If we’re honest, we have to admit that the world will never be the same again. A new virus changed everything, and cultures across the planet had to adapt. Some things will return to a sense of normal, but some changes will prove permanent. Some changes should be permanent because they’re better. The fact that you really can order anything you want to your doorstep is awesome. More importantly, office wear has undergone a revolution. You aren’t going to be wearing the same clothes to work, and in a short time, movies and TVs that take place in old-school offices are going to feel foreign and weird.
The Work From Home (WFH) Explosion
It’s been a topic on everyone’s minds for a while. Work from home has exploded. Many jobs were made remote because of the pandemic, but as things come back online and people go back to the office, it’s apparent that working from home is going to be the new normal for a lot of jobs. It’s pretty simple. Now that the infrastructure is in place, it’s cheaper for many employers to have a remote workforce.
Since the way we work is changing rapidly, it only makes sense that workplace attire is changing too. Sure, some of you are still in a traditional office or still have a strict dress code. We’re not catering to you today, but you can keep reading. It’s ok to be jealous of the rest of us.
If you will be working from home for the foreseeable future, it’s time to acknowledge the obvious truth. There’s no reason to wear a uniform when no one can see you. Webcams — when they’re even used — only show the head and maybe some shoulder; this opens up an entirely new concept for at-work fashion, and we have some thoughts about that.
Exploiting the Camera - What To Wear While On Camera?
If you’ve ever worked from home, you’ve made jokes about not wearing pants. We can’t recommend going completely commando if your work involves video conferencing, but you can exploit the fact that the camera doesn’t show much. Play around with it when you get the chance and take a good look at what is actually in view. Pay attention to how that changes when you shift around and get comfortable.
At a minimum, you can employ the 2021 mullet. The traditional mullet emphasized business in the front and party in the back. The new mullet is business on top and party on the bottom.
You should feel free to embrace comfort. In the past, the idea of wearing a polo shirt with sweatpants was abominable. Now, it’s casual Friday — except every day is casual Friday; this is just the beginning of a new era in work. Do you feel the excitement? We sure do.
Impressing the Right People
The point of business attire is to represent a certain idea. If you’re never on video, business attire loses all value. Be comfy. See what it feels like to work in the buff (hint: it’s overrated and can chafe). But, as you have fun with the complete lack of restrictions, you want to avoid one common pitfall. Don’t let fun attire turn into careless attire. You still need to be hygienic, and you don’t want to turn into someone who goes to the store in tattered pajamas. We strive to be better than that here.
If you are on camera — whether frequently or not — you want to play to your audience. Some workgroups won’t care what you wear. You can have fun with that. Wear your silly t-shirts or a onesie, just because you can. When you need to have a video with a boss or client, plan around them and deploy your office wear mullet. You get the idea.
We’ve talked about the theory. Let’s get practical. These are some real office outfit ideas to help jumpstart your creativity.
Covering the Basis
Here’s the three-piece concept. You’re going to have a nice, long-sleeve shirt. You can pair that with the comfiest shorts imaginable. Then, you’re going to top it with a dad hat and sandals. That’s right. This outfit would get you denied access to any club, but it’s actually ideal for working from home.
Here are some specifics to help you think about crafting the outfit. For your shirt, you can go with a Uniqlo long-sleeve linen. For short, any will do, but we’re fans of Oliver shorts. Your hat you probably already own. As for the sandals, you can wear flip-flops, Birkenstocks, or whatever floats your boat. Feel free to sub in slippers or remain barefoot. Footwear freedom is probably the very best part of working from home.
Staying in Motion
It’s easy to get sedentary when you work from home. This outfit might inspire you to move around a little more when you get the chance. That’s why you’re going to have a nice top with athletic wear on the bottom.
A great shirt for any workday is an Everlane Oxford short-sleeve shirt. It’s fashionable and comfortable, and it’s easy to change in and out of if you take this idea of exercise seriously.
On the bottom, you’re going to wear joggers. Looking at our best spring shoes list has some great example, but the idea is to wear something you like for a workout. On your feet, you still have freedom, but wearing athletic shoes might reinforce the idea and help you actually get outside to start moving. When you get a break, go work up a sweat. You can swap back into your Oxford once you have to get on camera again.
Here’s the bottom line. Working from home is revolutionary. It took a long time to catch the kind of momentum we see now, but it’s finally here. It changes the game for many aspects of life, and there’s no reason to exclude fashion from that list. Exploit the camera. Stay in a traditional office outfit. Go completely crazy. Do whatever you want. This is an opportunity to rethink what you wear to work, and we think it’s a waste if you don’t have at least a little fun with it.