What to wear: The perfect outfit for 10 agency roles

Looking the part is half the job, especially when you work in an industry as image-conscious as advertising. To help you find the perfect outfit, no matter what your business card says you do, Digiday asked stylish agency employees from all walks of life to tell us what makes the perfect outfit for their gig.

The title: The art director
The look: Dressed for comfort, built to last
“This outfit is great if I’m pulling a late night at the agency because the pants double as pajamas,” said Devon Hong, art director at Droga5. “This top is really comfortable mostly because it doesn’t fit perfectly. The jacket looks like a motorcycle jacket, but it’s made out of jean material, which says, ‘Hey, I’m kinda sort a badass.'”


The art director

The title: The creative
The look: Always prepared
“When you are a creative, you need to look sharp and well put together for those countless agency meetings,” said JWT creative Keshni Sharma, turning her nose up at the lazy-creative uniform of gym shorts and sneakers. “Just make sure you rock the look because you might have to go to an after-work party or unexpected award show to collect awards on behalf of your agency.”

Her copywriter partner Erin Copithorne, however, respectfully dissents. “Maximum stretch in your ensemble accommodates spontaneous afternoon naps, fatty take-out dinners, and even after-work terrarium-making classes,” she said.


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The title: The brand strategist
The look: Rihanna all the way
Droga5 strategist Katy Alonzo begins each day by “asking myself if Rihanna would wear this every morning,” she said. Her go-tos: “all-black everything,” bright Chuck Taylors and Well Fed t-shirts.


The brand strategy outfit

The title: The PR person
The look: Stylish, powerful, always on
CP+B chief communications officer Katie Kempner favors all-black everything, much like Alonzo. During most days, she goes with a cream silk button down with jeans and ankle boots. But for PR trips where “you’re on the go all day,” here’s what she rocks:

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The title: The cultural strategy officer
The look: Make people ask you where you got it from
“Culture is power today, so I find that wearing clothes that show my ‘cultural quotient’ is more powerful than wearing fleeting fashions and being trendy,” said Sparks & Honey’s chief cultural strategy officer, Sarah DaVanzo. “My ‘power outfit’ consists of a Gray Issey Miyake  microbe-infused dress (that shows I’m in sync with tech/maker culture) with colorful pumps and unique, statement accessories like 3D printed jewelry and my life-logging Google Glass.”

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The title: The (male) account director
The look: classic with quirks
“For me, the perfect work outfit reflects my personality and my taste,” said Scot Beck, vp-group account director at CP+B. He’ll wear a suit to a formal meeting with a client but try to stand out with a few quirky touches. “You never want to look like you spent more time on your outfit than you did preparing for the meeting.”

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The title: The (female) account person
The look: Fits in anywhere
JWT New York global business director Shereen Daver, who is a fashion designer by night, favors slouchy pants and graphic tees for the office. “Understated, yet good to go to a meeting and then out on the town after,” she said. But for the “business meeting” look, she goes with pencils skirts, silk shirts and gold-tipped boots — designed by her.

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The title: The communication strategist
The look: Simplistic with a dash of eclectic
“My vice is the shoes,” said Goodby Silverstein & Partners’ senior communications strategist John-James Richardson. “I have 16 pairs of shoes. Color is important when it’s being paired with classics in the middle. From a good tie collection to a selection of watches to eyewear, color and texture are important with accessories, coupled with classic, simple basics.”

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The title: The project manager
The look: Fun so you can be serious
JWT project manager Olivia Edgren keeps her style fun because her job can be serious. “It breaks up the day for me,” she said. “You also want an outfit that is manageable and owneable as you run around yelling at people.” She goes for loose-fitting denim overalls (rolled up), snug striped t-shirts, vintage boots, a flannel, tortoiseshell sunglasses and lots of rings.

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The title: The agency finance guy
The look: Stick to the basics
The consensus among an array of finance dudes is that slacks and a button-down shirt are the uniform. Occasionally these number-crunchers will try to perk it up with a cool watch or a funky tie. Swap out the pants for a pencil skirt for women

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See all the sets on Polyvore here.


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