Ask Alexandra: Work Clothes

COS, work clothes, fasion jobs, fashion career, Ask Alexandra

COS make the best office clothes for a fashion forward person who doesn't want to stand out.

Dear Alexandra,

I am a 24-year-old who just recently just landed my dream job – working for an international development agency. The field that I entered (a blend of international politics, diplomacy, and nonprofit) are not known to be stylish. As a matter of fact, many of my colleagues, whom I highly respected and perform greatly at what they do, have very bland (note: conservative) fashion sense. I do not strive to look like Lady Gaga at work, but could you advise me on some brands or designers to look up for dressing inspirations? A brand/designer that is well-respected, well-made; so that when I wear their piece, I would not only get a nod of approval from my boss but admiration from my trendy friends?

COS, work clothes, fasion jobs, fashion career, Ask Alexandra

More amazing, simple, perfect clothing from COS.

Dear Sonia,

I don’t know what your budget is, but I am assuming you aren’t a millionaire, so my recommendation would be to buy clothing from COS. They make fantastic clothing, classic with an edge, well-priced, and superb quality. About 50% of the new clothing I have bought in the past three years has been from there (if not more.) The only downside is that they have few stores and only do online shopping in the UK, but I presume that will change soon.

COS, work clothes, fasion jobs, fashion career, Ask Alexandra

From left to right: Filippa K, AVHASHBY Anne Valérie Hash, and 3.1 Phillip Lim.

If I had an office job like yours, with a decent/average salary (this is much easier to do if you have a huge clothing budget), I’d mix my COS up with other brands. Here are a few tips:

  • Banana Republic is good for knitwear
  • Club Monaco has great basics, especially tailoring
  • H&M has fun day dresses
  • Uniqlo has amazing cashmere
  • You can find quality, comfortable yet interesting work shoes from Chie Mihara or Acne
  • Splurge on outerwear (a Burberry trench is always a winner, and make sure you have a beautiful winter coat)
  • Accessible luxury brands to buy from include A.P.C. for cool French classics, Filippa K for clean Swedish basics, Acne for cool versions of traditional classics, AVHASHBY Anne Valérie Hash for nice jersey pieces, 3.1 Phillip Lim for trousers, Paul & Joe for girly stuff, Sonia Sonia Rykiel for fun knits, By Malene Birger for pretty/edgy pieces, and Diane Von Furstenberg for a bit of colour and print.

Now you have really put me in the mood for shopping.

COS, work clothes, fasion jobs, fashion career, Ask Alexandra

From left to right: By Malene Birger, Sonia Sonia Rykiel, and Diane Von Furstenberg.

A few dressing tips…

  • Avoid mini skirts unless you are wearing super, super, super thick tights and flats or low-heeled shoes
  • If you have a statement piece in your outfit, make sure the rest is fairly classic
  • Invest in a good, expensive-looking, classic coat and bag
  • Don’t wear heels over four inches, it looks silly at work
  • Make sure you can walk in your shoes
  • Dress appropriately for the weather
  • Don’t wear clothing that is too tight
  • Avoid low necklines and cleavage
COS, work clothes, fasion jobs, fashion career, Ask Alexandra

From left to right: Paul & Joe, Acne, and A.P.C.

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  • Mokumgirl

    Is COS available in Vancouver? 

  • Anonymous

    Sadly, no. They sell online in Europe, but I don’t think they ship to North America.

  • sonia

    hi alexandra!! im the girl who asked this question…and i just saw the post today! a tad late, huh? but THANK YOU for the advises…im printing this now haha. 


  • alexandrasuhnerisenberg

    Glad to help!