Make It Work For Work: Hippie Attire

I have a friend in town right now who is a total hippie. She burns incense, uses baking powder as a facial exfoliator, and her dream in life is to open a yoga and meditation center on the west coast. She also used to work in a lab doing HIV research, and while there was no strict dress-code, it’s not exactly the type of place where you want to look like you’re hitting up an outdoor concert. This week’s column is in honor of her — because you can be your earthy, spiritual self and still look professional.

Look 1: The Maxi Dress

Confession: This is pretty much the exact outfit I’m wearing as I’m writing this. Your brightly patterned maxi dress is not just for weekends anymore. Pair it with a contrasting statement necklace, a nice-girl cardigan, and an elegant bag, and you’ve dressed it up for work. Add some flats that don’t have beading or fringe — I like pairing boat shoes with hippie stuff ’cause they raise the conservative factor — and you’re golden, love child. Click here to see the clothing items.

Look 2: The Long Skirt

You may think a long, floral skirt is wrong for the office, but I got major compliments at work the other day on an Indian-style embroidered maxi skirt with mirrors all over it — don’t tell anyone it cost $7 at the junk emporium next to my subway stop. This piece has a lot of potential to look sophisticated, especially if you pair with a loose, expensive (or expensive-looking) V-neck, like the Derek Lam one pictured. Some major hardware on the bag and jewelry and decidedly non-hippie flats round out the look — and you still get to rock your comfy skirt at the park later. Click here to see the clothing items.


Look 3: The Embroidered Blouse

An embroidered hippie blouse can be a bit hard to pull off for work, but I recommend pairing it with structured pants or work-appropriate shorts (whether there is such a thing is another debate) rather than a long, hippie-style skirt. These See by Chloe high-waisted trousers will certainly do the trick, but I’m sure you can find a cheaper version at Zara or H&M. Matching pumps and a Reed Krakoff bag juxtapose nicely with the loose, flowy blouse. Add a bracelet or two for a bit more color. Click here to see the clothing items.


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