Everything I've Stopped Wearing Since I Started Working Full-Time


(Image credit: @annaflorencelaplaca)

If you peered into my closet over a year ago and then again today, the two lineups staring back at you would look pretty different. When I made the transition from college into a full-time job, I didn't experience much (or really any) of the angst and discomfort everyone talks about. I was lucky enough to land my dream job at Who What Wear fresh out of school and felt beyond prepared to jump into working full-time—except when it came to my wardrobe. Suddenly, all the pieces I wore on repeat as a student would no longer do. I was moving to an office.

As much as I wore and loved things like my Birkenstocks, ripped-up jeans, and graphic sweatshirts for life on campus, I quickly learned they'd have to be retired (or at least put on hold until the weekend). Now, no one sat me down and said "wear this, not that"; instead, I simply decided to take stock of where my style is at now versus where it was before this distinctive life change.

What I found in the year since is that I've naturally moved away from my previously super-casual way of dressing and have embraced a bit more polish. Ahead, see which seven things I learned not to wear to work and which pieces I've gravitated toward instead.

Retired: Graphic sweatshirts and hoodies

Embraced: Fun blazers


(Image credit: @annaflorencelaplaca)

There's nothing that makes an outfit look put-together faster than throwing a blazer on top, and with so many cool blazer trends these days—like checkers and pastels—they've outweighed their cozier counterparts as my jacket of choice for the office. Although, it should be noted that I'll occasionally bring back my hoodies to layer underneath blazers for a streetwear feel.

Shop my blazer picks:

Retired: Heavily distressed jeans

Embraced: Tailored and dark-wash jeans

Much to my horror now, my denim trend of choice used to be heavily distressed jeans. These days, I keep the fraying to a minimum (a hem here or a slit there) and lean into darker washes that inherently look more put-together.

Shop my denim picks:

Retired: Sky-high stilettos

Embraced: Block and kitten heels


(Image credit: @annaflorencelaplaca)

Looking back, I cringe all the sky-high heels I wore to date parties and events. Teetering in a pair of six-inch stilettos was not a good look for me. Now that those days are behind me, I'm gladly retiring heels I can't walk in for block and kitten heels that can easily go from the office to an after-work event.

Shop my heel picks:

Retired: Mismatched statement jewelry

Embraced: Classic everyday staples


(Image credit: @annaflorencelaplaca)

These days, I like to keep my jewelry consistent. I wear all-gold pieces and have traded in quirky mismatched items for delicate layering picks like pendant necklaces and hoop earrings.

Shop my jewelry picks:

Retired: Canvas tote bags

Embraced: Leather carryalls

As a college student, I carried around my laptop and books everywhere I went, so anything nicer than a flimsy tote bag was inevitably going to take a beating. Working in an office now, though, I've updated my tote bag to a sleeker leather option that still holds everything but feels much more professional.

Shop my purse picks:

Retired: Too-tight crop tops

Embraced: Longer, looser-fitting crop tops


(Image credit: @annaflorencelaplaca)

I've reserved my tinier crop tops for the weekend. At work, I mix in more tops with slightly longer hemlines that hit perfectly (and don't reveal any midriff) when I'm wearing high-waisted jeans.

Shop my cropped picks:

Retired: Birkenstocks, Tevas, and flip-flops

Embraced: Slides and mules


(Image credit: @annaflorencelaplaca)

While walking all day around a college campus warranted the most practical footwear choices out there, I retired my Birkenstocks, Tevas, and other more casual sandals in place of sleeker—but no less comfortable—slides and mules.

Shop my shoe picks:

Next up, see which expensive-looking pieces I'm secretly buying on the cheap this fall.

Senior Editor

Anna is an editor on the fashion team at Who What Wear and has been at the company for over five years, having begun her career in the Los Angeles office before relocating to New York, where she's currently based. Having always been passionate about pursuing a career in fashion, she built up her experience interning at the likes of Michael Kors, A.L.C., and College Fashionista before joining the team as a post-graduate assistant editor. Anna has penned a number of interviews with Who What Wear's cover stars over the years, including A-listers Megan Fox, Issa Rae, and Emma Chamberlain. She's earned a reputation for scouting new and emerging brands from across the globe and championing them to our audience of millions. While fashion is her main wheelhouse, Anna led the launch of WWW Travels last year, a new lifestyle vertical that highlights all things travel through a fashion-person lens. She is passionate about shopping vintage, whether it be at a favorite local outpost or an on-the-road discovery, and has amassed a wardrobe full of unique finds. When she's not writing, you can find her shooting street imagery on her film camera, attempting to learn a fourth or fifth language, or planning her next trip across the globe.