Trademark Breaks Down the Basics of the Modern Work Wardrobe

The new-classic brand holds our hands and guides us past the pleated khakis.

Photographer Francesco Nazardo
August 14, 2014

“It’s all about rethinking what a suit can be.”

From the magazine: ISSUE 93, on stands August 26th and up for preorder now.

With it’s straightforward silhouettes and bright jewel tones, Trademark has been establishing enduring collections among the fleeting trends of the fashion world. Inspired by the sturdy denim of the ’70s and the clean lines of ’60s modernist architecture, founders Louisa and Pookie Burch, at the green ages of 25 and 30, respectively, are becoming known for an elegant simplicity that’s wise beyond their years. Who better, then, to help guide you through the tricky sartorial transition from scraggly college student to polished worker bee than the Trademark sisters? We asked Louisa and Pookie for tips for building a grown-up wardrobe without having to drop serious cash, toss everything you own or try too hard.

Get the essentials
If there are three essentials that every woman should have in her closet, they’re a reworked cotton poplin shirt, a weatherproof Mac trench and a really beautiful, unique, thick sweater. They’re three great building blocks that can take your work wardrobe pretty much anywhere.

Invest carefully
Feel free to cheap out on basics that are worn today and tossed tomorrow. But don’t be afraid to find one or two well-crafted items that are worth the investment. We suggest a little payday splurging on a structured leather tote, a warm, sturdy coat and flattering trousers that you’ll have forever.

Take cues from dudes
Incorporating menswear-inspired pieces or just straight-up menswear into your wardrobe can give you a surprising amount of new territory to play in. A classic men’s button-down can tone down flashier or more feminine pieces and allow you to experiment with new proportions. We have this one shirt—a collarless, button-less Oxford pullover—that’s the perfect embodiment of a feminine take on menswear.

Remix the suit
We’ve seen the classic suit re-emerge without a trace of the shoulder pads, severe lapels or stuffy, knee-length skirts that scarred the suits of yore. These days, it’s all about rethinking what a suit can be. You can look professional without forcing yourself into a more traditional way of dressing and sacrificing your personal style. Loosening the definition of what makes a suit “a suit” really allows you to play with it, to get up and get dressed and feel pulled together but still look really young and modern.

Don’t overdo spring cleaning
Creating a really solid, interesting wardrobe is all about mixing new pieces in with the wardrobe you already have. It doesn’t have to be about throwing everything out and starting over from scratch. We recommend hunting down a few special items you’ll keep forever and actually want to wear every day, but matching them up with the pieces you already own.

Embrace accessories
When you try to have too much going on just with your clothes, that’s when you get into trouble. Accessories are a perfect way to complement your simpler outfits while elevating the overall vibe. We always try to keep our clothes minimal, and use shoes and jewelry to add depth and character to a basic work look.

Trust your taste
If you feel good in something you’re wearing, that level of confidence comes across in the way you carry yourself on the job. The most important thing is finding clothes that you feel comfortable in and feel connected to, rather than forcing yourself to try different trends. But most of all, don’t overthink it.

All clothing Trademark. Styling Dennine Dyer. Model Anna Fokina at MUSE. Hair Illy Lussiano. Make-Up Rachael Ghorbani for Laura Mercier Cosmetics. Photography assistance Sergiy Barchuk.

Posted: August 14, 2014
Trademark Breaks Down the Basics of the Modern Work Wardrobe