When it comes to sartorial matters, the old adage is that you should “dress for the job you want, not the one you have.” Even as workplace fashion has evolved (devolved?) to a place where sweatpants are considered appropriate office attire, that conventional wisdom still holds true. It’s just that these days, dressing for the job you want might involve sporting a sweatshirt and sneakers. They just have to be the “right” sweatshirt and sneakers.

A similar approach should also be applied to your workspace. Your desk reflects on you the same way your clothes do. A disheveled desk with snack crumbs pebbled across a keyboard is not a good look. The concept of corner offices and C-suites has largely been replaced by open floorplans where even CEOs sit shoulder-to-shoulder with fellow employees. That means your “stuff” is out there for all your colleagues, including bosses, to see. So it’s worth it to put a little effort in so that your desk doesn’t look like the decor equivalent of a hangover.

Tiny upgrades also matter if you spend more time at your desk than at home. Your workspace should be a place that makes you feel a little less bad when your boss tells you he needs you to come in on the weekend and fill out TPS reports.

So instead of simply throwing your pens in a corporate logo-adorned coffee mug, take a moment and class up your desk with these well-designed accessories. Who knows? They might even help you get the job you want.


The Prospect

The Prospect

BARON VON FANCY PENCILS
$10, theprospectny.com
With great typography and sharp wit, Baron Von Fancy has elevated clever quips into an art form. These pencils are adorned with “I just put you at the top of my to do list,” which comes across as tongue-in-cheek and, since they’re all black, totally badass.


Rifle Paper

Rifle Paper

RIFLE PAPER CO. NOTEPAD
$8, riflepaperco.com
The most effective way to get shit done is to write it down. Plus, actually crossing an item off a list on paper is infinitely more satisfying than clicking a radio button on your computer. This handsome pad from Rifle Paper raises the stakes on the typical To Do list with its “Do or Die” messaging on top.

Moma Store

Moma Store

POWERCUBE
$20, momastore.org
Running out of sockets is as daunting as seeing your car’s gas gauge tickle “E” or watching your phone’s battery dip into the red. The PowerCube is a superior solution to walking around with a power strip all the time. It has four 3-prong outlets and two USB ports, so you’ll always be able to get juiced up.
Cover-Up

Cover-Up

COVER-UP STONE MACBOOK SKIN
From $74, cover-up.com
Sure, you could make your Apple laptop stand out by placing stickers all over it, but you’re not in high school anymore. A more elegant approach is this laptop skin that is crafted from actual slate. It creates a unique texture without adding any bulk or weight. The adhesive skin is just .7 millimeters thick and tips the scales at less than 80 grams.
Braun

Braun

BRAUN BNC002 CLOCK
$35, braun-clocks.com
There are no shortage of ways to find out what time it is, from your phone to the upper right corner of your computer. But when there is an analog clock around, it’s inevitably where your eye goes first. Braun is known for its minimal designs and this desk clock is no exception. Minimal doesn’t mean boring though, as the bright yellow second hand shows.
Swingline

Swingline

SWINGLINE CHROME STAPLER
$42.95, swingline.com
The red Swingline stapler may be more famous because of its role in Office Space, but this chrome edition is the more distinctive way to fasten papers together. Aside from being able to staple up to 25 sheets of paper, the mirrored finish doubles as an early-warning detector when your boss is sneaking up behind you.
Tanner Goods

Tanner Goods

TANNER GOODS BLOTTER PAD
$275, tannergoods.com
The blotter pad used to be a way to write fluidly without worrying about ink stains from a pen. That’s less of a problem these days. But this blotter pad crafted from English bridle leather still looks sharp resting beneath a laptop and doubling as a mouse pad.

Justin Tejada is a writer and editor based in New York City. Follow him on Twitter at @just_tejada and Instagram at @justin_tejada.