Written by Sophia J. Gonzalez | August 2017
How does a social media editor stay looking and feeling her best? It’s an apt question for anyone whose job doesn’t stick to the 9-to-5 schedule. And it’s one that Pip Jones answered when we called her at her 'pretty chilled out' workplace in East London. So what’d she say?
Well, if you’re Jones, the Social Media Editor at Office Shoes, you fully embrace your trainer obsession and make it work—in the real world. Think unique eBay finds mixed with unashamedly athletic pieces. When it comes to a modern working wardrobe, it’s all about reinventing the old power-dressing rules.
Then again, Jones’ morning commute takes her to Old Street, a thriving creative enclave that encourages individual style. Particularly in the super-relaxed ecommerce department that she works in, the smart-casual dress code is open to interpretation. A trackpant is deemed office-appropriate with a polished shoe; a masculine top paired with silky pants strikes a good impression with colleagues. 'Yes, I have to look presentable and not too scruffy,' says Jones. 'But what’s nice is how little I need to think about my outfit in the morning.'
It’s a welcome change from when Jones worked as a personal shopper. What she wore really mattered to the role. Nowadays, comfort take priority. She wears whatever she wants as long as it’s appropriate for the day. Which means that she can relax into a cute band t-shirt with a tracksuit bottom or high-waist boyfriend jeans—her go-to look of the moment.
This is not to say Jones doesn’t enjoy a chance of dressing up. 'If people know me, they know there’s not a lot of consistency in my style,' she says, matter-of-factly. 'I like what I like when I like it. I wear it when I fancy wearing it.' Her clothes run the gamut: she’s a loyal wearer of Levi’s 501 jeans, but she also owns a number of statement pieces, like a hot pink suede dress with tassels on the sleeves that she found accidentally on eBay.
Inconsistency may be one thing, but you won’t find Jones revealing too much. That’s what weekends are for. A crop top with a pair of high-waist trousers, she says, is the perfect outfit for a night out. For work? Not so much.
And she really is passionate about shoes. What began as Jones raiding grandmother’s shoes and parading around the house in them ('even though the shoes were too big for me,' she confesses), quickly turned into an fascination. Just check out her closet situation. Below impeccably organized clothes rails where she can 'see all of her clothes all at the same time' are two stacks of shoe racks with three levels apiece. How many pairs? She can’t say for sure.
But she does have a weekly playlist. 'I wear black and white Vans Old Skool trainers because they just go with everything,' she says. 'I have my Nike Tuned 1 trainers in black and my adidas EQT—super comfortable and great for running around if I’m going to be busy that day.'
Jones is, perhaps, more in tune with the city’s laid-back vibe than others. She refuses to keep a mini wardrobe in the office. No back-up pair of heels under her desk. No extra set of clothes in a drawer. Her sartorial choices are independent of business and pleasure. 'If it’s the case of going out after work and catching up with friends over a drink,' she continues, 'I tend to stay as I am.'
There is one notable exception: brand meetings. Bumping shoulders with reps from Adidas and Dr. Martens are the norm when a major campaign is about to launch, and it does make Jones conscious of her footwear. 'If I know the particular brand, I will try to make sure that I’m wearing that product,' she says, candidly. 'Considering we stock so many products, it’s nice to show them which styles I like and that I support them.' Call it a self-imposed courtesy.
Jones follows her own set of rules. Take a recent outfit she wore to a wedding party. She paired a strapless nude top with multi-coloured, wide-leg trousers and white sandals. She pinned her short hair back, and the makeup was neutral. The look was bold, but hardly inappropriate. And that’s because her rules are simple: the clothes have to fit. The rest is history.
Forget size, age, skin tone, or even job description. 'You shouldn’t feel like you have to follow any trend,' she continues, 'but don’t be scared to wear those wide trousers if you like them.' If the shoe (or “those wide trousers,” she says) fits, go ahead and rule the world in it; you won’t regret that you did.
This article appeared on The Debrief.