Legal firm urges staff to 'dress like you're going to Annabel's'

‘Dress like you’re going to Annabel’s’: Top legal firm scraps corporate dress code as it urges staff to ‘bring their personality’ to their work wardrobe (and Doc Martens are encouraged!)

  • Divorce lawyer Ayesha Vardag told staff to experiment with their wardrobe 
  • She said ‘sequined jacket or gold leather trousers’ are now office appropriate
  • Encouraged staff to dress like they’re going to private members club Annabel’s  
  • She previously banned her teams from wearing cardigans back in 2020
  • Read More: Inside London’s newest high society hotspot: Bacchanalia Mayfair

They are more used to being called to the bar than being asked to dress as if they were going to a posh one on a night off.

But now staff working for top divorce lawyer Ayesha Vardag have been told to choose their clothes for work as if they were going to Annabel’s nightclub.

The comparison with elegant outfits fit for the famed Mayfair venue beloved by celebrities and royalty was made in a memo which she sent to staff.

It also says that pink hair, scarlet Doc Martens boots and gold leather trousers would be fine to wear when not in court.

Top divorce lawyer Ayesha Vardag (pictured in 2015) has told her staff that they now need to approach their work wardrobe as if they were going for a night out at private member’s club Annabel’s in Mayfair

Miss Vardag,54, who has been dubbed the ‘Diva of Divorce’, wrote: ‘Times change and Vardags keeps moving – there was a time for our dress code with double cuffs and cufflinks, formal dark suits and jackets.

‘But now business suits are so much the domain of bankers and estate agents that they’re eschewed by some of the funkier London clubs.

‘So we’ll move on to a dress code more like Annabel’s – the essence being ELEGANCE.’

The memo, a copy of which has been seen by the Mail today, added: ‘Still formal, still absolutely top-end and appropriate to the luxury market with which we engage, not undermining your gravitas as a professional, but you don’t have to wear ties, you can still wear your suits if you like (and probably need to for court, more or less) but day to day if you fancy an electric blue sequinned jacket and gold leather trousers, if you want pink hair or scarlet DMs, if you want a purple velvet jacket, that’s all good.

Members of the private member’s club pictured enjoying a night out at Annabel’s in June 2022. The divorce lawyer wants her staff to start dressing  in a suitably glamorous fashion

Annabel’s is an exclusive private member’s club in Mayfair. Pictured with two guards manning the doors during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations last year

‘This is, by the way, non-gender-specific. Not scruffy or ungroomed, not hoody-techy (except for the techy people, who I appreciate are hard-wired to wear hoodies), not trashy, always in good taste, but you can all be as wildly fabulous as you feel like, and express yourselves to the full.

‘All part of one of our core values – bring your personality to work!’

Miss Vardag rose to prominence for her role in a landmark 2010 Supreme Court case which made prenuptial agreements legally enforceable in the UK.

The dress code at her London firm previously hit the headlines in 2020 when she told her 120 staff not to wear cardigans to work and said they should aim to look ‘executive’ and like ‘the president of a significant country’.

Miss Vardag told how she ‘once sent a trainee in a cardigan out of a client meeting until she could borrow or find a jacket to wear.’

She said jerseys and ‘stretchies’ can often ‘look a bit teenage or low-rent’ but tailored jackets or formal dresses or suits do tick the right boxes.

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