With the Covid-19 pandemic impacting all aspects of people’s lives, office workers are reimagining their fashion choices.
Comfort over Formality
The typical office attire of suits, shirts, and ties is losing its appeal as remote working and work from home become the new norm. Instead, a rising trend of home-wear such as sweatpants and baggy pajamas has taken over the fashion scene.
Impact on Women’s Wardrobes
COVID-19 has had a noticeable effect on the way women dress. With the shift to remote work, it has become normal for women to dress neatly from the waist up while wearing shorts or casual bottoms at home during Zoom meetings.
This wave of comfortable dressing has even made its way into high-rise office buildings. People are now seen moving across departments in socks, opting for a more relaxed approach to their work attire.
Deanna Narveson, a reporter from Baton Rouge, admits that even she has embraced a more casual style while working from home, though she tries not to appear too grumpy about it.
For women, this shift means less time and energy spent on outfit selection and more focus on completing work assignments. Mitali Saxena, CEO of convenience fashion brand Fashom, acknowledges the time-saving benefits of the new dress code. She emphasizes that women no longer need to spend hours choosing and preparing work clothes. Instead, they can effortlessly participate in online meetings while wearing comfortable t-shirts and leggings, without the need for ironing.
Amy Ankeles, a New Yorker working remotely, has found her own creative way of dressing. She follows the motto “dress standard on the upper body, but party style below.” This approach allows her to maintain a professional appearance during online meetings, while secretly wearing pajamas and slippers underneath.
Changes in Men’s Fashion
The change in fashion choices extends to men as well. Matt Triner, director of an IT consulting firm, notices that shorts and t-shirts, once a rarity at the Pentagon, have become more prevalent. The comfort-focused style has been embraced by various industries, including IT, startups, and even banking.
Goldman Sachs, a multinational investment bank, has been promoting a flexible dress code for the past two years, allowing employees to decide their preferred attire. This shift towards comfort and flexibility has been accelerated by the pandemic, causing traditional formal office wear to fade away.
Fashion designer David Hart, renowned for his high-end men’s fashion, acknowledges the transformation in workplace attire. He believes that people now prioritize comfort and openness over rigid suits. While personalization is becoming the trend, there is still an expectation of dressing appropriately for the workplace. It is unlikely for a bank employee to wear a rapper’s outfit while dealing with customers.
However, David Hart predicts that once the pandemic is under control, office fashion for men will return to its previous formality, with straight suits and ties making a comeback.
In conclusion, the Covid-19 pandemic has revolutionized the fashion choices of office workers, allowing them to prioritize comfort and creativity while maintaining professionalism. The line between work attire and home clothing has blurred, creating a new era of fashion flexibility.
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