5 Ways To Put The WORK In Workwear

With deadlines at your heels and a thousand emails in your inbox, the last thing you've got on the brain is that 9-to-5 wardrobe. Well, we're here to help. To make sure you nail that corner-office-worthy look, we tapped the ladies of Modern Citizen, Jessica Lee and Natalie Seufferlein, who know a thing or two about dressing like a boss. Not only do they run a fashion label that outfits the young, professional set, but they also model cubicle-friendly wares that are anything but stuffy. Naturally, we wanna press "copy."
From what to slip into for that coffee meet-up to what to pack for a business trip, here’s everything you need to know to dress the part. Just don’t forget to thank us when you land that promotion. Oh, and about that case of the Mondays? Consider it cured.
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Photographed by Ashley Batz.
Jessica Lee, Monday

What do you do at Modern Citizen?
"As the founder, it's my job to consistently drive toward the company's broader vision and map out our strategy to get there. Day to day, that translates into having my hands in a little bit of everything — from designing and merchandising our products to creating content and coding our front-end design."

Your Monday outfit is on-point! What pieces do you reach for to set the tone for the week?
"Blazers are a work-wear essential, but I like mine sleek and not boxy. This one from Theory is satin which makes rolling the sleeves up easy to show off stacked bracelets and rings. Underneath, I have my favorite cabochon pendant and camisole, both from Modern Citizen. The top has a subtle shine and sheer insert that makes it a little daring but still appropriate for the office. I paired it with a high-waisted black skirt from Chaiken that has an interesting mix of textures."

How would you describe your personal style?
"Elegant with a little edge."

Jessica wears a Theory blazer, Chaiken skirt, and Modern Citizen top and jewelry.
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Photographed by Ashley Batz.
What’s one trusted item that works regardless of what day it is?
"A pencil skirt. Perfect for work with a silk blouse and pumps, or weekend with a cropped knit tee and leather sneaker."

Modern Citizen is all about styling the young, urban professional. How do you modernize traditional office wear?
"I think traditional restrictions around workwear are always evolving, especially if you're lucky enough to work in a creative environment. Modernizing workwear can be as simple as picking traditional pieces like a pencil skirt in a new texture or color."

What’s the best way to incorporate trends into your workwear?
"Paying attention to the silhouette goes a long way. If you want to wear a cropped sweater, make sure it's paired [with] something high-waisted enough to still feel polished."
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Photographed by Ashley Batz.
Natalie Seufferlein, Tuesday

Tell us about what you do at Modern Citizen.
"As PR and marketing manager, I handle external-facing communication and collaboration with press, bloggers, brands, and partners."

How would you describe your so-cute Tuesday look?
"This is a stylish and feminine, yet work-appropriate look, perfect for daytime meetings followed by an industry event or dinner, both of which commonly occur on Tuesdays."

Speaking of after-work events, what’s one tip you can give for going from the office to a night out in a flash?
"Layers are important on days like these — I’ll pair a fancier, fashion-forward top with a blazer, making the look work appropriate until I’m at the event and can lose the blazer and let loose a bit. Wine and lipgloss help, too."

Natalie wears a Modern Citizen dress, shoes, and jewelry, and a Helmut Lang jacket.
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Photographed by Ashley Batz.
How would you describe your personal style?
"Chic with a twist. No matter what I’m wearing, I always throw in a unique accent to make it my own, whether it’s a fabulous vintage find, bold jewelry, a bright, patterned top, or a mix of prints."

What are your go-to items to pack for a business trip?
"When I go on business trips, it’s usually for press meetings so I’ll pack my favorite staples — a black skirt and a white blouse — along with statement jewelry, comfortable yet stylish flats and booties for long days, and an LBD, just in case."

What’s one trusted item that works regardless of what day it is?
"Black skinnies — they are easy to dress up and down, they give off a sophisticated yet chic look, and are flattering on just about everyone."
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Photographed by Ashley Batz.
Jessica and Natalie, Wednesday

Tell us about your Wednesday looks!
Natalie: "Wednesdays are usually a slower day where I catch up on desk work and like to go for a more comfortable, casual vibe. Flats and a cozy sweater allow for that, while the dress ensures it’s still fashion forward."
Jessica: "Grey is my favorite color, so this light wool midi-skirt was one of the pieces from Modern Citizen I just had to have. I like tucking in a simple silk blouse like this one from J.Crew, underneath a cropped jacket with a bit more detail. I kept my accessories in the same color family."

What are some of your break spots around Russian Hill?
Jessica: "Saint Frank for a quick pick-me-up. Also, it doesn't hurt that the space is gorgeous."
Natalie: "Russian Hill is my favorite neighborhood in S.F., so I’ll usually go on a long walk and let my mind wander for a bit, stumble in a shop or two, grab a Blue Barn salad, and a Loving Cup frozen yogurt if I’m feeling extra indulgent."

