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Meet Ashley

Funky style meets conservative workplace

  • By Katie Karlson, plus tips from our expert stylist partner, Alicia Barone
  • December 09, 2013


Ashley works as a library administrator in an academic law library, heading up reference and emergency technologies. “The legal field is generally very conservative,” Ashley says. Meanwhile, “librarians run the gamut from buttoned-up to covered in tattoos with blue hair.” Here, she tells us how she strikes a balance.

What’s your daytime work style?
Because I'm in an academic law library, I have to walk a fine line. I keep my tattoos covered and my hair semi-neutral (platinum blonde verging on gray). My wardrobe consists primarily of skinny black or patterned pants with an oversize blouse or sweater and (always) great shoes. I love pointed-toe pumps right now: simple and classic. I’m a big fan of wedges—the higher, the better. I also love boots of all varieties, but stick to open-toed booties in Florida because it’s so warm!

Wearing one standout element—for me, it’s always shoes—makes me memorable to my students and the faculty, and that’s never a bad thing.

How do you take your look from office to evening?
My usual strategy is to put on more makeup and jewelry (a big rose gold watch, bright leather bracelets, a light cotton scarf) and lose a layer of clothing. The library is chilly, but we often spend our nights outside in the warm air. I change from a blouse into a lighter tank, but keep the same pants and shoes. I also have a few key pieces that I can throw in a bag if I'm going somewhere swankier, including a great leather skirt by Miu Miu.

What’s your weekend style?
My weekend style is not dissimilar from my work style. I wear a lot of skinny jeans and oversize tops with great shoes, and little to no makeup unless I’m going to an event. I’m usually able to make my work wardrobe work on the weekends, which gives me a lot more options.

What’s your best piece of personal style advice?
Be mindful and respectful of the environment you work in, and then find ways to dress like yourself within that environment. I know it’s completely inappropriate to wear my leather miniskirt to work, no matter how much I love it: The faculty would be appalled! 

See our stylist's picks on the next page.

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