What Interior Designers Wear to Work




How does being an interior designer influence how you dress?

I wear a lot of business hats, so having a go-to look that will work for construction site meetings, client presentations, vendor meetings and designing is critical. I often have days that involve all of the above!  And being a designer means stylish is expected, yet feeling comfortable is equally important for my busy schedule. The convergence of these two principals is what I’m always striving for. A few of my favorite online spots are Intermix, Jarbo, Gilt and Moda Operandi.  And for inspiration, I couldn’t love Atlantic Pacific more. 


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Denise Headshot What Designers Wear to Work by Denise Morrison Interiors

What is the overall vibe you go for on any given work day?

Where do I start? Much like interior design, the basic pieces I love have great silhouettes and a simple color palette.  I then layer on specialty pieces that add the style I’m looking for.  I also love quality fabrics in simple styles. I have loads of cashmere sweaters I’ve collected over the years and I never tire of them.  Leather jackets and blazers are another go-to item that can even take jeans and t-shirts to business level. There is always one in my car in case I get rerouted from a  job site to a client meeting.

What does your go-to outfit consist of?

My go-to look is always a dress!  For me, feeling feminine and polished at the same time comes from the perfect dress. The ability to have one piece that you start with and layer from there is like the perfect upholstery piece that just needs fun pillows.  Same philosophy applies! I am tall, so midi length dresses are a perfect choice on me. I like black for both it’s slimming quality and neutral color palette. Even in Spring, a black dress will work with a cheerful blazer and shoe.



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How does being an interior designer influence how you dress?

As silly as it sounds, I am a big believer in “look good, feel good” in both my wardrobe and my approach to homes. When I have an outfit that I am excited about, it makes me feel more confident and ready to begin the day no matter what’s on the agenda. The same is with my home – when the bed is made, pillows properly fluffed, and surfaces accessorized, I just feel like “I got this!” With that, I love that I don’t have to wear a button down or suit to work. I can use my wardrobe to reflect my own style in a way that still exudes professionalism but in a more personable sense. Because many of our clients are coming to us for advice on creating a stylish and timeless home, I think it’s of the utmost importance to express that same sense in how we carry and present ourselves.


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What is the overall vibe you go for on any given work day?

Chic! Something that many people will look at and say, “Wow, I wouldn’t have thought to do that but…” Same goes for design. I don’t walk into a clothing store and buy an outfit that has been styled on a mannequin – I look for more unique combinations that reflect my personality.

What does your go-to outfit consist of?

I am a pretty planned person so I approach my work week wardrobe thoughtfully. I will typically plan out at least 2 days at a time and look for ways to differentiate each day – dress vs. pants, heel vs flat, color vs neutral, etc. My number one go-to is a high-waisted black pant paired with a black cashmere sweater, chunky slides, stacked bracelets + my time piece, and fun gold earrings. Black always looks chic!

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How does being an interior designer influence how you dress?

Thanks to my mother’s influence, fashion and style have always been a big part of my life (and wallet...oops!). She taught me the skills to literally shopping ‘til you drop. Every few months my mom, my sister and I would head out to the mall and shop from the minute the stores opened, until the stores kicked us out without any regard to hunger or exhaustion levels. I am thinking this is what lead to my strong work ethic today... Thanks Mom! ;-)

My goal as I get dressed everyday is to portray myself as a professional and creative designer. I imagine from a client’s perspective, it’s hard to trust your entire house with a designer who can’t even pull together an appropriate outfit. Interior design is such an exciting career and I get to use that excitement to play with the juxtaposition of styles in the way I dress every day.

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What is the overall vibe you go for on any given work day?

My daily outfit vibe is typically a combination of casual, professional, and classical pieces. I love mixing styles to create a look that is timeless with an unexpected piece to add my own personal flair. Growing up, my mom stressed the importance of the “third piece” rule. Which is: lets say your pants and shirt are the first and second pieces, the Third Piece Rule dictates that you add a sweater, vest, or accessory as your third piece to complete an outfit. 

I also love finding inspiration for my vibe from fashion bloggers. I look to them to see what they are wearing and how they are piecing together different styles to create their own look. One of my favorite go-to bloggers is Julie Sariñana aka “sincerelyjules”. I love how she puts together a casual pair of jeans with a boyfriend blazer and makes it a chic and professional look.

What does your go-to outfit consist of?

My go-to outfit is a dress paired with a structured jacket and a pair of chunky heeled booties or mules. I tend to avoid femininity while putting together designs for clients but when it comes to fashion I love a floral flowy dress. I love the juxtaposition of a loose dress with a structured blazer which brings it back down to my level. Then I add a pair of heels, usually close-toed for job site visits, to elevate the look. This whole look when put together communicates to others that I am a fun person but I take professionalism and my job very seriously.


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How does being an interior designer influence how you dress?

Scale, shape, and structure have been part of my life since my college days in architecture, and all of that still sneaks its way into my daily wardrobe choices! I’m always on the lookout for an interesting shape or finish choice to my standard three pieces - jacket, blouse, and pant. I am absolutely smitten with our neighbor Jarbo’s Cocoon Coat - an understated and classic take on the bell sleeve resurgence! Swooooning! I also love brass accents in a home when I can get away with it, and the same holds true in my accessories. Brass or rose gold pieces with unusual clasps, three dimensional geometric necklaces, and oversized watches are all standard in my collection at this point. I think the next skill I learn should be sewing - I can’t tell you how many fabrics I’ve seen at the office that I want to turn into a coat or skirt! #2018goals

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What is the overall vibe you go for on any given work day?

Durability is important to me in clothing as well as design - a family should be comfortable living their life in their home, regardless of what life throws in their path. I happen to feel the same about my wardrobe. I need to be comfortable and ready for anything the day throws at me, because my work day can change at the drop of a hat! Layering means I can go from the shop to the office, off to a client meeting or a job site visit, adding or subtracting as the task at hand changes. Having a mix of texture, different neutral tones, and something unexpected is a dependable equation for any given work day’s outfit - and that holds true as the basis for my projects!

What does your go-to outfit consist of?

A blocky heel or pump paired with a durable work pant, a blouse with some flutter, and an interesting jacket will win every day when I’m arguing with myself in the morning about what to wear. Throw in a punchy bright tassel earring  and I am ready to hit the road! If I need inspiration, I love seeing what Jasmine Star is rocking - you can always count on her tagging her sources, and she is after my own heart with her love of black/neutrals.

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So what’s the take-away? Always have a great blazer or leather jacket handy, a black dress is the perfect go-to item year round, and add color or style with shoes and accessories. I promise you will feel pulled together and confident, which is a great look on everyone.

Our go-to shop for this is Jarbo - a sweet boutique located in Newport Beach. We love their selection of timeless designs and high quality pieces. An essential shop to have when searching for professional wardrobe that you feel comfortable in! If you find yourself in the area we highly recommend stopping in to meet the wonderful staff and shop their handpicked selections. 

Visit Jarbo at 1827 Westcliff Drive Newport Beach, CA 92660 and then visit our friendly faces next door!

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