What’s the best way to incorporate trends into your workwear?
Natalie: "My mantra is to splurge on the staples and save on the trendier pieces that come and go. This allows you to spruce up your workwear with a fun, printed scarf or bright cardigan, without feeling like you’re breaking the bank every time a new trend emerges."

Natalie wears Zara Sandals, Modern Citizen dress, sweater, and rings; Jessica wears a J.Crew top, Forever 21 jacket, Zara heels, and Modern Citizen skirt and jewelry.
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Photographed by Ashley Batz.
What’s one of your office style don'ts?
Jessica: "Socks with sandals. Too runway-inspired for real life."

What is your philosophy when it comes to accessorizing for the office?
Natalie: "I love big, bold jewelry so I’ll either do a standout earring or a statement necklace but usually not both — less is more in this case. In terms of bags, my oversized Phillip Lim is my go-to, as it fits all my everyday essentials, and is stylish enough to carry me through the day and into the evening."

How do you stay fashionable and functional at the office?
Jessica: "A set of deep pockets is a secret essential, especially in a dress. If you're running out for a quick errand, leave your big bag at the office — just grab your phone, wallet, and go."
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Photographed by Ashley Batz.
How do you de-stress at work?
Natalie: "A long walk, scoop of ice cream, and a chat with my mom usually does the trick. If not, I’ll go back for another scoop."
Jessica: "Grab another cup of coffee, take a walk around the block, or play with Charles Barkley, my labradoodle!"

What’s a typical day look like, style wise?
Natalie: "I call it my uniform and it’s all-occasion proof — it’s black skinnies, flats, a blouse, my Veda leather jacket, and a statement necklace."

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Photographed by Ashley Batz.
Jessica, Thursday

Why did you choose this Thursday look?
"Some days I'm focusing entirely on creative projects for the company, and it's then that I like to mix in a lot of different textures and colors to get my right brain going. I love the bold color of this dress and the silhouette is easy to move in — whether we're on the floor pulling tears from magazines or building a shelf for a pop-up event. For something masculine to balance it out, this vest is great with an oversized shape. Bonus points that it has pockets to hold pushpins and tape!

What’s your secret for balancing work and life?
"Appreciate the little moments; quality time with family and friends is what makes for a full life. I'd be lying if I said I didn't work constantly, so I don't necessarily have a lot of balance — but, looking at the awesome people around me doing amazing things always reminds me how short life really is. I want to spend it doing something I'm passionate about, which makes the sacrifices along the way worthwhile."

What’s a typical day look like, style wise?
"A dress with some unique detail, a leather jacket, and pointed boots."
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Photographed by Ashley Batz.
What is your philosophy when it comes to accessorizing for the office?
"In general, I like to keep it simple. Either one really signature statement piece — Assad Mounser is my go-to — or, more delicate ones that layer well without overpowering."

What about for office dressing?
"Comfort is key. It's hard to be at your best when you're feeling self-conscious about what you're wearing."

Where do you get your office style inspiration?
"Nothing beats a great street-style slideshow, especially during Fashion Week."
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Photographed by Ashley Batz.
Natalie, Friday

TGIF! Why did you choose this Friday getup?
"This is the perfect day-to-night transitional look which is why I chose it for Friday. It allows me to kick off my weekend plans without the hassle of running home to change."

What would you never be caught dead in at work?
"A pantsuit. I’ve been fortunate enough to always work in a creative profession where a super-formal dress code isn’t enforced, so a pantsuit has never made it’s way into my wardrobe and [I] hope it never does! If so, it means I’m not doing what I love."

Modern Citizen is all about styling the young, urban professional. How do you modernize traditional office wear?
"Making simple swaps can go a long way — for example, instead of a classic white button-down, I’ll go for a sleek white blouse with a unique detail, or a black riding pant instead of a classic black pant. Same goes for jewelry — I’m always the first to swap out a simple gold pendant for something a bit bolder."

Natalie wears an Aritzia blouse, PLV booties, and Modern Citizen shorts and jewelry.
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Photographed by Ashley Batz.
How do you stay fashionable and functional at the office?
"I’ll start by picking one staple, functional item, whether it’s a black skirt, dress, or pant, and pair it back to something fashionable, like a feminine blouse, fabulous vintage find, statement necklace, or chic flat. That way, you’ve got both covered easily."

What’s your secret for balancing work and life?’
"Realizing how precious free time is has made me better about living in the moment and enjoying my time with family and friends, without thinking about what happened that day or what needs to happen the next."
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