01.12.2016

From work to play

Dressed for business, but ready to party


Words: Max Dylan Lazarus | Photography: Bevan Davis | Styling: Gabrielle Kannemeyer

Summer’s here, and it’s finally time to party! Or so you’d assume by looking at everyone’s Instagram stories. You, just like me and most other corporate drones, are quietly keeping it under wraps that you need to be back in the office at 7:30 tomorrow morning. You’ve managed to salvage a week-and-a-half of leave over the Christmas period, but otherwise you’re here with the rest of us, checking your emails, going through the motions, silently nursing your hangovers from big nights out, trying to enjoy that December lifestyle while maintaining your 9-5.

At this time of year, every hint helps. You apply every lifehack you’ve ever heard, from always having a towel and beach bats packed (just in case), to turning your desk’s top drawer into both an emergency bar and a Panado silo. When it comes to dressing, a lot depends on the particular work environment you find yourself in. But whatever it is, be it corporate and stifled, or casual and unkempt, a boardroom-to-bar solution can be found in smartly selected jackets and shoes. Tiny little adaptations can make the difference and help you transition from work to play in no time.

The high flyer

Where do you work and what do you do?

An advertising agency – you’re not a “creative” though, oh no, you couldn’t do that, you don’t have the imagination, those guys always impress you so much with how their minds work. What do you do? You crunch numbers, or manage accounts – you know, “useful” work.

The uniform

“Here at Blah Blah & Co. we like to keep a down-to-earth work environment. We feel that people work best when they’re comfortable, so please, don’t feel shy to come to work in neat jeans and sneakers – feel free to express yourselves. Yes, question at the back? Can you wear T-shirts to work? Absolutely not, we’re not savages.”

What’s for lunch today?

Kauai Princess Wrap from the Virgin Active next door. Don’t get me started on Nu.

Water cooler discussion topic

“Can you hook me up with a free ticket for this weekend’s party? Shaun from the data analytics team sorted me out last time, but I think it would be a bit too cheeky to ask him again…”

From work to play

You’re basically all set to go out if you’re just heading to dinner or drinks with friends, but say you’re heading from the party, to the club, to the friend-from-out-of-town’s friend’s friend’s party in the penthouse suite, then the key is to keep a tailored blazer on-hand and pair it with rolled jeans and a crisp shirt – now you’re good to go.

The scene kid

Where do you work and what do you do?

Social media manager at an online fashion retailer

The uniform

Two words: On trend. Or maybe it’s one hyphenated word in this instance – who really knows? The company, as a fashion authority, allows employees to dress as stylishly as they please, and some people (yourself included) are on a different level to the others. You could come to work in a 90s-style surfing rash vest if you were so inclined (you’re really not), but the point is, people wouldn’t even question it. You know what’s what.

What’s for lunch today?

Rocket.

Water cooler discussion topic

“Okay, I swear, THIS is the last straw – I’m done with Kanye!”

From work to play

You’re already more in-the-know than the author of this blog post, so you don’t need me lecturing you on how to transform your outfit for your big night out. Add some texture with a leather jacket. Wear some leather shoes. Put on a leather hat. Get into your leather car and go have fun at your local leather party. Leather is classic and also cool.

The casual colleague

Where do you work and what do you do?

You’re literally the only person here who knows how everything works. You quietly get on with your business, putting out fires, safe in the knowledge that you’re indispensable. You’re part engineer, part HR, part logistics and part angel.

The uniform

Whatever the hell you want. You’re pretty much the only person keeping things afloat here anyway – what good will the CEOs and the accountants and copywriters be after the nuclear winter, hey? Hey, dad? Tell me. I’m quitting school, there’s money in gaming, just you wait and see. Seriously though, you managed to get a clause in your contract saying that you don’t have to wear shoes to the office if you don’t want to. You’re that highly valued.

What’s for lunch today?

Heated slice of yesterday’s pizza. You’ll snack on some slap chips later from the secret spot around the corner later. All this at the salad table, let them suffer a bit.

Water cooler discussion topic

“Is Westworld a brilliant show, or just a well-produced average one?”

From work to play

Listen, considering the way you dress for work, I think it’s fair to assume you have no intention of heading straight to Shimmy Beach Club direct from the office. Not your style, you hate the crowd. Your idea of December fun involves more friends and a lot less prep. Just throw on a bomber to neaten it all up a bit, and try be a little less cynical, will you? You’re out here to socialise and have fun, so enjoy.

The future cool dad

Where do you work and what do you do?

You either run a successful youth culture blog or you’re the marketing manager for Vans.

The uniform

You’re older than your target market (a source of occasional distress), and while you recognise the changing trends in fashion, you stick to classic styles. Monochrome palettes, timeless labels, and an aesthetic that says “I’ll happily tell you about my hand-poked tattoos, but buy me a drink first”.

What’s for lunch today?

Some potjie from the weekend – you made enough to last the next 10 days. Swerve Pick n Pay, the key is to get a big hunk of bone from a butcher who knows his art.

Water cooler discussion topic

The next surfing trip, either up to Elands or do a full trek ending at Supertubes.

From work to play

You always have a spare T-shirt in your work bag, along with the emergency jacket permanently resting on the back of your office chair. But on the whole your look doesn’t change much ever when it’s time to go out. People who expect you to dress to their specifications for their event have clearly never met you. You’re already presentable and on-point, and you certainly haven’t been put on the list to do yourself a favour – if they don’t like it, too bad.

The big boss

Where do you work and what do you do?

You’re the boss, you’re in charge, and while a few years ago you would have been the first in line at the Christmas party downing shots and getting loose, it’s time to really lead by example to help the team grow. That’s not to say others shouldn’t be getting smashed and having fun, on the contrary that’s the sign of a healthy work environment – rather, as the captain of this ship, you have to maintain a level of decorum at all times. This is your sacrifice. Your burden to carry.

The uniform

Crisp shirt, blazer and tie, with patent leather shoes, or some exclusive sneakers – you’re one of those “cool” CEOs. If you have no meetings on a given day you might wear tapered jeans, but a collared shirt always comes standard. Your employees have never seen your upper arms.

What’s for lunch today?

Either sushi from Fishmonger or a steak from The Grillhouse.

Water cooler discussion topic

“People see me and see the suit, but they know I’m rock ‘n’ roll through and through. You know ‘Live fast, die young’? Not my way. Live fast, sure. Too bloody fast sometimes! But die young? Nah, die old.”

From work to play

A moment of weakness. Too many congratulatory tequilas. There’s a fine line between making your employees feel appreciated by being a bit more open and candid, and singing “Can’t Fight the Moonlight” on top of the bar having set your trousers on fire buying a round of Flaming Lamborghinis. Bizarrely, your employees respect you more for this.

https://superbalist.com/thewayofus/2016/11/16/raheem-kemet/1012
https://superbalist.com/thewayofus/2016/11/28/occasionwear-hloni-coleman/822
https://superbalist.com/thewayofus/2016/11/17/everyman-gets-gifted/828