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Lawyer Style vs. Startup Style

8-minute read

The Look: Lawyer Style vs. Startup Style | Poppy Barley Magazine


Connor Glynn


Lawyer at Parlee McLaws

Poppy Barley style(s) I own:

The Vancouver Chukka in Navy The Edmonton Oxford in Black The Jasper Derby in Black
The Look: Lawyer Style vs. Startup Style | Poppy Barley Magazine


Warren Johnston


Community Manager at Startup Edmonton

Poppy Barley style(s) I own:

The Vancouver Chukka in Black Nubuck The Vancouver Chukka in Grey The Toronto Brogue in Tan

What does a typical day look like?

Connor: Wake up, pretty early now because I have a five month child who likes to get up early, so I am usually up around 6 am. Walk the dog, get breaky, play with my son Jude and then it is off to work. I usually get here around 8-8:30. If I don’t have too busy of a schedule, I can work out, usually go for a run. And then I try to be home around 5:30 at the least and then I can take care of Jude duties. Warren: I get to meet tons of people to hear about what they’re working on and figure out how we can help – whether that’s connecting them with one of our programs, a monthly workshop, or a community event where they can plug in to some of the things going on in the city and connect with other creators and entrepreneurs. I try to provide some kind of value for everyone who comes our way. I spend a lot of time on campuses creating awareness around some of the opportunities available within Edmonton’s startup community - whether that’s an opportunity to access or learn about emerging technologies, connect with scaling companies that are hiring, or learning about how they can get started building a tech-enabled company. It’s great to help bridge the gap between students and some of the amazing things happening in Edmonton’s tech/startup community.

What kind of office environment do you work in?

Connor: It’s a traditional law office in that we have about 50 lawyers in our office who all have their own offices and then have a number of assistants surrounding us. Warren: We’re located on the top floor of the Mercer Warehouse in downtown Edmonton. The space is a great reflection of the needs of the 40+ companies that work here. There’s shared co-working spaces, private desks and suites, chat rooms, meeting rooms, video games, lego walls, and areas to connect with other members. It’s a repurposed warehouse with exposed brick and beams, 100-year-old wood floors, and tons of interesting businesses crammed into the floors below (tech companies, artists, agencies). We’re really spoiled, having some of Edmonton’s best food and drink available just a stairwell away, like the Mercer Tavern, Rostizado, Transcend Coffee, and soon to be Baijiu – it makes for a really close community feel throughout the different companies and people in the building.

What is the dress code?

The Look: Lawyer Style vs. Startup Style | Poppy Barley Magazine Connor: We have business casual for most of the lawyers. The younger lawyers need to be a little more dressed up so to speak, usually a suit and tie is required. Simply because they do not have structure in their days and can be asked to go do things at the last minute. Like going to court or meet clients. As you become more senior you have a little more control over your schedule and can plan your day in terms of what you are wearing, in terms of being casual or suit and tie. The Look: Lawyer Style vs. Startup Style | Poppy Barley Magazine Warren: There isn’t really a formal code, but I would say something along the lines of “smart casual” – everybody is encouraged to wear what best reflects their character and makes them feel comfortable. Some members will wear collared shirts and blazers, but it’s just as common to see someone in a t-shirt and jeans. There are some great t-shirts out there. I’ve seen someone wearing a tie-dye shirt with famous scientist faces on it, another with a shark wearing a monocle, and more often than not, at least somebody will be wearing a shirt with their team’s logo on it.

How do you add flare?

The Look: Lawyer Style vs. Startup Style | Poppy Barley Magazine Connor: Even from when I started practising back in 2000, it is more relaxed to some degree. Again it's one of those things that you earn through seniority, the longer you have been around, the more you can get away with. I am largely traditional, all while trying to add a little bit of flare. Maybe the pocket square, the socks or certain cuff links that draw the eye. Otherwise I don’t try to necessarily stand out with something flashy, I like the traditional attire more. The Look: Lawyer Style vs. Startup Style | Poppy Barley Magazine Warren: I like to get t-shirts from the startups and tech companies in town or in communities that I’ve visited, so I tend to wear them to work quite regularly. I also have a t shirt with an astronaut bear that I’m quite fond of and keep in the regular rotation.

How does this differ from your weekend wear?

Connor: I am very casual on the weekends, if possible I am in a t-shirt and shorts. It can be fun to get your best suit on and look your best, but it is also nice not to have to put the effort in. Warren: Not too much for the most part. On the weekends my partner Jenna and I spend a lot of time with our Weimaraner, Strider, so I’ll wear shoes and clothing that are more conducive to walking or camping and keeping up with him.

What's your favourite pair of Poppy Barleys? Why do you love them?

Connor: I really like chukkas, simply because they look so good, but are a casual boot that I can wear in the office on casual Fridays. They can go with a lot of different outfits and can look really good, especially when you take care of them and make them look nice and shiny. Warren: Grey Chukkas for sure. They were the second pair that I got, and until that point I thought my Brogues were the most comfortable dress shoes I’d ever had. After spending a day in the Chukkas I realized what I never thought was possible - they were even better! They’re a bit more casual, so I find more and more reasons to wear them regularly. I think my favourite thing about my Poppy Barley’s is that they’re so versatile. If you want them to stand out, they can stand out. If you want them to be more understated, they can do that too (or maybe just stand out the perfect amount). They’re also just recognizable enough for people who own and know about them to occasionally strike up a conversation.

What are you wearing right now?

The Look: Lawyer Style vs. Startup Style | Poppy Barley Magazine Connor: Because I am quite tall and I can’t buy anything off the rack without having alterations to it, I have come across a company called Indochino, which does great custom menswear. I am big champion of them and I talk about them all the time. I have an Indochino shirt and suit on, Poppy Barley shoes, I have my stirling watch, which I got just before I got married and wore it for the first time on my wedding day. I think that’s it! The Look: Lawyer Style vs. Startup Style | Poppy Barley Magazine Warren: A short-sleeved shirt with a collar - is this called a polo? Or, is that a brand? Blue jeans and my Grey Chukkas.

What does your style say about you?

Connor: I think sophisticated, but still relaxed. Warren: I think it says I’m more focused on other things.

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