Before the coronavirus outbreak, corporate dress codes were absolutely necessary for traditional office jobs, consisting only of smart, more formal outfits. But with lockdowns and work-from-home measures we have experienced during the pandemic, many of us relied on loungewear and casual outfits for our everyday needs, even while working remotely. This effectively blurred the lines between casual and formal attire, creating a noticeable shift in work-appropriate outfits even as the world slowly goes back to normal. To that end, here are some new, pandemic-era dressing rules you might want to incorporate into your workwear as well:
Always prioritizing comfort
As we weren’t obligated to be in the office every day, organizing large meetings and networking with important clients, comfort became imperative. Instead of constricting traditional business attire, we mostly wore loungewear like sweats, leggings, and chunky knits while working at home. Only the more formal Zoom meetings forced us to dress up from the waist up, giving rise to ‘the Zoom shirt’ trend around the US.
Instead of negatively affecting our productivity, such relaxed dressing has proved to be quite beneficial for efficiency and allowing us to focus on important tasks. Evidently, comfort is set out to be one of the most important fashion trends even in a post-pandemic world, only tailored to suit the formality of the setting.
Choosing better footwear
Apart from clothing, this new need for comfort has translated into footwear as well. Rather than confining and often painful high heels, workwear now mostly includes lower and thicker heels that allow for comfort and support without sacrificing style.
The UK fashion scene, for instance, has even gone a step further, only choosing flat footwear for their business attire. Experimenting with more unconventional styles such as loafers, mules, and brogues, women are now being more playful with their formalwear, while still prioritizing comfort and a sense of fashion.
Opting for business casual
In places such as Australia, where yet another lockdown is currently in place, comfort and convenience have never been more important. With a growing need to work from home, the focus is now mostly on those simple and comfortable pieces that can easily be elevated to conform to a business casual or smart casual style, regardless of the pre-pandemic formality of the office.
For this reason, most women’s workwear in Australia is now focused on those classic and timeless pieces, mostly in soft, neutral colors, that can easily be mixed and matched, and worn to any office setting. This means choosing items that are simple and elegant enough to be worthy even of a more formal workplace, while still being delicate and comfortable enough to be worn at home.
Focusing on multifunctional pieces
This need for versatility continues all around the world, as the pandemic has likely reduced our need for shopping or even prevented us from allocating more funds towards fashion. As a result, women now invest in multifunctional clothing items that can be worn to a number of different events, thus creating a more functional wardrobe for less.
This usually means choosing those staple pieces that will never go out of style, such as fitted blazers, tailored trousers, simple cardigans, flowing blouses, and plain T-shirts. Not only are such items a perfect choice both for at-home and in-office work, but they can also be dressed up or down for any occasion, making them the most versatile option possible.
Investing more in daily outfits
As we were forced to be smarter and more creative with our everyday outfits during the pandemic, we can safely say that business attire has only gotten better due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Combining comfort and personal style with versatility and functionality, pandemic-era outfits are more intentional and better put-together than ever.
However, this isn’t the only aspect that improved our dressing. Spending most of our time at home in loungewear due to lockdowns has also created a need to invest more in our daily ensembles once we were able to step outside once again. Wanting to put our best foot forwards, workwear became more chic, elegant, and refined when we chose to do our best in order to feel better and more confident in our outfits.
The coronavirus pandemic has certainly affected every aspect of our lives, including how we dress for work. With comfort, versatility, and personal style now being at the forefront, there’s no denying flexibility will become the most important part of workwear in the post-pandemic world.