Workers and entrepreneurs who work remotely for over a year are split on office dress codes. There is another option.
1. It’s never been easier to dress casually at work.
Pajamas and sportswear are now the new pants and shirts, as the global pandemic has kept many people away from the office and at home. It is important to ask yourself if people will be willing to put on their sweatpants as vaccine rates rise and they return to work.
The short answer is yes and no. Jeff Galak, an associate professor of Marketing at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, believes there will be two outcomes. One, some businesses will continue to sell casual wear, and another will emerge. There could be a strong desire for a return to pre-pandemic “normalcy.” While sweatpants and Tshirts can be great for working remotely, it is important to wear business casual or traditional office attire. Remember the suits and skirts. This could serve as a psychological reminder to leave the pandemic behind.
Galak says that “most likely companies will differ in this regard” and that this is another distinguishing factor between companies or sectors. Galak says that while some will long for the old norm, others will seek a new one.
Vanessa Perry, the CEO and owner of Impeccable Credit Services in Houston, believes professional attire is essential. Your company requires all employees to dress professionally. This means that there is no need for jeans or sneakers, except on rare summer Fridays. Perry says, “This is representative of the company as a whole.” “If you work with professionals, expect them to appear professional.”
Other executives at the company agree with the dress code change and feel it reduces employee anxiety about returning to work. ThinkImpact CEO Sandra Craft from Boston says she recently changed the office dress code so employees can go to work one to two days per week. This allows them to “breathe a bit” and reduce stress.
People have worn casual clothes to work for many years before the pandemic. Mintel, a market research company, conducted a report in November 2020 on the “casualization of fashion” and found that nearly 25% of workers (full- or part-time) expect their employer to allow them to wear more casual clothes. In the future.
Alexis DeSalva Kahler is Mintel’s principal researcher for retail and ecommerce. “I don’t believe all workplaces will have the dress codes that they used to have because it’s just not how we live our lives anymore,” she says. It’s a good idea to discuss what people might bring back if you have thought about this, she suggests. It is important to remind employees about the company’s expectations. It is important to not leave the dress code of your company open to interpretation.
2. The hybrid approach
Fashion startups as well as established brands experienced huge sales spikes in sweatpants during the pandemic. But now that the population is returning to work, brands are making a pivotal move. plus. RicherPoorer is a Los Angeles-based clothing company that focuses on comfort staples such as sweatpants and T-shirts. Its e-commerce sales grew 500% in 2020 from 2019. Iva Pawling, the brand’s co-founder, is now a CEO. She says that the brand is focusing on making traditional garments outside of the home more comfortable, such as dresses and dress shirts.
Pawling says, “There’s all this clothing that we accept as the norm and that I don’t think consumers will accept any more when it comes to fashion.”
Many fashion brands, like RicherPoorer are betting on a hybrid approach to post-pandemic fashion. They understand that people want to feel comfortable and coordinated, which will reflect the hybrid lifestyle of working from home and at work. Andrew Wyatt is the CEO of CALA. CALA is a New York-based company that connects fashion brands with suppliers, distributors, and other businesses. Professional silhouettes are possible, but they will be made in more comfortable fabrics, such as cotton and woven fabrics. They can also be worn comfortably at work or at home. Some brands lean towards the traditional and feature floral dresses, while others are more traditional.
Wyatt says, “Deep down everyone hopes there’s a great line between the sand and that everyone will go home.” Hybrid clothing is what we really are looking at, from a design perspective.
Ameliora is a New York-based fashion brand. It makes wardrobe essentials with stretchy, breathable and high-performance fabrics. One example: Ameliora’s button-up shirt collection has sold over 8,000 units, 116% more than the previous year. The last 90 days. Adrienne Kronovet is the founder of the company. She says most clients buy bulk when they return to their offices.
People will still buy tailored jackets and party dresses, but a more casual dress code does not mean they will stop buying them. DeSalva Kahler says that enthusiasm for the future can lead people to buy clothes they won’t use every day or don’t need.
He says, “It’s likely that these types purchases will continue to impact the way you dress when you go out into the wild, but I don’t think they necessarily affect how we dress when returning to the office.” “Because no one is going back to work in the same fashion as before, the dress codes will change accordingly.