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Welcome to Working It, where Racked takes street style to the next level—the office. The litmus test of the true style-savvy is how she (or he) rocks a look on any old day to work. Forget the pedestrian khakis and button downs—these fashionable professionals take the office dress code to a whole other dimension. Quick, somebody call HR!
Katrina Lake entered Harvard Business School knowing she wanted to create a company that combined what people love about brick and mortar shopping (you can try stuff on) with the convenience of online shopping, along with a good dose of personalization. By the time she graduated, she had funded and launched Stitch Fix, a subscription service that ships clients monthly wardrobe picks based on their personal style. Clients keep what they'd like to buy and send back the rest. Lake and her team sent out their first "Fix" in April of 2011; she got her diploma in May.
The company has since grown by leaps and bounds: it outgrew its first office and moved into new, spacious digs in June, where we sat down with a few members of the team to get to know them better and glean some style advice. If you too often find yourself staring at your closet in despair before work, take some cues from these stylish ladies—and maybe give Stitch Fix a try!
Katrina wears Margaret M cropped trousers and an Under Skies jacquard top, both from Stitch Fix; photo by Aubrie Pick
Katrina Lake, founder and CEO: "My goal is to look polished but be comfortable. I stick to more classic silhouettes and mostly a uniform of blouses and silk shirts with slim fitting pants. I'm definitely not the trendiest one in the office."
Style advice: "Pick a color palette. For me it makes it easier to mix and match and not think too much about it. This season I love navys and grays, so mixing even a monochrome gray look is an easy way to look chic. Picking a new color palette each season is a fun way to look polished."
Brittany wears a Warehouse white sleeveless blouse, an Asos black crochet top and Just Black jeans from Stitch Fix; Photo by Aubrie Pick
Brittany Busacca, visual styling manager: "I'm kind of a mix—I like to say I'm a healthy blend. My core is classic but I love to add some glam and edge. This is a classic blouse but I love to add a little fringe or something with some cool elements to spunk it up a little."
Style advice: Since winter is quickly approaching, I would say layering is a great way to not only create your own style but play around with color and texture. It's a great trend and a way to adapt your style through the season. Layering a chunky knit sweater on top of a chiffon blouse is a great way to balance out a layered look without being to bulky and heavy."
Jen wears a Joie paisley dress, a La Rok fur vest, Dolce Vita booties, and a Bay to Baubles necklace from Stitch Fix; photo by Aubrie Pick
Jen Benzian, buyer for tops, jewelry and accessories: "I'm boho meets edgy. I like to mix in vintage pieces—this necklace is my grandmother's. I also like to show off the parts of my body that I like the most. I like my legs, but my stomach I don't really like so I try to hide that. I try to highlight my good features.
Style advice: "Dress for your figure, like I do. I know when we're styling Fixes, our customers say things like "I don't want to flaunt my arms… or my midsection." So we always try to send them things that only show off the parts of the body they like. Also, don't be afraid to try new things. As stylists we always try to put one extra piece in the box, and customers often say: 'I would have never tried that on, but you put it in front of me and I tried it on and I love it." Don't be afraid to get out of your comfort zone!"
Katrina with stylists Brittany and Jen; photo by Aubrie Pick
Margaret wears Kenzie jeans, a Velvet Heart chambray top and a Coco lurex detail tweed blazer, all from Stitch Fix; photo by Aubrie Pick
Margaret Murray, lead stylist: "I have a pretty standard uniform that I wear every day. I love dark wash denim. I always wear some sort of pretty casual top and a blazer. So my style is classic tomboy chic—a version of what I'm wearing right now."
Style advice: "I think it's really important to find something that makes you feel really good. I call that my uniform. So for me my uniform is jeans, a nice top and a blazer and I always modify that. I have a variation of it for going out, I have a variation for going to work or going to the grocery store. I always feel really good about myself when I wear it and I think once you discover that for yourself you can sass it up when you need to. Throw on a necklace, get a pair of cool shoes, but find something you feel really good in first and then start riffing off of that. Then it's easier to dress and you never have to think about it."
Cassidy wears a Yusuf striped shirt, a 209 Asymmetrical Zipped Jacket, and Kenzie skinny jeans, all from Stitch Fix; photo by Aubrie Pick
Cassidy Blackwell, social media manager: "My personal style is very colorful with a lot of patterns. But the one thing I'm always focused on is how to make it urban bike friendly. I need to be able to hop on my two wheels and pedal in everything that I wear. So I like a lot of natural fabrics, things with a lot of movement—nothing can be too rigid or super synthetic because I'll get kind of gross wearing that."
Style advice: "As I said I love to mix patterns, and one thing I've learned is that if you're going to wear a very bold pattern or if you're uncomfortable wearing a bold pattern, or even a bold color, you can kind of tame that by wearing a solid or darker piece on top of it. So if you have this really big patterned dress, maybe layer on a button-down shirt in a solid color and belt it around the waist so you're kind of tempering what's beneath it."
Jennifer wears a Mystree Aztec Open Drape Cardigan from Stitch Fix, a Gap tank, Club Monaco leggings, and Lana hoop earrings; photo by Aubrie Pick
Jennifer Olsen, chief marketing officer: "I wear a lot of clean lines and very simple pieces. I tend to wear skinny pants and flowing tops and awesome shoes. That's very much my uniform."
Style advice: "It's always O.K. to have a uniform. It's O.K. to have figured out what works for you and be consistent about it, but vary up the pieces. If I'm comfortable in this, then that's what works for me.
The other piece of advice I'd give is just because a tend exists and is happening, that doesn't mean you have to participate. At Piperlime I had this great opportunity to work with Rachel Zoe very closely for about six years. And that was one of the very first things she said to me, and it was one of those things that made me step back and say, 'Oh my god, she's absolutely right." Just because everyone is jumping on the bandwagon doesn't mean you have to do it as well. Pick and choose and figure out what works for you and be O.K. with letting a few trends pass by. Opt in to what you love and what will flatter you."
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