It’s the beginning of a new year, and for those of you starting new jobs or looking for a wardrobe refresh—we hear you! 2023 was full of fashion trends, from cotton boxer shorts with ballet flats to silver kitten heels paired with oversized blazers, but what about office style? We recognize the difficulties in looking polished and professional while still keeping a fun sense of style, so we decided to curate an office lookbook for (almost!) all styles.
We asked five of our staff members here at OLEADA’s New York City office what their favorite bag from our collection is, and how they like to style each.
Scroll to the end and watch the videos showcasing what's in their work bags.
When asked if she preferred to follow trends for her work wardrobe, she responded “No, I’ve never been a follower in my life!” She’s always described her style as effortless, monochromatic, and modern. Having hands-on experience with our handbag design process, you can clearly see her style’s mark on our timeless collection. After all, she admits her top-priority in any work bag she’s owned or created is a built-in luggage pass-through strap.
“Traveling, whether for work or for leisure, should always be made simple. And as someone who travels a lot, a luggage strap on my handbag is something I cannot live without.”
As for her favorite handbag? Well that would currently be our Coast Backpack in the Marble colorway.
“I love the canvas plus napa leather combination, it’s very chic! And I love the way I can hide the backpack straps when I don’t need them,” she says.
Her 3 Office Clothing Must-Haves: Wide-leg pants, a white turtleneck, and a fitted midi-dress.
Her advice on balancing a fashionable yet professional appearance: “Focus on small details. Always add accessories to enhance your personality!”
Shop her bag: Coast Backpack
Incorporating contemporary styles and new fashion elements into her professional attire, Valerie masters a modern yet eclectic style. Much like any Gen Z-er, she prefers being on trend in the workplace because her sense of style “keeps her connected with what’s current.”
She describes her style as being vibrant, casual, and flowy, with emphasis on the latter: she prefers her work wardrobe to be less fitted to give her more movement throughout the day.
The same reasoning goes into her dailywear workbag: The Reverie Hobo in the color Cloud.
“I love how soft and buttery this bag feels. It’s a slouched, relaxed look, and the versatile cream color complements almost all of my outfits,” she says.
As someone who has to carry her laptop to work with her every day, her workbag must-have is a laptop compartment.
“I prefer the bag I carry to have a pocket specifically for my laptop, because I want my MacBook protected especially if it sits next to my water bottle!”
Her 3 Office Clothing Must-Haves: A staple white button-down shirt, ballerina flats, and an oversized blazer for a casual yet polished look.
Her advice on balancing a fashionable yet professional appearance: Find your color palate and work with it!
Shop her bag: Reverie Hobo Cloud
With a style both edgy and bold, one could see Jamie isn’t one for fashion trends. She couples black leather jackets with long fitted tube skirts and a-line tops to make her look timeless and office-ready, from Monday to Friday. Her favorite colors are in line with the same tones of our collection, keeping her wardrobe easy to mix and match for new outfit ideas.
When asked what her most-worn bag was, she said it was our recent release: The Reverie Tote in Onyx. Because, much like her sleek outfits, she needs her work bag to have minimal designs.
“I rarely play with patterns or texture in my style, because I prefer a sleek or ‘clean’ look to my wardrobe and handbag,” she says.
While she agrees with Valerie on a handbag must-have being a laptop sleeve, her number one priority for her core work bag is an adjustable crossbody strap.
“I need to be able to set my hands free while I commute to and from the office,” she explains.
Her 3 Office Clothing Must-Haves: tall leather boots, leather jacket, and a slim cut top.
Her advice on balancing a fashionable yet professional appearance: Opt for ironed, tailored clothes, preferably solid colors. Ensure your grooming, including hair and makeup, reflect your put-together outfit.
Shop her bag: Reverie Tote Onyx
Mixing black combat boots with collared shirts and blazers makes Anesa’s style urban, yet remaining modest and preppy. She follows trends more so in colors than with styles, recently loving anything cherry red and plum colored.
“I used to stick to building a capsule wardrobe, but then I realized if a color looks great on me, it’s going in my closet,” she says.
Because she carries a tablet, laptop, book, and bulky chargers with her on a daily basis, it only makes sense that her top priority in any work bag would be space, and convertibility.
“I can’t have my bag digging into my shoulder during my one hour commute from Brooklyn to Manhattan. It’s just grounds for disaster.”
So she opts for a bag that can be both a handbag and backpack: The Wavia Bag Ash. Being that her laptop is above 14”, she carries the style in our plus size version. Wearing it as a backpack during her commute, a shoulder bag during the day, and a top-handle purse during evening events, she loves the bag because it “does it all”.
Other than having the space, her top-priority in a work bag is longevity.
“I want a bag that can get banged up and still look great. The Wavia is scratch-proof, waterproof, and coffee-proof!” She says.
Her 3 Office Clothing Must-Haves: collared sweaters, a sturdy pair of black stockings, and an everyday pair of black heels.
Her advice on balancing a fashionable yet professional appearance: Everytime you want to buy something for work that is out of the ordinary, think, will I want to wear this to an important meeting with my boss? If it does, buy it, and if not, put it back!
Shop her bag: Wavia Bag Plus Ash
Out of the three words given to describe Julia’s style, classic stands out the most. With tall leather riding boots paired with skinny khaki pants and a fitted black blazer, it’s safe to say this intern’s sense of style is immune to trends—at least in the workplace.
“Outside of work, I love to wear crop-tops and all that fun stuff. When I clock into the office, I have a uniform: blazer, blouse, slacks. That’s it,” she says.
The other two words would be simple, and girly. Each silhouette she chooses is feminine, as she only prefers sweetheart and v-necklines for her tops and dresses. Just like her office wardrobe has a uniform, so does her workbag. And her favorite, The Captain Briefcase in Caviar, says just that.
“I always liked the sleekness of a man’s corporate bag. They all looked professional and important. The Captain Briefcase has all the power and function of a man’s workbag, with a woman’s touch,” she explains.
Similar to Anesa, Julia also finds herself carrying a hefty amount on a daily basis. And while she doesn’t like the look of a backpack, she found herself emphasizing the need for a lightweight workbag.
“It's important to me that a bag can carry all essentials without being too bulky or masculine-looking. The briefcase is sleek and efficient,” she says.
Her 3 Office Clothing Must-Haves: tall riding boots, slim-fit slacks, and an everyday black/brown blazer
Her advice on balancing a fashionable yet professional appearance: Become best friends with your local tailor. It doesn’t matter how much money you spend on your work wardrobe—if the clothes are ill-fitting, it will make you look cheap and unprofessional.
Shop her bag: Captain Briefcase Caviar