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How to Dress for a Job in the Creative Industries

Updated: Nov 13, 2019

Rule number one: working in the creative industries is not the job. Looking like you work in the creative industries is the job. The subtle art of invisible, odour-free effort. Hundreds of hours in front of the bedroom mirror, thousands of pounds in Acne - all to make yourself look as ridiculous as possible. If your mum would approve of your outfit then you’re doing it ALL WRONG. So, for those of you currently staring at a wardrobe full of sensible, flattering clothes and wondering where to start, here are some starter looks to get the juices flowing:


LOOK 1: Jumble-sale Cat Lady

A chaotic mess of thick knits, school-girl hair clips and chunky jewelry

Ironic farm animals emblazoned across the front of jumpers

Mad mid-calf tartan skirt

Thick decorative bifocals, despite having 20-20 vision

Migraine-inducing combinations of clashing colours and textures

£500 Balenciaga trainers coupled vaguely with Christmas socks


LOOK 2: Sexy Architect

Painfully stylish in a strict minimalist way

Only owns five personal possessions, all retailing at £500+ (even the pen)

Designer open-toed Jesus sandals

Trouser creases ironed in with a set-square and ruler

Never deviates from specific colour palette of black / navy / charcoal / midnight blue / light grey

Very clean and well manicured nails

Severely pressed box-fresh shirts

Wouldn’t be seen dead in activewear


LOOK 3: 70s Drug Dealer

Vaguely seedy cologne that smells like one-night stands

Tight denim jeans with hand cut bottoms leaving the hems artfully frayed

Elaborate collection of silk shirts covered with palm trees and zebra prints

Scraggy neck beard and moustache

Endless supply of Malboro Reds and chewing gum

Professional lounger and weirdly lean body despite taking no physical exercise

Sunglasses in-doors

Extensive collection of grubby retro gym shoes

Style icons include Napoleon Dynamite


LOOK 4: Nowhere Girl

Ever-present and tastefully distressed Led Zeppelin t-shirt

Bleached hair, dark roots and nibbled nails

Rickety limbs swathed in a collection of ripper garments that look as though they’ve been assembled from the contents of a boyfriend’s bedroom floor

Hands dripping in rings and covered in moody, cryptic tattoos

Asymmetric fringe

Occasionally opts for a string vest and no bra


LOOK 5: Wistful Car Mechanic

Likes utility work-wear despite working in an office on Old Street roundabout

Big on boiler suits and steel-capped shoes

Beanie hats to keep out the breeze on all those long nights spent in Siberian oil rigs

Hundreds of pockets filled with paper clips and air

Carhartt dungarees that smell of fabric softener

Silver chains

Impressive tuft of chest hair over white t-shirt


Written by Jess Bird

Illustrated by Jem Milton

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Cover illustration by Christopher Bragg

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