A Local Fashion Power Duo Shows Off Its 9-To-5 Style

[UPDATE: This story was originally published on September 18.]
The thought of 9-to-5 dressing often stirs up images of mellow, business-appropriate attire — blazers, pencil skirts, button-ups, etc. And while we get that with every gig comes a different set of sartorial requirements, we don’t think outfitting for work needs to be a total yawnfest.
So, we’ve tapped two ladies who know a thing about smart, on-the-job styling to prove this point. The Hayes Valley powerhouse duo of Catherine Chow and Corina Nurimba own not one, not two …but three of S.F.’s top shopping haunts and are beyond well-versed in stellar work style. We trailed them around their three boutiques (Azalea, Rand + Statler, and Welcome Stranger) to catch them in action and peep the cool and versatile wares they're sporting Monday through Friday. Peep their guide to totally working it, right here.
Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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Corina and Catherine, Monday

Meet the adorable owners behind our fave Hayes Valley shopping haunts! Welcome Stranger, Azalea, and Rand + Statler owners Corina Nurimba (left) and Catherine Chow (right) show us how to start the week off right.

Corina wears a Mason by Michelle Mason sweater, Olivaceaous top, Swedish Hasbeens shoes, Splendid leggings, and a Dream Collective necklace.

Catherine sports an Orly Genger necklace, Acne jacket, Giles & Bros. bracelet, AG Denim pants, and Acne shoes.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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How do you stay fashionable and functional at the office?
Corina: "Dress functionally — balance comfort and style. You are going to be in that outfit for the whole day! I'm old-school, so no tank tops for me or super-short shorts!"

Corina’s head-turning Dream Collective baubles!

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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What’s one of your office style don’ts?
Corina: "If I must share, it would be a sweatshirt — which I may have worn the other day — and black leggings at the office!"

Hot steppers

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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What’s a typical day look like, style wise?
Catherine: "Since I'm five months post-pregnancy, comfort is my priority. I love my oversized tees, J Brand chinos, leggings, elastic-waistband pants, and K.Jacque sandals."

Wowza! We’re digging the statement necklace in so many ways!

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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Tell us about your go-to Monday gear.
Corina: "I am getting into mixing prints lately! It totally works, especially if the pieces are in the same colors and shades. Plus, leopard print is classic, but I love very subtle monochromatic ones like these leggings I'm wearing."

What’s your philosophy when it comes to office dressing?
Catherine: "My office hours range from 7 a.m. to midnight. I love to wear all black, so it's easy for me to dress up or down. If I have to run into a meeting, I'll throw on a blazer and put on my red lipstick. If I'm working from home, I wear black leggings and a black Helmut Lang tee. This way, if I need to head over to the office, I can just throw over a leather jacket. My office fashion philosophy is to keep it simple and classic."

Exchanging stylish glances in Rand + Statler.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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Catherine, Tuesday

Tell us about your Tuesday outfit.
"I'm in meetings for most of the day on Tuesdays. I buy a few key office blouses each season. The colors and print on this L’Agence blouse goes with all my jewelry. I love it!"

Catherine in a Helmut Lang blazer, L'Agence top, Splendid leggings, Swedish Hasbeens shoes, Giles & Bros. bracelets, Losselliani bangles, and Anna Sheffield and Colleen Mauer rings.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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What’s one item you always carry with you on-the-go?
"My MAC Russian Red lipstick. I feel energized when it’s on."

Owning three shops has got to keep you busy! How do you de-stress at work?
"I de-stress at work by drinking pink lemonade aloe from Vivaloe and eating cookies."

Catherine arranging some of Welcome Stranger’s swanky soaps and colognes.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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What’s one trusted item that works regardless of what day it is?
“My black T By Alexander Wang pocket tee. It goes with everything in my closet!”

Catherine hard at work in Welcome Stranger!

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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Corina, Wednesday

Tell us about what you’re rocking on Hump Day.
"I love this comfy, stretchy striped tunic that provides cover for my belly and hips. I’m five months pregnant! The crop-denim jacket is perfect in case it gets chilly, and I can roll up the sleeves to get working! Need I say more?"

Corina giving an Azalea mannequin a major makeover in a J Brand jacket, Soft Joie sweater dress, Swedish Hasbeens shoes, Pamela Love cuff, and a ring by Anna Sheffield.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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Describe your personal sense of style.
"Casual luxe — as little effort as possible. I've had a chance to build a wardrobe for many years now, so theoretically, everything I pick out from my closet should be cute! I still love mixing high and low, but I'm a lot more efficient about that now."

Corina getting her fold on and looking mighty cute doing it!

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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Catherine, Thursday

Tell us why you chose this look for Thursday.
"By Thursdays I just want to be in my most comfortable office wear. These Girl by Band of Outsiders pants have an elastic waistband! So, basically I can eat all I want! This A.L.C. sweater is lightweight, but super warm. I love the color combo on The Orly Genger necklace. It brightens my day just wearing it."

Catherine sipping on a cuppa Joe in an A.L.C. sweater, Giles & Bros. bracelet, Orly Genger necklace, Girl by Band of Outsiders pants, Swedish Hasbeens shoes, and Colleen Mauer and Katie Diamond rings.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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What are some of your break spots around Hayes?
"I like Arlequin for my pink lemonade aloe juice, Blue Bottle for ice coffee, and Nebela for sushi."

Say you’re heading to an after-work event, what’s one tip you can give for going from work to a night out in a flash?
"Bring eyedrops to get the redness out of your eyes after work. You'll look bright and energized for the night out!"

Catherine hanging at one of her fave break spots: Blue Bottle.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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What are some of your fave office-friendly brands?
"I like James Perse, T By Alexander Wang, Helmut Lang, and Splendid for office-friendly looks."

A little caffeine and cool clothes? Color us obsessed.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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Corina, Friday

What’s one office-appropriate item everyone should own?
"I think everyone needs to own a pair of flats in beige or black."

Since this is your Friday look, what are some tips for going out and glamming it up after a long day?
"Nice shiny jewelry and lip gloss does the trick!"

Corina gets her Friday fit on in a Funktional dress, La Mer watch, and Sam Edelman boots.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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What are your fave break spots?
"If I do take breaks, I love going to Arlequin and sipping a cup of coffee in the courtyard."

A pretty close-up pic of Corina’s cool Sam Edelman boots and Balenciaga bag.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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What’s your secret for balancing work and life?
"There are four things to juggle in life — in which you can only afford to do three: a social life, family life, sleep, and work. Work is certain, so then as for the rest, I pick two others at a time."

A walk in the park ... literally. Corina takes a jaunt in Patricia’s Green.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile

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