For Morenike Fajana, a public interest tenant lawyer, each workday can be different. Her daily schedule — appearing in court, meeting with clients, working in the office or going to see someone’s home — dictates what she wears. But no matter what, Morenike strives to look professional. “I already look young,” she says. “I’ve had clients ask if I was an intern. I don’t want them to be like, ‘Who is this person that I am trusting with my housing situation and my life?’” Ahead, she shows us five go-to outfits, including a fun weekend look…
“I studied abroad in London, which really influenced my style. There’s a culture of being a little more dressed up there that I found endearing; people seem to take clothes and fashion more seriously. The general look is very ‘smart,’ as they say in the U.K. — understated but chic. It’s also where I discovered Topshop. One day, on a whim, I checked out the men’s section, and they had really great blazers and sweaters. I found this jacket there, too. The key to wearing men’s clothing is to make all your other clothes form-fitting, so you’re not swimming in your outfit.
“My role is to represent tenants in Brooklyn Housing Court. (For example, I defend tenants in eviction cases and investigate landlords who may not be following the law.) When I go to court, I don’t like wearing a suit; it feels dowdy. So, as a way around it, I’ll wear a sheath dress with a blazer, and so do most of my female colleagues. A blazer is the key to making anything — even a sweater and leggings — look professional. The male lawyers wear suits, but change into khakis and button-ups when they get back to the office. It goes along with our work ethos. Because we’re a public interest non-profit representing low-income New Yorkers, we want to make sure our clients feel comfortable when they come in, not like we’re better than them or something.”