In partnership with Etienne Aigner

How to Dress for the Office and Feel Cool At the Same Time

In partnership with Etienne Aigner.

Covered. Comfortable. Mild. Serious.

The adjectives often used for clothing described as “office-appropriate” can sometimes carry with them an air of sleepiness. Or worse, unwanted restraint. But editing doesn’t have to feel suffocating!

Sure, a professional setting solicits a different set of sartorial tools than a party with Rihanna’s left pinky, but that doesn’t mean we have to use boring ones. Covered need not mean hidden; comfortable need not mean bland. At Man Repeller, we’ve never believed style is contingent on “figure flattery” or beholden to what the male gaze might call “sexy.” An outfit that says “I’m a professional woman!” still leaves us with almost infinite room to play.

And the proof report is coming in hot. Meet me on the next line in three seconds and we’ll get started.

#1. Set your goals like a CEO after a few.

Etienne Aigner pants, jacket and shirt (styled with Hermès headscarf, Newbark loafers, Grey Ant sunglasses, Falke socks, Alexis Bittar blue star earring as pin and Annelise Michelson gold link earring)

A few drinks, that is, because everyone loves a buttoned-up boss after a little wine. The trousers, which hit at the ankle, say, “Let’s talk Q3, baby.” And how fun is Q3 when paired with green loafers and socks? Toss a blazer over your shoulders and tie a scarf into your hair and you’ll look like the kind of person who meets her objectives without breaking a sweat. You’ll probably get a raise immediately.

Also, maybe want to go out some time?

#2. Show up to a meeting like a decorated gust of wind.


Theory: the more people that can physically fit inside a dress, the more important you’ll feel when you’re the only one in it. The long, silky flow of this blue number by Etienne Aigner will enable you to create wind in the hair of all who pass you.

Egos, boosted. Productivity, increased.

Plus, it offers sleeves perfect for arm cuffs, a high neckline made to house multiple chunky necklaces (solo chokers are so yesterday) and a pattern just subtle enough that oversize earrings won’t distract your colleagues but rather convince them you’re listening very carefully.

#3. Take your leave like a punctuated silk column.


This silk midi dress brings us full comfortable circle, because this is what you’d sleep in if you were the queen of planet Earth. It’s perfect on its own but still poised enough for just a few humble interruptions: your reddest lips (great for delivering good or bad news), your tallest boots (skin so boring!) and your most commanding earrings (communication aids).

(And maybe your favorite bralette to throw on top when you’re heading out, because Rihanna’s left pinky calls for a little happy hour pizzaz.)

Sure, we don’t make the rules, but we do have creativity and a sense of identity worth celebrating no matter the context. Such is the beauty of pushing boundaries without breaking them.

Special thanks to our lovely model Arpana Rayamajhi — follow her on Instagram @arpanaraya. Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis; styled by Leandra Medine with market assistance from Elizabeth Tamkin.


Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman is the Features Director at Man Repeller.

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