Dressing as a form of self-expression is a daunting task to undertake, but throwing a workplace dress code into the mix creates a new level of difficulty. Be it a power suit-and-briefcase environment or an all-black and pants-only service job uniform, standing out and conveying one’s personality proves to be a challenge. The answer, according to Chloe Whitestone at Brew Ha Ha! Café, is in the little details.
“I love lipstick, because my face is the only thing where I can truly show off some personality,” states Whitestone (Photos 1 and 5). “My khakis are covered in espresso grinds, so I try to balance that with fab makeup and the occasional jewelry – dangly earrings and rings are easy ways to excite things up without getting in the way of working.”
Considering the fast-paced nature of a bustling café, ease and practicality are essential conditions for any barista’s accessorizing. Nail art finds a new revival here, as espresso experts flash ombré, 3-D, tie-dye, and sparkly manicures on their busy hands. Jackie Stafford’s hot pink and glitter-tipped nails (Photo 3) add a pop interest to an all-black ensemble.
Hair must also be kept up and out of the way during work hours, but even that offers new ground to cover stylistically. “Sometimes I wrap my bun or ponytail in ribbons, or wear headbands and bandanas,” says Whitestone. Barista Rachel Jones, on the other hand, opts for a subtle pastel stripe to accent a casual yet efficient top knot (Photo 4).
This blend of eclectic accents and basic dress code rules doesn’t come together on its own, especially not in the case of early morning shifts. “ I always have a basic template of winged eyeliner, curled lashes with mascara, light powder foundation, and small earring hoops,” says Whitestone. “From there, I add one or two things to spark up my look.”
Whether you head out to the office with latte in hand or are the one brewing the caffeinated libations, this is certainly sound advice to consider for your own everyday routine.