I have a new hypothesis: A woman's shoes say more about her agency than about her personal style
Part of an agency's culture is how it looks. From super casual to buttoned-up, from flip flops to stilettos, women take cues from their co-workers about how to dress and just what exactly will be seen as cool and compliment-able. The agency uniform may have different colors and styles, but it's still part of what defines the place...
Allow me to illustrate with these cases:
The look: Stilettos and crisp jeans
Type of agency you're likely in: These women wear their effortless style like their easy brand leadership. They're from a big name agency. Maybe the biggest one in town. They walk by a bulging awards case on the way to a white table cloth lunch on a patio. They're the agency people come to town talking about.
The look: Casual skirts, eclectic prints and modern flats
Type of agency you're likely in: These women are from an agency of specialists. Likely small and choosy. A little green, a little quirky. They eat their yogurt and soy on the patio behind their office. Clients who work with them swear by them. Most everyone else says - wait, who?
The look: Pencil skirts and pumps
Type of agency you're likely in: First up, they probably changed their shoes. These women are from a hip, urban agency. They're practical - probably came to work in walking shoes, probably have a process that "works every time." They grab something for lunch on the run. Always have a granola bar and a slightly overripe piece of fruit on their desks, right beside three projects only half done. Clients trust their brand, but aren't always inspired by their work.
The look: Hoodies and pumas
Type of agency you're likely in: Well, first up, you're in the Midwest. This is the only place they even sell hoodies. Beyond that - you're probably at an agency that grew fast, that uses lots of young (read: cheap) talent and believes they work and play hard. Although, really, they probably scrape by on deadlines and have had quite enough of each other by the end of the day (thank you). They might split a pizza or divvy up meeting leftovers for lunch. They have a small front team and a big back office. They have lots of legends.
The look: Church clothes and practical shoes
Type of agency you're likely in: Market research. Enough said.
The look: Flowing pants and strappy sandals or knee-high boots (depending on the season)
Type of agency you're likely in: These women have a lot of corporate clients. They work in a big shop with lots of little practices. They spend a lot of time in front of people who they need to impress, but they also just spend a lot of time - long days, big commitments. They microwave calorie-controlled choices for lunch and sneak handfuls of mini reeses cups in the afternoon. They might be in a suburb and likely specialize in PR or niche advertising. People know them by their client roster.
The look: Corduroys and uggs or crocs
Type of agency you're likely in: The local college assigned "open your own agency" as a class project. Or the freelancers are loose in the conference room.