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TikTok’s current trend in fashion involves ditching oversized and conservative clothing and embracing a more sexy and professional style in the workplace.
The latest style trend, known as the “office siren”, takes inspiration from fashion designers of the late ’90s and early 2000s, including Tom Ford’s Gucci era, Miu Miu, Sabato de Sarno’s Gucci Ancora, and Peter Hawkings’ debut with Tom Ford. The ideal image of an “office siren” is someone who loves form-fitting pencil skirts and prefers bling over blazers (unless they are tailored). However, the resurgence of this era has sparked debate over what is appropriate to wear in a professional setting, with a confident and feminine surge in work attire.
In September 2023, Asia Bieuville, a fashion student from Paris, shared her forecast for the upcoming year’s trends. Bieuville stated in a TikTok video, “September marks not only the start of a new school year, but also the beginning of the fashion season.”
Beside her video, Bieuville shared images from the official “office siren” mood board, featuring Bella Hadid in Gucci’s Spring/Summer 1998 coordinated skirt and top, a model on the runway wearing sheer knee-high socks and strappy heels, Gisele Bündchen in a turtleneck knit and croc mid-length skirt, Elsa Peretti’s waved bone cuff, and Chanel’s emblem Le Vernis nail polish.
She has a fashion sense that draws inspiration from the 1990s and 2000s with pieces from Calvin Klein’s archives, Dolce & Gabbana, and Ralph Lauren. She enjoys bold nail designs and accessorizes with chunky jewelry to make a statement, but keeps her outfits simple with high socks and little boots.
Bieuville added that she embodies all that we hope to achieve this season and year.
In an interview with Who What Wear, the TikToker discussed the reasons behind her belief that this trend poses a challenge to workplace culture and its unwritten dress standards.
Beuville expressed that there is a common belief that women must conform to masculine standards in order to gain respect and admiration in the corporate world. However, he believes there is another approach that is more alluring and fashionable. The ideal woman in this perspective is ambitious, embraces her sensuality and femininity, and is not concerned with others’ opinions. She demonstrates her capabilities through her deeds.
Samantha Jones, a character from Sex and the City, can be described as the epitome of style and inspiration.
Some fashion lovers have jumped on the “office siren” bandwagon by showcasing their vintage finds on social media. TikTok user Julia Quang uploaded a clip featuring her thrifted pieces that she believed embodied the “office siren” look. Quang displayed herself in tight knitwear, cropped blazers styled as shirts, and a grey maxi dress reminiscent of Rachel Green’s style from the late ’90s, perfectly capturing the essence of Ralph Lauren.
Some individuals have received positive feedback for returning to sophisticated silhouettes and incorporating bold and playful accessories into their style. However, there are those who believe that this fashion trend is not suitable for the workplace. A small number of people have expressed concerns about wearing items like revealing tops and unconventional stockings to the office.
A reviewer on X, previously known as Twitter, characterized the current trend of the “office siren” as a portrayal of what non-workers believe work is like.
“Be cautious if you decide to wear knee-high socks to work as your coworkers may make a ‘schoolgirl’ comment… Just a heads up,” warned another person.
Quang acknowledged in her video that individuals interested in the “office siren” trend may not realize that many of these fashion pieces are not suitable for a professional work environment. However, it is enjoyable to see them incorporate some “corporate” elements.
Bieuville had a different opinion, stating to Who What Wear: “The business aspect is still prominent, but the office siren adds a touch of playfulness with different materials, resulting in a delicate balance.”
The Independent has reached out to Bieuville and Quang for their responses.