So you got a spot on the New York trip; lucky you! Just when you thought the stress was over, you open your closet and think, “What do I wear to New York?”

While advertising professionals may not be rocking outfits straight off the runway, don’t underestimate the quirky styles of the creative department or the smart casual looks from the strategy team. Today, we will go over how to balance professionalism while still having a little bit of fun with your looks during the  Ad Society New York trip.

Women’s Style

Don’t feel constrained to pantsuits and pencil skirts. The beauty of a “smart casual” dress code allows for leeway with what to wear to the office. We are aiming for poise, so don’t be a poser. Relaxed, but nix the ringer tee. Here are some classic pieces that can tie together a perfect look for this upcoming Ad Society trip and your future as an advertising professional.


This article of clothing has a way of making a person seem like they put way more effort into their outfit than one actually did. Try a breathable fabric that allows for movement, such as this black piece from Zara.

Funky Coat

Mid-October means the weather is in the mid-50s in New York. The weather may not be bad for Northern natives, but a bit chilly for Floridians. Grab an easy outerwear piece that wouldn’t be a hassle to hold as you enter inside a warmer ad agency building. Plaid is a popular pattern this season and pairs well with a neutral look, like this one from Forever21.

Clean Sneakers

Repeat after me: You don’t need to wear heels! Walk around New York blister-free with a pair of clean sneakers (now is not the time to break out the shoes you wear to every tailgate). Many advertising professionals who work in the city wear unique sneakers for the optimal comfort level, such as these vintage-looking shoes from Reebok.

Men’s Style

Gone are the days of renting a $200 business suit. Ad agencies continue to bend the rules of what is acceptable to wear to the office. Dress the part with these pieces:

Bomber Jacket

Great news: You probably already have one in your closet! If not, go for a distinct fabric, such as corduroy, and a neutral tone to top off your outfit. What’s better than something that not only conveys professionalism but also keeps you warm? Here’s a chambray jacket from the GAP Factory that won’t break the bank.

Fitted Trousers

We may love our jeans, but to take your outfit to the next level, invest in a good pair of fitted trousers. From maroon to khaki, a good pair of pants is integral to creating a smart casual look. You can get away with a dark, fitted pair of jeans, but try these chino pants from PacSun and see how that can add to your look.


A classic pair of leather Derbies can go a long way. The style works for all kinds of businesswear, from suits to sweaters. These shoes will last for not only the entire trip but for your first job post-graduation. If leather isn’t your style, try a desert boot both comfortable and chic.

Why You Should Love Smart Casual

The beauty of smart casual is that we don’t have to stray too far from our closets; we can often work with the pieces we have cultivated as college students before heading out to the mall. The pieces suggested in the articles are just guidelines, not a strict dress code. The most important advice to remember is to dress professional, but not too professional. This is a precarious balance, but once you hit the agencies and see how people dress on a normal workday, you will soon realize there is not much too it.

The biggest takeaway is to feel confident in your outfit, no matter what you wear. CEOs wear Converse, too.

Written by Sandra Salvatierra