Style that Works
Meeting clients, leading teams, making budgets, teaching students – it’s no doubt, it’s serious work. But, that doesn’t mean style in the workplace can’t have some personality. For some, it means fusing tailored classics with personal touches. For others, it means incorporating a love of vintage pieces. While off-time wear doesn’t always translate to office wear, you don’t have to drop your point of view completely Monday morning. Take inspiration from these area women who find ways to show off their workwear styles.
Meredith Jones (left) and Mary Margaret Folds, cofounders of FireLux Films, work as a team on their production company that focuses on commercial advertising. “Because we work with such sophisticated clientele our style needs to be extremely professional, but we like to sneak in elements of our very different personalities,” they say.
MEREDITH JONES describes her style as “classic with an infusion of my personality like my ‘lucky’ Carolina blue suede shoes.” She prefers to invest in quality staples and build around those and leans toward timeless designer classics: “I always want to be dressed in a manner where people take me seriously.”
MARY MARGARET FOLDS, a self-described “bohemian artist addicted to color,” is drawn to color and artistry. “If I find a great pair of pants at a vintage store, I’ll put them with a classic button down and fun heels. But, I stay in the lines of professionalism and class,” she says. “Sometimes, though, my rebellious nature peeks through.”
Dentist, Wrightsville Dental
"My style has changed quite a bit after moving to Wilmington from NYC and becoming a mom,” says YULIA PATERSON, a dentist who joined Wrightsville Dentist in 2016. “Comfort, quality, and versatility are my keywords when I shop. I buy fewer pieces, and I reuse them. I also don’t wear high heels much nowadays.” At work, she usually opts for simple colors and pieces that are versatile. “My goto ensemble would be a classic pant with a T-shirt or a blouse with flats.” Her favorite sources for pieces are Oliver locally or Zara and Club Monaco when visiting her parents in New York City. “Otherwise, I shop at the same stores online.”
Style inspiration: “I’m mostly inspired by strong, independent women because they can wear anything with confidence and create their own unique style.”
Mathematics Instructor, CFCC
EMILY STEIN, who teaches algebra, trigonometry, and calculus at Cape Fear Community College, is on her feet all day, “so I go for comfort without looking frumpy. Crisp, straight-legged denim with flowy tops and dresses – because no matching – are my go tos.” Stein describes her personal style as minimalist and modern “with boho/’70s accents, always clogs, and one-of-a-kind jewelry.” She turns online for buying at sites such as Anthropologie, J.Crew, Free People, Madewell, and Zappos “carefully curated from the internet … because I have no time to actually shop.”
Style inspiration: “The effortless style of ’60s and ’70s icons like Jane Birkin and Ali MacGraw.”
Director, New Hanover County Soil & Water Conservation District
DRU HARRISON, spends her days preparing budgets, writing grants, and implementing programs that help improve water quality. Her love of vintage comes through in her style, which she calls bohemian with a retro twist. “I love wearing vintage dresses, vests, and accessories in general. … Accessories are usually a must have, unless I have field work to complete that day. I love making average outfits into my style by adding a necklace or bracelets.” Her favorite stores locally include Second Skin Vintage, The Wonder Shop, Jess James + Co., and Lula Balou for clothing and Spiritual Junkies, Down to Earth, Earth and Stone Studio, and The Painted Mermaid for accessories.
Style inspiration: “My co-worker Elissa Riley is who inspired me to start shopping vintage.”
To view more of photographer Michael Cline Spencer’s work, go to michaelclinephoto.com.
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