One of the biggest privileges of working from home, along with saving money on transportation, was wearing practically whatever you felt like at the moment. Those tight dress shirts and stuffy suit jackets got to remain in the closet. But now you are Going Back to Work
But as more company employees return to the office, many people have to relearn what is appropriate to wear to work. Part of the confusion in light of the two years of change brought on by the
Covid-19 pandemic is that in many areas of business, the strict dress code has loosened up, seemingly creating a new wardrobe category for work that many refer to as “business comfort.”
In order to navigate these changing times, here you will find some advice on how to stay comfortable if you’re going back to work.
Khakis and dress pants and khakis are forms of businesswear that aren’t disappearing at this moment.
For khakis, you have the ability to choose whichever pairs are in your budget, as long as they fit properly, with a slim fit better than squeezing into an airtight skinny pair of slim fit pants (not skinny).
“Stretch” khakis are made with technical fabrics for business casual; classic cotton is the way to go.
When it comes to dress pants, you can’t go wrong with sticking to colors like navy blue, black, and charcoal gray with a pleated or flat front.
There seems to be growing popularity for chinos as part of a business comfort look if your place of employment accepts them.
Twill pants look similar to chinos with the five-pocket construction resembling jeans a little too much to wear to work in a formal setting.
If your job offers quite a bit of casual comfort and flexibility in what they consider apparel that is appropriate for work, consider purchasing some commuter pants.
Shirt, No Tie
The heart and soul of a business casual outfit when you are also factoring in comfort is your choice of shirt.
Since you may be able to steer away from wearing a tie, pick a shirt that has a nicely fitted collar that is able to comfortably hug your neckline.
If your body type isn’t too restricted with a slim fit shirt, they are still popular enough to make sense in your work wardrobe.
Comfy and Classy Shoes
When you have a casual work wardrobe, you may have more flexibility in the shoes that you can sport at the job.
One day you can go sophisticated with classic oxford or derby dress shoes are obvious choices.
If management gives you enough wiggle room in the fashion department, you can return to work on enough days with more casual dress shoes like loafers and monk straps, or possibly even chukka desert boots or stylish Chelsea boots.
Brown is always a strong business casual choice that you can possibly also alternate with burgundy and black as well.
Better in a Sweater
During colder months, it is time to raise your sweater game to a higher level with knits that have shawl collars and cardigans that add a bit of informality to your look if that is tolerated.
Stay as far away as possible with sweaters that have loud colors and patterns, along with baggy, loose fits.
Stick with neutral solid colors like black, navy, brown, and beige.
Jackets and Blazers
A suit jacket or a blazer adds an element of class to any standard business casual outfit, especially in white-collar environments such as banking, law, or accounting that may have many meetings that you have to attend.
Make sure you have a navy blue blazer that you can pull out of your closet. A corduroy jacket or tweed sport coat can also work well with dark colors, and if it has patterns, they should be subtle and not draw any attention to themselves.
White Collar Jobs
Stick to long-sleeved dress shirts (like the Oxford) and classic colors such as light blue or white. Opt for solids and conservative stripes.
Dress pants, khakis, and dress shoes should also be your go-to work choices for white collar jobs.
Trendier and casual are a lot more acceptable if you work in more creative settings, such as tech startups that may permit flamboyant patterns, trim-cut polo shirts, dark denim, chino pants, suede boots, driving shoes, dressy boots, and classy sneakers.
You shouldn’t have any problem escaping the formal release of brown and black and be able to dive into clothing with red, green, and blue.
The more face-to-face customer interaction that you are going to have, the more formal your business casual attire needs to be.
You aren’t just an individual anymore; you are representing an entire company. Therefore, you will need button-down collar shirts for customer service-focused roles.
Usually, you may opt for chinos and khakis with other earth tone colors in the pants department, such as olive.
Just avoid anything with a big and obnoxious logo that is visible, and don’t wear sneakers.