Wearing vintage at work

I’ve been at my new job for a week and I absolutely love it.  I enjoy the work and I love the people I work with.  I’ve been slowly adding little knick-knacks to my cubicle to make the space my own.  Photos of Arthur, Lemmy, and Chester, lighthouse-related stuff, my lucky Totoros, and reproductions of old postcards (I keep the really old stuff at home).  I also want to put up a copy of each of my broadsides, and of course there will be something Star Trek-related and totally ridiculous.

The office seems to have a casual dress code, so most of the vintage items in my wardrobe are too dressy to wear to work.  Because of this, I decided to challenge myself to find vintage pieces in my closet that I could style in a work-appropriate fashion.  When styling these two vintage skirts, I used three modern staples: (1) a gray sweater, (2) black socks, and (3) heeled oxford shoes.

1950’s (or older) ambi print skirt

I feel like this skirt would fit in well at the office.  The ambi print is beautiful, but doesn’t “shout.”  Its muted neutrals work nicely with the gray of the sweater.  The whole thing creates simple, comfortable mid-century silhouette (if you can believe mid century clothing was comfortable in any way…I promise it was!).

1960’s pleated plaid skirt

This is a very comfortable outfit for winter.  The shoes and the skirt compliment each other well, and the whole thing feels polished, but not too dressy.  Also, the skirt is made of one of those magical 60’s synthetic fabrics, so the pleats stay intact no matter how much you sit on them.

As time goes by, I’ll be coming up with more ideas for ways to incorporate vintage into my everyday work-wear.  It’s sartorial exercises like these that make me get very Structuralist and think about how one item of clothing can change an entire outfit’s semiotic statement (and what each of those statements could possibly be).

See you Friday!

Amber R. Nelson

2 thoughts on “Wearing vintage at work

  1. I just adore your skirts (especially the top one). Awesome job on incorporating more day to day vintage attire. My work is about the same. M-Th business casual and Fri you can wear jeans. I love incorporating a lot of sweaters, cardigans w/ sundresses and pants. It’s amazing how just one piece of clothing can change an entire ensemble. :)

    • Thank you Amanda! I have also found that sweaters and cardigans are staples in this kind of work environment. I work for a music publication, so I’ve even seen my coworkers wearing band shirts to work. I’m not confident enough to do that, though, since I’m so new. But maybe soon I’ll get to wear all of my band shirts to work!

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