Ditching the office and working from home has had its high and lows but now with people having to go back to work, the question is, what to wear?
Going from a professional environment to your house was a big change and now returning to the office is making people think about what to wear. Of course, over the course of three months, we all learnt some rules about clothing when working from home. For instance, make sure your video is off if you’re shirtless as we’ve all seen that viral video making the rounds during the lockdown.
Obviously going back to work is going to be a huge change again. Not only are we all accustomed to rolling out of bed to our laptops but the whole work environment is going to change. New precautions, new rules, new hygiene measures; the office you knew, isn’t going to be the one you’re going back to.
Now among many workers, the norm for office attire has been shirts, pressed trousers and maybe even a tie but is that really necessary? We’ve just spent three months of our lives living in sweats and yesterday’s t-shirts. We’ve now had a taste of working in complete comfort and I think a lot of us like it.
So, if your place of work doesn’t have a strict dress code to abide by, then why not change it up? Everything else in the office has changed because of Covid-19 so why shouldn’t you?
SWITCH UP THE SHIRTS
Is a white long-sleeved button-up your norm? If so, it really doesn’t have to be. What you normally wear in the office doesn’t have to completely change, but it can be tweaked for a more casual approach.
When it comes to shirts don’t be boring and wear the same white cotton day-in-and-day-out. Your workplace may state you must wear a shirt, but there is far more out there than just a plain white one.
First off, mix up the style. Try a short-sleeved shirt, they will still look professional but you will have a bit more freedom of movement and comfort. You can also experiment with new fits as there is more to a wardrobe than just regular fit.
Now if you’re feeling confident try out some patterned shirts. It doesn’t have to be palm trees or anything too intense, just a subtle pattern which will be the world of difference to your workwear style.
PRIORITISE THE POLO
Smart casual is the go-to in your office? Well put away the button-up and opt for something a little more relaxed like a polo shirt. Gone are the days polos were seen as an old-man essential, now they have been reinvented and are ready to be your new essential.
Reduce all those buttons you’re used to for a small placket around a flat-knit collar. This small change makes dressing down still look polished and sophisticated. Easily paired with a pair of chinos and tucked in with a smart belt, the polo is a great alternative to shirts. With the option of opening up the buttons for a more casual approach, this is perfect to help you transition from a baggy tee to the boardroom again.
FANCY A TEE?
T-Shirts are one for the more casual offices out there. We aren’t saying the pizza-stained band tee you wore religiously over lockdown. No, we are talking sleek t-shirts with subtle branding or twin-tipped elements. Something smart but crazy comfortable and easy to slip on.
To get away with wearing a t-shirt, the rest of your clothing must be relatively smart, try a pair of chinos with a leather belt. Just dress up the t-shirt you choose to wear up when going back to the office so you blend in and nobody asks “what the hell does he think he is wearing?”
Obviously read the room before heading to a meeting with the bosses in a t-shirt, but if you can get away with it and there are no rules against them, try it out.
TAKE AWAY THE TROUSERS
Disclaimer, we are not advocating streaking in the office. We are, however, suggesting putting those trousers with the pressed creases to the back of your wardrobe.
Remember smart doesn’t always mean boring, so try out a pair of block-coloured chinos. Getting a decent pair of chinos in a versatile colour will look just as smart as trousers but have the added benefit of a more relaxed shape and feel.
If you’re able to, a smart pair of jeans can also be a great option for work. Ideally, to keep it professional, a pair of black slim-fit jeans are preferable. Avoid rips and major whiskering on the thighs as there is comfort, and then there is toeing the line.
KICKS OVER LOAFERS
Finally, the most controversial suggestion we have to offer: trainers. If you are really looking to up your level of comfort now your back in the office and your boss wouldn’t mind you wearing trainers, then do it.
A lot of people say you can judge a person directly from what’s on their feet, so that being said put those worn loafers to one side and get a good pair of footwear that will really reflect yourself and your style.
Make sure the trainers you opt for are box-fresh and not covered in mud stains. You need to keep looking smart, so even if you’re wearing a pair of kicks, the rest of your look needs to be kept sophisticated. Alternatively, if you can’t get away with trainers opt for a classic Chelsea boot.