Pia Velasco
Updated March 04, 2020
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Merissa Principe, L.L. Bean, Herschel Supply Co.

Welcome to Workwear Wardrobe, where we look at the outfits that women nationwide are wearing for their jobs. We ask women to track their work clothes over a work week and break down their style. This month, Merissa Principe, a 28-year-old who spends half her time flying across the world, walks us through her work week.

Occupation: Pre-school teacher and travel writer

Industry: Education & Media

Employment Status: Part-Time

Location: New York, NY

HelloGiggles: What is your day-to-day work like as a part-time teacher/freelance writer?

Merissa Principe: As a freelance writer, my job takes me to various corners of the world. I honestly never have two weeks that look the same. Typically, I try to be home in New York Monday-Thursday and travel Thursday night to Sunday night. During the week, I run a part-day preschool and baby developmental movement program I designed while pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Development. When I’m not teaching, my career as a freelance travel writer takes me to a new city on a weekly basis. I’m always on the run to discover the best new destination, restaurant, or working on my life’s mission to save the planet one sea animal at a time.

HG: How do you put together your workwear outfits?

MP: When I’m teaching, you can find me in big comfy sweaters, athleisure wear, and easy to slip-on sneakers or boots. However, I do also have a lot of work events or meetings sprinkled throughout that week, so you’re either catching me at my best or at my Britney Spears getting Cheetos at a gas station. My weekend travels are a whole different ball game, though. I’m either drinking rum punch on a traditional Caribbean sailboat or I’m skiing in Switzerland enjoying farm-to-table alpine cheese at a Michelin starred restaurant. My wardrobe is definitely indicative of my environment, while still ringing true to my core aesthetic.

HG: What’s the most important thing you factor in when buying clothes?

MP: For me, the most important thing I factor in when buying clothes is fit, quality, and most importantly price. I love to incorporate low-end items with a bigger designer pull. My guilty pleasure is splurging on a well-made piece but I’m also one to score a great dupe on Amazon.

HG: Is there anything else you want to talk about regarding your style/workwear wardrobe?

MP: Another big factor weighing in on my purchases is sustainability. If it’s sustainably made that’s a big plus for me. As I mentioned, I really enjoy vintage shopping but for work events or trips, I love to rent clothes too. Rent the Runway and Nuuly are great nation-wide companies, but I love using the Wear Wardrobe app, a local based NYC-based company.

Monday

Merissa Principe

The day ahead: I just flew in Sunday night, so I’m scrambling to unpack and tackle a game plan of things I need to get done before my next trip later this week. In the morning, I take the subway and teach from 9-5. I have a few breaks in between where I pop into a coffee shop to tackle my email inbox for the week, outline any upcoming projects, and research trips. After work, I hit the gym to swim laps at the indoor pool before heading to an eyelash extensions appointment before returning home to unpack and finish laundry. I like to be comfy on an errand day, so my repertoire of black leggings is varied and endless.

What Merissa’s wearing: A chunky black sweater, a leather shearling jacket, small gold hoops, Amazon sunglasses, Adidas leggings, and Fila sneakers.

Shop similar styles:

1ASOS Stradivarius Aviator Jacket

$120
SHOP IT
Available at ASOS

2Adidas Women’s Essential 3-Stripe Leggings

$28 (orig. $35)
SHOP IT
Available at Macy's

3Fila Disruptor II Premium Sneaker

$49.99 (orig. $65)
SHOP IT
Available at DSW

Tuesday

Merissa Principe

The day ahead: I have a full schedule of teaching followed by a fun work event—”Visit Puerto Rico” is hosting an event in New York City to discuss the upcoming tourism season. There will be small bites and cocktails followed by an after-event drink with some industry friends, so I want to look nice. It’s rainy in the city but I’m going to take an Uber, so I decided to pair a sleek midi dress with booties and tights for warmth.

What Merissa’s wearing: A polka dot midi dress, black tights, heeled Aldo booties, an Amazon headband, and gold hoop earrings from Madewell.

Shop similar styles:

1re:named Catalina Midi Dress

$68
SHOP IT
Available at Shopbop

2Aldo Bensetti Ankle Boot

$140
SHOP IT
Available at Aldo

1J. Crew Black Opaque Tights

$19.50
SHOP IT
Available at J. Crew

Wednesday

Merissa Principe

The day ahead: It’s another rainy day so I’ve packed my raincoat (not pictured) and am running around the city. In addition to my normal schedule, I have a coffee meeting across the city towards the end of the day. Once I’m done teaching and having that meeting, I’m going to see a friend for drinks before he embarks on a national tour. When I know my day is going to be all over the place I like to dress in separates that can take me from day to night.

What Merissa’s wearing: A green-ish blazer, a black bodysuit, a pair of mom jeans, small gold hoop earrings, and her Urban Outfitters Chelsea boots (not pictured).

1Zara Double-Breasted Buttoned Blazer

$119
SHOP IT
Available at Zara

2H&M Mock-Turtleneck Bodysuit

$9.99
SHOP IT
Available at H&M

3Everlane Summer Jean

$68
SHOP IT
Available at Everlane

Thursday

Merissa Principe

The day ahead: I’m headed to the airpor for a work trip to one of America’s most underrated cities (IMHO), Portland, Oregon. I have a late-night flight, so dressing comfy is key for me. The forecast says rainy so I brought my Woolrich parka—it’s a raincoat and has a removable puffer underneath for added warmth.

What Merissa’s wearing: Lululemon Leggings, a white crop top, Fila sneakers, her Woolrich parka, and a Herschel Supply Company backpack.

Shop similar styles:

1Herschel Supply Co. Retreat Backpack

$90
SHOP IT
Available at Nordstrom

2L.L. Bean Luna Jacket

$89.99 (orig. $119)

1Topshop Crop Tee

$14
SHOP IT
Available at Nordstrom

Friday

Merissa Principe

The day ahead: Today, I’ll be checking out Voodoo Doughnuts, women-owned distilleries, and vintage clothing stores around Portland—there’s nowhere else I’d rather be vintage shopping than a city who’s slogan is “stay weird!” Obviously, I had to wear my mom’s vintage leather jacket from the ’70s for the occasion.

What Merissa’s wearing: Her mom’s vintage jacket, a vintage Fender t-shirt, a micro-purse from ASOS, white jeans, a black belt, her Urban Outfitters Chelsea boots, and Amazon sunglasses.

Shop similar styles:

1BLANKNYC Fringed Faux Leather Moto Jacket

$148
SHOP IT
Available at Bloomingdale's

2Everlane ’90s Cheeky Straight Jean

$78
SHOP IT
Available at Everlane

3Urban Outfitters Zoe Chelsea Boot

$69 (orig. $89)
SHOP IT
Available at Urban Outfitters

And that’s a wrap!