DISCLOSURE: We may earn a commission when you use one of our links to make a purchase.

Ethical Office Chic a la Rachel Zane

By Rai Musk, 20 Jan 2020

Hunting for an ethical and sustainable office outfit is a bit of a mare - so I’ve done the hard graft for you and created a classic chic look inspired by the stunningly stylish Rachel Zane.
ethical office outfit chic

Tryna find an ethical and sustainable smart office outfit is a bit of a mare to be frank! So I’ve done the trawling, crawling and searching through the inter-web for you, yeah I’m one of the good souls ;P

The smart office look we at Baobab love is best illustrated by the character Rachel Zane (of Suits fame - a.k.a. Meghan Markle). Her look is just the ticket for inspiring a lasting office look: simple, timeless and practical. I tend to think of it as Parisian - style that is never high fashion so it’s gonna be wearable, and look great for years to come. Pure potent office chic.

Clothes! They’re a peculiar beast - we bung them on every day and they can have such an impact on how we feel. When I'm heading into the office I need to feel both comfy and confident, and my experience is that clothes have a massive impact on both. At work I need to to concentrate on what I’m employed to do and not shed a second thought on what I’ve donned for the day. Different looks work for different peeps - but hopefully my choices will encourage you to create your very own profesh’ business look that’s not just smart and sharp, but also ethical and sustainable. It’s more doable now than ever before, an’ Baobab Avenue is gathering more options for you to build your look as we add ever more brands.

When building your sustainable wardrobe you gonna want have pieces in it that are classic, timeless - not high fashion (in today - out tomorrow) but that are gonna sustain your look for years to come. So I’ve gone for pieces I think have proven they're gonna stand the test of ever-shifting fashion time.

Drum roll please as I unveil my gorgeous ethical chic outfit. I hope you love it as much as me, or it inspires you to develop your own - I'd love to see what you come up with as your elegant ethical office outfit - so please share!

Taaa- daaaaa!


Starting with the pencil skirt - WHOOOP WHOOOOOP!

Christian Dior designed the pencil skirt back in the fifties - since then it’s established itself as a staple of many a working woman’s wardrobe. I have a gorgeous tweed pencil skirt I brought sixteen years ago and it’s still going strong. I can wear it with a skinny belt or a wider one, or radically go sans-belt on occasion! Nowadays there are gorgeous stretchy fabrics like tencel which add to the comfort factor of the elegant pencil skirt design.

High-wasted and sculpting this gorgeous tencel pencil skirt from Ninety Percent is über flattering. In classic black which goes with everything pretty much in my office look. 90% of their distributable profits are shared between causes we support and the people who make their collection happen.

office outfit noomi top grey

Femininity is fabulous and feisty - OH YEAH BABY!

I like to pair the strong structure of a classic pencil skirt with a contrasting feminine, soft draping blouse. Tucked in - no scruffy hanging out here! Nothing weak or namby-pamby about having a softer edge to your slick work look. Super comfy and a real confidence booster for me - any lumps and bumps are well concealed under the gorgeous flow of fabric. Win win in my book. If you’ve got the confidence of Zane you can go for a classic body suit which will sit stunningly beneath a little cardie if you fancy softening the look or under a jacket if you’re powering up! I opt for soft muted nudes and dusky pinks - mellow soft colours, tryna avoid the office standard of white.

Bamboo, Tencel and organic cotton makes this soft floating Noomi blouse from Thought a delight to wear as it falls and drapes in the most beautiful manner. Frost grey, with a slight dusky pink tone is a stunning variation from the more common crisp white.

office outfit saina snake effect court shoes

Strut your stuff in stilettos (or fabulous flats)

Rachel Zane is oft’ spotted strutting her stuff in stilettos making these an absolute must for a top notch office outfit inspired by her character. Stilettos hit the fashion scene at the same time as the pencil skirt - designed by another French designer - Roger Vivier; as a result the two pair perfectly and make any office outfit tip top. Happily there is a wealth of options for smart stilettos which are ethically and sustainably made including the vegan ones I’ve chosen. I love how the snake effect faux leather brings together different tones and muted shades of greys. For those of us who struggle to wear stilettos when legging it for the train (something Rachel Zane never had to do) I’ve added some alternative flat shoes - vegan mock crock lace ups which are lush.

Rachel Zane would defs’ deck herself out in a pair of these spectacular stiletto snake-ffect faux leather vegan stunners! Fabulously flattering, easy to wear slip on style from Collection & Co. Shaped with a pointed toe and slim heel - they will rock every office outfit. They go great with both monochrome and more colour-injected outfits.

office outfit windsor brown tote bag

Bountious bag

Zane had a simply sublime collection of bags - generally spacious and practical for all her papers and bits and bobs. Generally Rachel would carry a bag the same colour or tone of her stylish stilettos or the top she was modelling. I’ve gone for a bag which goes with both BOOM! I love carryall bags, one bag I can dump all my **** in and head outta the house not worrying if I’ve got everything.

This Windsor carryall bag from LaBante London is a beaut - and the bonus - it’s made from recycled plastic bottles - 100% vegan. I love the colour - feminine and soft with loads of stunning details. A contrast inside colour lining, hardware plaques on the base and there’s also two detachable wallets embossed with the LaBante logo included - WAHEY!

office outfit black tights 60 denier

Tip TopTights

If you’re worried about your legs getting nippy on the commute there are ethical and sustainable tights available to keep your pins toasty.

These 60 Denier delights from The Legwear Co. are made in Italy and have Aloe Vera and Vitamin E embedded in the yarn help moisturise the skin! They also have control brief technology.

office outfit bodysuit white

Alternate top:

A great everyday timeless and essential piece from People tree perfect for layering. Great for beyond the work-place too! We love versatility of items as part of our sustainable approach. Extra soft organic cotton looking after your gorge’ skin and our gorge’ planet.

black moc crock vegan leather shoes

Alternate shoes:

For those of us who struggle with stilettos these mock croc leather vegan lace-ups are just the ticket. Beautifully made in Spain for Beyond Skin.