Gen Z’s ‘Office Siren’ Aesthetic Embraces Corporate Fashion

Gen Z’s ‘Office Siren’ Aesthetic Embraces Corporate Fashion

20th Century Fox; Getty Images; Jenny Chang-Rodriguez/BI

  • The office siren aesthetic is one of the latest fashion trends to hit TikTok.
  • The aesthetic is to look like a “siren” at work and embody vintage office styles.
  • An example of a classic office siren? Rachel Green from Friends.

Gen Z is feeling nostalgic once again, but this time the generation is bringing it into the boardroom.

The “office siren” corporate aesthetic is taking over TikTok, but it’s not necessarily new. It combines high-fashion corporate looks with 90s and 2000s vintage appeal – perfect for the can’t-get-it Gen Z enough Y2K period.

“I think this is a trend is coming back because people are still leaning into their femininity while being a boss,” Elisabeth Kassab, founder of STYLISTCHECK, told Business Insider. “That’s the best way I can describe it. It’s the perfect blend of sexy and work-appropriate.”

The office siren look is bold red lips, pencil skirts, stilettos, turtlenecks, chunky jewelry and tons of neutrals and blacks. The goal is to make men stand out as iconic Greek mythological characters who use their looks to lure them into their suffering.

TikTokers who spoke to BI said they started noticing the trend in the fall. One mentioned the fashion brand Miu Miu, which introduced a dark secretary in its Fall/Winter collections.

Fashion TikToker Julia Quang told BI that aesthetics is more than clothing.

“He’s an enigma in the office,” Quang said. “He doesn’t make small talk. He’s a top performer, but he leaves at 5 p.m. in his long vintage coat and you never see or hear from him until 9 the next morning. The office sirens are just going off. He’s a hard worker. , but as the epitome of a mysterious woman who looks hot and sexy while doing it.”

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Quang, who has worked in uniform at a corporate job and post office, said she started a new job late last year with a strict dress code. As a fashionista, she said she tries to dress nicely at work, despite dress codes requiring employees to wear skirts of appropriate length and cover their midriffs. She said her office siren aesthetic began to emerge around the same time, when she accidentally decided to post her on-trend outfits.

“I like clothes that look flattering, and the office siren look is a great way to romanticize my everyday life,” Quang said.

But is the ‘office siren’ look appropriate for work?

Quang said women who may be worried about looking out of place in a corporate environment should start with a measured approach and determine what look is actually work-appropriate.

“I feel like people who make office siren outfit inspo videos don’t understand that you can’t wear most of these pieces in a real office or corporate setting, but it’s fun to see them added to ‘corporate’ elements,” says Quang.

As someone who must adhere to a dress code at work, she said her outfits are a good example of corporate-sanctioned ensembles.

“The Devil Wears Prada.”
20th Century Fox

Criticisms of the office siren aesthetic are that the look may not be practical or appropriate for work. Aesthetically related styles can sometimes include shorter skirts or tighter fitting dresses.

“It’s like a costume of what people who don’t work think what it’s like to work,” one user @aiomiiii wrote in a TikTok response to the recent flood of office siren content.

In the comments that followed, users agreed that some of the skimpier outfits they saw could send the employee straight to human resources.

It’s not clear that whoever posted these clothes did so with the intention of wearing them to the office. As fashion TikToker Erika Dwyer points out, put-together corporate looks are trending outside the office, too.

However, Dwyer said it’s possible to watch the office siren at your desk. One way to do this is to thrift or acquire actual work clothes from those eras to add to your wardrobe. he told BI.

“The office siren look is basically something that starts in the office,” Dwyer said. “I think a lot of this style is about accessories and style, not necessarily how tight it is, how low the top is or how short the skirt is… and I think it can definitely be practical for the office.”

How to achieve the office siren look

Kassab told BI that his look was influenced by the 2006 film The Devil Wears Prada starring Anne Hathaway.

Guang specifically referenced Gisele Bündchen’s character in the film, who wears black thin-rimmed glasses and a messy bun.

StyledbyRachel founder Rachel Varney cites the fashion choices of Rachel Green (played by Jennifer Aniston) on the classic ’90s sitcom Friends as an influence.

In short, the aesthetic is all about tapping into 90s and 2000s styles popularized by glamor women in the media—lawyer Joan Clayton in “Girlfriends,” 90s model Kate Moss in Calvin Klein, or even video game character Bayonetta.

Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green
NBCU Photo Bank/ Getty

Varney told BI that some ways to achieve this look are to stick to neutrals—espresso browns, charcoal grays, and blacks—and add some color and pattern. For example, a pair of leopard print heels or a striped blazer.

“The trend is about finding those classic work clothes, but with a feminine touch,” says Varney. “Sheer tights, frilly blouses, chunky jewelry, heels, and a dark lip are perfect examples.”

Additionally, even if you have 20/20 vision, investing in a pair of glasses can go a long way. Quang often dresses up blue light glasses with thin frames in their videos to bring their whistles together.

Dwyer says she’s seen a recent surge in people’s interest in wearing glasses again, with brands like Miu Miu and Gentle Monster bringing back the (non-functional) trend.

“I’ve seen so many people who don’t really wear glasses either buy glasses and take the lenses out or try to see what they’re saving,” Dwyer said. “So I think they’re going to come back as a bit of a statement.”

Kate Moss in a range of Calvin Klein fashion looks
Ron Galella Collection via Ron Galella, Ltd./Getty Images // Jan Jarecki/WWD/Penske Media via Getty Images // Ron Galella Collection via Ron Galella, Ltd./Getty Images

But the most important accessory of the office siren trend? Trust.

“It takes confidence to really embody the character,” Quang said. “Once you have confidence, then you can incorporate that aesthetic into your lifestyle.”

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