Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wearing Vintage at The Office

Here is me leaving the office after a long day of work. I was wearing a chiffon polka dot blouse and a high-waisted pair of wide leg black pants. I am also wearing an off-white, short-sleeve cotton jacket due to the cold temperatures I have to endure all day inside. Despite the fact it has been in the upper 80s here in the DC area, my office building feels like it is 60 degrees! They have the AC up so high all season long! In the summer, it seems like I only get to enjoy the warm weather walking to and from my car.

Anyway, I work for a government contractor specializing in providing security services. Despite my job, I get to wear vintage most days. However, I sometimes have to "tone it down" when I have a meeting or if there are clients visiting the office. Moreover, there are days when the platform heels and vintage frock stay at home and the black Ann Taylor suit is the required look.

I would like to buy some 1940s suits for the office. I have seen many pretty pieces on various sites. I think a nice, charcoal pencil skirt with its matching jacket (complete with nipped in waist) would be very appropriate. Even though I do not watch Mad Men on AMC, I have seen ads for the show and I think the way they capture office attire of the early 60s is just too cool. The 60s is considered "late" for me but I still love the look nonetheless.

I have to say that other than a few modern, "professional" pieces I have seen, I think most contemporary office wear looks flat and boring. I often see ladies out at lunch wearing ill-fitting khaki pants paired with print empire waist tops or women sporting crepe pants that are too long. The clothes are wearing them, not the other way around. I think if us vintage girls have to conform to the office's dress code, then why not accent our suits and pants with vintage touches like an antique brooch, a pair of pearls, or pair of cateye glasses? We can also "jazz up" our professional garb with a vintage blouse worn underneath a jacket or better yet, a vintage jacket matched with a nice pair of black wide leg pants. I have noticed that several places offer higher waist pants and/or wide leg styles. Think Katherine Hepburn!

So, if cannot "get away" with vintage at work, simply add a little vintage flair where you can.

Lastly, how many of you living the vintage life can wear vintage at work? If not, what do you wear instead? Do you have a dress code?


  1. I work in an office too and have slowly been introducing vintage pieces into my work wardrobe. I thought everyone would freak but I just got compliments! I've even worn Victory rolls a few times.I find that its easiest to mix vintage pieces with modern ones, so that I don't look too weird for everyone. And I totally agree that modern office attire is a big yawn.

  2. Hey Temperamental Broad!

    I visited your blog and I LOVE it! I really like your style! I also saw that you are based in the "Mile High City!" Colorado is my dream place and the husband and I are trying to move there for good. We have a condo in Breck but we want to sell the house here in DC and move to the mountains.

    I like visiting Denver too. My good friend and tattoo artist had her studio just off of Colo Blvd, near I-70. She took me to a great vegetarian/Vegan restaurant on Colfax that was to die for! Also, the husband says that the next time we are in Denver that we HAVE to go to Casa Bonita in Lakewood! I know the food and entertainment are bad but people tell us that in order to be a "true Colorado resident," one has to go to CB at least once! lol!

    As for vintage in the office, I am lucky I can wear it. But on days I have to be more "conservative," I will wear the suit but I usually add a vintage pin or earrings.

    That is great that people complimented you! Whenever I wear vintage I mostly get compliments too but there have a been a few times where I have gotten the "up and down" look. I have come to the conclusion that most folks are nice but there are always going to be those few (I think they are just afraid and insecure).

    I, too, agree that most office attire is blah. I can take the boring, what I cannot understand poor tailoring or a total lack thereof. Vintage or not, investing in a good tailor is so important. Clothes should fit us well!