Sara Hennessey, Freelancer at RealBeauty.com
What you choose to put on in the morning as you get ready for the work day is what we’re all about. At Cubicle Chic, we focus on assembling stylish outfits for a corporate office environment, but not everyone who goes to work sits down at a cubicle like we do. Many people don’t even enter an office building or have a desk to go to.
In an effort to showcase the many different styles of dressing in the working world, from corporate to creative, we have put together a new segment called “What’s Your Cubicle Chic.” We plan to bring you stylish men and women from all different industries in New York City with the hope of one day including readers’ inspiring style from all over the country (dare we say world?).
Our first brave contender is Miss Sara Hennessey, freelancer and CMS extraordinaire at Hearst’s RealBeauty.com. We traveled to Sara’s adorably decorated apartment in Brooklyn for her shoot, and it became apparent quite quickly that she’s a natural. Talking about her work experience made Cubicle Chic a little jealous… we wish we could work from our couches!
“Freelancer on Her Day at the Office”
“Freelancer Working From Home”
In an effort to capture Sara’s full philosophy on style, Cubicle Chic asked her a few questions. All you aspiring freelancers out there, listen up!
What defines your personal style?
I like to think of my style as a ‘tailored vintage’ look. I’m a really big fan of very classic looks (eg. the khaki trench coat, black pencil skirt, wayfarers), and I always like to look polished (I’m That Girl that tends towards matchy-matchy and can’t wear silver and gold together), but I love wearing vintage. The clothing is so beautifully-detailed, and I find that vintage styles suit my figure best. My favorite Brooklyn vintage clothing store sells these amazing re-worked vintage fashions, and I never walk out of there without three new dresses. Oh yes, and dresses are my “thing,” I’ve officially stopped buying pants. 😉
What do you love about the looks that you wore for the “What’s Your Cubicle Chic” shoot?
I think it’s a pretty good reflection of my own personal style, which is to take classic pieces (the black blazer and the white shirtdress) and put my own spin on them. For example, the jacket is something my mother bought me for like $5 years ago, and it’s too large to wear as a business-y jacket-pants combo. However, it works perfectly as an oversized blazer that I can pair with items like the shirtdress, which, on it’s own, would be too sheer and short for the office, but looks chic when paired with the jacket.
Do you have any signature or favorite go-to items you couldn’t live without?
Absolutely! I could not bear to be with out my favorite nude pumps. They go with everything, and they add about four inches my 5’3 frame, which I love. I also have two rings that I would be lost without. One is from my grandfather, and the other is from my father. I always think of those two amazing men when I wear them, and they give me some happy, positive, confident vibes that I think are the the best way to top off any outfit!
Where do you find your style inspiration?
I am a magazine fiend. Honestly, it’s ridiculous how many magazines I subscribe to (12 is not too many, right?). So mostly, my inspiration comes from the pages of BAZAAR, Vogue, Marie Claire, New York, etc. Beyond that, I adore reading fashion blogs and sites. I’m always intrigued by interesting ways to put together clothing, mix fabrics and prints, and just interpret what’s on the runway and en vogue into something totally unique. Some of my favorite bloggers are What I Wore, My Style Pill, The Clothes Horse, and, of course, The Sartorialist.
Have you ever made some fashion faux-pas that you now regret?
More than I can count, undoubtedly! My mother dressed me until I was in middle school and I realized that that just needed to stop; but, the years prior to that were filled with huge hairbows, massive knit sweaters with huge jewels and puppies on them, and more pink flounces that should ever happen to a person. Then, when I was in the fourth grade, I had this pair purple velour overalls that I literally wore until they just fell apart from overuse. They were hideous, but I thought they were fabulous. And then, my freshman year in college was when gaucho pants were very en vogue, and don’t worry, I had three different pairs. They looked horrendous on me, but I did not let that stop me.
What’s the best part of living, working and integrating your style into your life in NYC?
I adore everything about New York; from the dirty subway rats to the towering skyline. I love it all, and I count my blessings every single day that I live in such an amazing city. One of my favorite things about it is that it’s filled with so many different people, with so many different styles and attitudes. New York is one place where taking a fashion risk is welcomed and respected, and I have definitely felt that rub off on my sartorial taste. For example, I went back home for the holidays last year, and I wore something I wouldn’t have thought was bold or flashy (skinny black jeans, a black leather jacket, nude heels) when hanging out with my friends, and they all said I looked “so New York,” which… well, I’m still not sure if that was a compliment, but I certainly took it as such.
What’s the most difficult part? 😉
Feeling like I always have to look great! As much as I love getting dressed for the day, there are times when I miss rolling out of bed and schlepping around town in sweatpants and some ratty old college tee. Maybe this is a reflection of my own insecurities, but I would never think of wearing sweatpants or flipflops outside anymore.
As a freelancer, do you feel like you get to express your style in your “home” attire and your “office” attire?
Definitely! I don’t buy clothing that I am not proud to wear as a reflection of who I am. The only difference between the “home” and “office” looks is (hopefully!) that my “office” attire is more polished than my “home” attire. For example, usually something I would wear at home is also something I would also wear to the office, but with the addition of heels and earrings. I definitely put more thought and effort into an outfit I would wear into the office, just because, clearly, I want to be taken seriously as someone who works in the fashion/beauty industry.
Any style tips for aspiring beauty “dot com” freelancers?
My mentality, and this is may not be not true for everyone, is that freelancers don’t have the same leeway that those on-staff have to go for a relaxed look. When I am meeting with my boss, I try and always look polished, professional, and chic, regardless of whether I’ll be in the office for 30 minutes or all day long. This is perhaps the one in-person impression I’m going to give my team members for a week or two, and I want to make sure I’m representing myself as best I can. You may not be able to judge a book by it’s cover, but a well-dressed cover certainly makes for a far better impression than an ill-dressed one.