As early Y2K fashion starts to loosen its grip on our culture, a mid-aughts style sensibility is here to replace the low-rise cargo pants, mini skirts, and baby tees that dominated the last few years. Celebrities have started sporting business casual looks on and off the red carpet—but their take on workwear is anything but bland and overtly polished. Instead, they’re embracing the snarky corporate secretary trend, which fashion content creator @natgawd masterfully captured on TikTok.
The snarky corporate secretary dons off-kilter corporate wear, looking slightly disheveled but always chic. “She wears eyeshadow to the office, she wears current season designer despite working an entry-level position, and she dines on dry iceberg lettuce from the cafeteria for lunch,” @natgawd shares in her TikTok trend recap.
Today’s snarky corporate secretary comes from a long line of chic but chaotic mid-aughts predecessors. Think: Amanda Tanen from Ugly Betty, Lucy Wyman from the cult classic 13 Going on 30, and Serena (aka Gisele Bundchen) from The Devil Wears Prada. To put the trend in Sex and the City terms, the snarky corporate secretary is both a Miranda (due to the fitted pantsuits she often wears to her law firm) and a Samantha (due to the shapely and well-tailored looks she dons at her PR job).
A must-have statement piece in the snarky corporate secretary universe? A pair of skinny prescription opticals. It’s pure style irony, because the thin frames were once considered nerdy—maybe even embarrassing, especially in the actual mid-2000s. Now, they’re in style. And they’re being fully embraced by A-listers, supermodels, and fashion girlies—even on the red carpet.
Want to unleash your inner corporate chaos queen? Embrace the snarky corporate secretary trend by wearing:
Naturally, celebs have also given us a master class in chaotic-chic workwear. So if you’re looking for celeb-approved ways to wear the snarky corporate secretary trend, they’ve got you covered.
For the 2024 Golden Globes, Billie Eilish wore an oversized blazer over a striped blouse, and a khaki skirt with red socks and Mary Janes. The pop singer’s hair was up in a high bun, her bangs framing her face. The most memorable part of her outfit? Her skinny wire-framed glasses. Weeks earlier, at the Academy Museum Gala, she wore a pinstripe suit with the same tiny glasses. And at the 2024 Critics Choice Awards, Eilish paired a long black pencil skirt with a matching bustier corset top, layering both over a crisp white shirt dress. Once again, the superstar had her hair in a sophisticated bun, with tufts of dark red highlights tucked behind her ears and a pair of thin reading glasses on the bridge of her nose.
Starlet Reneé Rapp has also been seen wearing a pair of skinny prescription glasses and her hair up in a claw clip. She sported the look during a recent appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and while celebrating her 24th birthday. For her snarky corporate secretary look, Rapp wore dark red knee-high boots, a matching cargo skirt, and a slim-cut early-2000s burgundy leather jacket.
Bella Hadid has long been a fan of snarky business casual wear. She’s been known to pair rectangular green reading glasses with black business trousers—completing the look with a button-down and a pair of patent leather boots.
Model Amelia Gray shared a snap of herself last November sporting thin reading glasses, minimal makeup, and a glossy lip. Gray wore a pair of baggy low-rise jeans with a matching black cami, and she finished the look with a cozy cardigan that was only buttoned at the top.
Influencer Gabbriette is yet another fan of the snarky corporate secretary aesthetic. Just last fall, she wore a plain black cami and black rectangular glasses, and she boldly parted her hair to the side.
As preppy, uniform-esque fashion continues to dominate the runway—thanks to designers like Miu Miu and Sandy Liang—expect to see more people embracing TikTok’s snarky corporate secretary look. The trend is slightly messy, surprisingly sophisticated, and even elevated. It’s safe to say that in 2024, business wear doesn’t have to be boring.
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