The office is not a fun place to be. Let alone, not one traditionally associated with dressing up and playing with wardrobe. Over the last few months though, the “office siren” look has been shaking up this expectation. The style reclaims the office as a sexy space, channeling confidence with a balance of darkness and mysterious energy. 

Photography by Jack Bridgland  via GQ-magazine.co.uk

Looks are built on black, grays, and moody neutral colors. Powerful and seductive, they feature skinny turtleneck silhouettes or tight-fitting button up blouses and blazers. Sometimes, thin cardigans or ribbed knits are styled for a more casual take. Long pencil skirts and tailored suit pants often don pinstripe or polka dot patterns. The siren element comes in with dark lips, eyes, and sleek hairstyles. Accessories are chic and minimal but must include a structured leather bag and bayonetta glasses. 

Miu Miu FW23 is a repeated reference for the style, with an obvious influence on the runway even several seasons later. 

Key models to look out for include Bella Hadid and Gabbriette. 

The style is a natural progression from overtly girly “coquette core” and “clean girl” aesthetics into a bolder, more mature energy. It makes a departure from Covid’s popularization of athleisure and work-from-home casual wear, playing on the fantasy of office life. The bland and uninspired day-to-day reality that most people want to escape is dramatized and sexified. It’s no longer about the quiet secretary or the clumsy personal assistant. Rather, “Office Siren” tells the story of a boss bitch. 

Julia Fox
photography by Rosaline Shahnavaz via instyle.com

The word “Siren” is used as a title, rather than the more general and common “Core”, suggesting an inherent element of seduction. To ask the question “does the office really need to be a sexy place?” would be to miss the mark. In this fantasy, sex appeal comes from confidence, personality and talent. The nerdy glasses are embraced, not thrown out as they were in our favorite childhood movie makeovers. It celebrates the idea that office wear no longer must appeal to the patriarchal structure but serves the empowerment of women. 

photography by Teresa Ciocia via 032c.com

Dressing well doesn’t necessarily demonstrate the ability to work well. Many fashion influencers and models have never worked a day in the office, and the younger generations have a decreased interest in office work, too. Given this, the “Office Siren” has been criticized as an insult to those who rely on office work, as if it is a form of dress up for those privileged with financial and professional freedom to never face this reality. But the look doesn’t have to be limited literally to the office space, inspiration can be taken into other contexts. It highlights the younger generations values of entrepreneurship. It celebrates independent women who build careers from the ground up and represent their businesses as their own boss. It takes skill and smarts to market yourself and present yourself in corporate settings, and that is exactly what the “Office Siren” look does. 

Kim Kardashian
photography by Jack Bridgland via GQ-magazine.co.uk
Julia Fox
photography by Rosaline Shahnavaz via instyle.com

For Kim Kardashian it means building an empire, for Julia Fox it means turning your life around, for both its being unforgettable and setting yourself apart. When they style as Office Siren, we witness what it means to achieve the modern dream. These women are successful enough to make “normal” conform to them. They are able to make “sexy” or “campy” or “crazy” a brand uniform. That’s what “Office Siren” is about.  

PS: Apparently, the men feel left out. But don’t worry, for those of you who do, FW24 saw many Maison’s bringing Office styles back to the runway in Men’s collections as well.