Pleated

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My face in the last photo is the same face I make at around 1 PM in the office everyday when suddenly the air turns on in the middle of NY winter and I have to drape myself in shawls and thick socks. I was recently informed by a friend that a study was done which claims that office temperatures are based on a formula that uses the metabolic rate of men. So you don't even have to look at the wage gap to see gender discrimination in the workplace, you just have to walk into the office and feel the air. Given this information, I give myself a free pass to complain about the freezing office everyday. Small brown girls for air equality.

The remainder of my usually shawl covered outfit is my take on one of the most professional looks I feel comfortable in. Although from afar it looks like a white collared top and a black trouser, the cinched waist creates some intense pleating (which, if you're not careful, can be blown straight up by the subway vents), and the pant has an incredible pleated detail at the bottom. The blue shoes add a healthy pop of color and with a block heel, they give a little lift without the social suicide of a kitten heel. 

All photos taken by Kiera Wood

Top - Zara

Pant - Cos

Shoes - Nine West

Scarf - Bleusalt

Work Edit

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These pieces in my closet, like others that are increasingly so, are some of my most versatile. The pants I purchased during my last day in Kuala Lumpur in February of this year - and while they have been good to me they are already beginning to disintegrate. The top is a thrifted find from a vintage store in Brooklyn - 100% silk (from a selection of many!) and a perfect high collar to elongate the neck. I'm increasingly unable to wear heels like I used to, so all of my amazing college heels (well, those that I think are appropriate) are only used when I'm sitting at my desk. At least they're being used? 

The setting for this shoot was City Hall in downtown Manhattan - only a few streets away from where I used to live during my junior year in college. And while it was a decent walk to up class everyday, I loved living in this area. It's quieter than the rest of Manhattan in a commercial way. However there are some true hidden food and architectural (pictured above) gems located around this square that most people are unaware of. While there isn't much to actually do around here, it was perfect for a shoot. 

Photography by Kiera Wood

Top - Thrifted

Pant - Market in Kuala Lumpur

Shoes - Topshop

Office Look

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My all-time favorite office look pictured above. When I interned two summers ago at my current company, I kept a little section of my closet free for a few pairs of trousers, blazers, collared shirts, etc. for my bank self, and the rest of the space for my college self that was able to wear whatever. But now that I have been working a full year (omg), personal style has bled into my office style and vice versa. There was no avoiding it - fashion has always been a part of my life that keeps me sane: changing my look every time I clocked out was not only logistically impossible but not at all sane. 

With some trial and effort I realized my work wear didn't need to consist of pant suits only. It helps that I'm not client facing but either way, I've enjoyed the challenge of trying to look professional and keep my own personality in my clothing at the same time. So far I enjoy a pretty monochrome pallet of blacks, greys, taupes, and whites (w/ pops of red pictured here... company colors also red so that helps)  as well as unconventional silhouettes and cuts to keep it interesting. I think more deeply now about how each piece will go with what I already own - which keeps my closet smaller than what it has been before. Also, there is no more of the pulling random tops out of the back of my closet and feeling bad I never wore them. 

Which also means that I am now constantly on the hunt for clothes that don't wear out. It feels like no matter how much I spend on clothing, they die after a few washes. And by die I mean holes, pilling, etc. I do often think about whether clothes are simply unable to withstand their lifespans being the materials that they are and given the way that they are used, or if it planned obsolescence - that is: companies make their products in such a way that they know they will not longer function after a certain point. This way, they are certain consumers will be back to purchase the product (thereby stimulating consumption). I don't know if there is a bigger culprit in this practice than the fashion industry. Whether it is the quality or the style - fast fashion keeps you coming back. I do think however that the current dialogue suggests that if you spend more on clothing that does not fall into the fast fashion category, you will get better quality and the clothes will last longer. While this look may not be the best example, those pieces that I have saved and spent more for don't seem to withstand any longer than the rest. So I wonder if higher end clothing brands are also secretly playing this game. Maybe I'll have to do a little more experimenting (aka save up more money to blow on clothes) before coming to a conclusion. So in the meantime if anyone knows of any brands that make clothes that last (and are still cute pls) feel free to let me know. 

All photography by the lovely Kiera Wood

Top - Cos

Pants - Zara

Shoes - Korea (from market in Edae)