What I Wear to Work: Jen Rubio, President and Chief Brand Officer of Away

For her, comfort and power go hand in hand.

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(Image credit: Daniela Spector)

In a bi-weekly series, we're interviewing female executives, founders, CEOs—basically, boss ladies—on their one "power suit" a.k.a. the outfit they wear every day for easy dressing to conquer whatever the job throws at them.

At the airport, there's no mistaking an Away suitcase. You can tell by the sleek Instagram-friendly polycarbonate hardshell and the built-in battery pack (a top selling point) that it's from the luggage brand of stylish and savvy travelers.

The company, founded in 2015 by Jen Rubio and Stephanie Korey, hit profitability within two years of launching and has—as Away tells me—sold more than 1 million suitcases to your favorite influencers and stars like Gigi Hadid. (Personally, I own the bigger carry on in a baby blue hue. I love it.)

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Rubio wears an Une Heure cream sweater, Rosetta Getty pants, and Balenciaga shoes.'

(Image credit: Daniela Spector)

Success can be attributed to many factors, from the millennial-friendly marketing campaigns to the direct-to-consumer model, but as Rubio tells me, the intent was always to "create a travel brand and a product that people really love." Rubio herself flies more than 200,000 miles in a year. With so much time spent in the air, she's developed a unique approach to workwear. After all, what do you pack when you're spending a week in multiple cities with varying weather and events? Seems challenging, but Rubio doesn't fret over packing like most of us do, thanks to her work uniform. Read all about it, then snag similar pieces for yourself, ahead.

Her Morning Routine

"My mornings are the one thing I try to keep consistent. It's my me time. (I normally don’t wake up in the same space every week, as I’m traveling to multiple cities.) Whether I'm in a hotel or at home, I always check my phone. I know this is the opposite of what other people do, but it helps to calm any anxieties. Once I survey everything that's ahead of me, I can mentally plan around it. Whatever my first thing of the day is, I make sure to wake up three hours before that to workout, read, meditate, catch up on emails, or chat with my boyfriend, since usually we're not in the same place. Once I get to the office or to my meetings, I don’t dictate my own schedule, so I’m at the mercy of whatever my team has put together for me that day."

Packing is just getting dressed over multiple days. It’s less daunting if you approach it that way.

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"I think a general point of having a uniform is you have certain things you're sure of and go back to. It might not even be clothes, but a piece of jewelry or something small that makes you feel powerful and comfortable."

(Image credit: Daniela Spector)

Her Getting Dressed Strategy

"My strategy for packing is to just bring the things I need to get dressed, which sounds simple, but a lot of people are intimidated by packing because they approach it as this new thing that they haven’t done. Packing is just getting dressed over multiple days. It’s less daunting if you approach it that way. I wear whatever I want. If you look at our office, some people look like they’re about to go a wedding and some look like they've just walked in from the gym and everything in between. I want people to be comfortable and bring their best selves to work. For me, if I'm in the office with my team, I'm super casual, but if someone else is coming in to meet with me, then I'll throw on a blazer, tuck in my shirt, maybe add on jewelry."

Her Work Uniform

"My mood is different every day. What works for me is that I wear whatever I want, then I look back and see if there is a pattern in the pieces I choose. It turns out, I do have a pattern. I like wearing comfortable stretchy black pants, loose silk blouses or cream sweaters, blazers, or I like a short black suit because it looks dressy and while also being super comfortable. The brands I love range from Theory and James Perse for tops to Dior or Balenciaga for shoes.

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Rubio in a similar cream top and black pants look, though this time, the pieces are from James Perse and Chloé, respectively.

(Image credit: Daniela Spector)

I don’t think people will tell you I wear the same outfit every day, but if you look at all my articles of clothing, I have the same silhouette, styles, and colors that have become my uniform. My boyfriend—it’s great when people who don’t get fashion make observations—he was like, 'You do wear the same shirt every day, it’s just in different colors.' But he’s wrong. They’re silky things, so they look similar, but they're not the same piece. Everyone does gravitate towards certain cuts and fabrics and I think that's how you pick your uniform."

The Three Words That Describe Her Power Outfit

"Comfortable..I think it’s hard to assert power if you’re not comfy, put-together, and authentic. I feel like whenever I'm wearing a look I consider my power outfit, people tell me 'that’s very you.'"

Her Motto

"My favorite ring is from a company called FoundRae and it’s etched with the phrase, 'If not now, then when?' and that’s my motto for life."

If you love Jen's #bosswoman work style, shop similar pieces from her favorite brands, below.

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Marina Liao
Fashion Editor

Marina Liao is the former fashion news editor at MarieClaire.com, where she covered celebrity style (from Meghan Markle to Katie Holmes), fashion trends, and shopping advice, plus conducted original interviews with industry insiders. She's also had many opportunities to write content in other areas such as beauty, food, tech, and even home. Her previous fashion stints include POPSUGAR and Cosmopolitan.