid contrasting seams, and look for pairs with very little or no whiskering. Finally, when selecting denim, fit is of utmost importance. I like to have a variety of styles, but find skinny jeans to be the most flattering and versatile. I like a pair of denim with structure, so I avoid legging jeans or any denim that is missing pockets.

What to Wear to Creative Job // Hello Rigby Seattle Fashion BlogCasual clothing doesn’t mean sloppy

I think one of the biggest misconceptions about casual wear is that it’s sloppy. While it’s important to feel comfortable in what you wear, working in a relaxed environment doesn’t mean you get to dress in yoga pants and oversized tee shirts on the daily. Sure, it’s probably possible to do so, and technically your bosses and co-workers may not say anything, but when it comes to promotions and recognition, I think putting your best foot forward is still important. We are, after all, visual creatures who often make judgments based on appearance whether we like it or not. Plus, I don’t know about you, but wearing a nice outfit makes me feel good, and I think that directly correlates with my energy at the office and my overall work productivity.

What to Wear to New Creative Job // Hello Rigby Seattle Fashion BlogAccessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize

The most common thread among my wear to work posts? The importance of accessorizing! Even if you opt for the Steve Jobs uniform when it comes to what you wear to work, you can still accessorize to make a statement. I love having a variety of jewelry pieces that reflect my personal style to fall back on, like this tassel necklace and druzy ring from Kendra Scott. While they’re not super bold, they do add a little edge and interest to an otherwise simple outfit.

If I was making a few recommendations on accessory staples to own, I’d recommend adding a silk neck scarf (thrift stores are gold mines for these!), blanket scarf (especially if your office runs frigid like mine), and a fashion scarf, like one with tassels or fringe, to add interest to an otherwise simplistic outfit.

What to Wear to Work for Creatives // Hello Rigby Seattle Fashion BlogOpt for basics, but with a twist

The garments that I find myself wearing over and over again are often basics, but with a small twist that reflects my personality. Think a turtleneck sweater, but with a tassel hemline. Or a simple white blouse that also happens to have bell sleeves. And even a pair of dark wash denim flares, but with a DIY fringe hemline. The key to adding items like this to your wardrobe is to know already at least three different ways you would wear them before purchasing. Otherwise, you may find yourself with too many pieces that just don’t work well together.

Know your audience

I touched on this briefly earlier, but this is the ultimate thing to keep in mind when it comes to dressing for a creative office. When in doubt, look around. What do your co-workers wear? And maybe more importantly, what don’t they wear? You know your workplace best, and while standing out is great, let it be for all the right reasons!

I hope these tips for dressing for a creative workplace was helpful! Of course, the best outfits are the ones that you feel good about, so if you have something that breaks all the rules that you feel fabulous in, go for it!

Do you work in a creative office environment? What are your favorite style tips or rules you live by? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments!

4 thoughts on “Dressing for a Creative Office // Wear to Work #4

  1. Maddy

    two of the offices I’ve worked in are definitely more lenient on the dress codes so I’ve worn everything from a floral two piece suit to overalls with an oxford and pumps. Obviously i love playing with personal style too. But, I do abide by the same no distressed jeans rule that you do. Those are best for the weekend.

    xo, Maddy


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