2020 has been a turbulent year. A year to be forgotten. The pandemic seriously affected our lives by making normal activities limited or prohibited.
An ordinary, everyday activity like going to the office has been replaced by working from home. Interaction with colleagues and clients is now done by video conferencing. Away from the office, wearing facemasks in public places has become the norm. Adhering to social distancing rules has resulted in many social events being cancelled.
To a large extent, working from home has led to employees ditching their normal daily dress code and replacing it with casual wear because it is more comfortable. Although the trend towards less formal office wear started more than a decade ago, the pandemic has accelerated the shift away from formal wear.
After spending a large part of the year working from home, many are now used to wearing less formal attire and question if it is really necessary to
dress formally. To be more specific, what men used to wear in their daily professional lives was considered an indicator to their success, status and accomplishment. That is no longer the case in all industries. Although a suit and tie remains the accepted dress code for executives and senior management plus the banking, insurance and legal sectors.
It seems the changing rules governing what to wear are here to stay. Flannel and knitwear will be worn in the winter months and softer cotton and lighter fabrics in the summer. Shoes will also take-on a more sportive look. Easy to wear, comfortable garments will take prevalence over tailored suits, shirts and ties. Comfort will be the name of the game.
Covid 19 has led to significant changes in the fashion industry because there has been a decreased demand for formal wear. This has led to there being less demand for Australian Merino wool. Prices have halved. The wool mills in Northern Italy, where wool is woven to make fabric for tailors and suits world-wide, have been seriously affected by the pandemic.
Even the world renowned Savile Row in London is struggling. The biggest issue is tailors not being permitted to travel abroad to take the measurements of overseas clients. Plus, clients are not visiting the boutiques due to Covid restrictions.
It has become necessary for companies specializing in supplying suits, having to reinvent themselves in order to adapt to this accelerated shift in trend.
It is not only the garment industry that finds itself in difficult times. The shoe making industry has also been seriously affected by the Pandemic. Nowadays, working from home and wearing casual clothing, has resulted in less demand for formal footwear. Customers are now buying shoes which are more casual. Although there will always be a demand for sturdy, elegant brogue shoes, for day-to-day wear, people are choosing footwear that is practical and combines easily with their more casual attire.
Of course, this does not mean it will ever be acceptable to wear scruffy, worn out, trainers to the office! A smart pair of sneakers will be the ideal choice here. Avoid sneakers in outspoken bright colours with symbols and logos. Instead, go for a suede/leather ankle loafer, lace up sneaker. In summer, a low leather step-in loafer will complete the new summer outfit which is now regarded as the norm.
So what to wear to the office?[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]With the division between home and office wear fast becoming less defined, it shouldn’t be too difficult to decide what to wear. Dress to give the impression you thought about your look, in terms of colours and design. For example, a great look is wearing a Prince of Wales check sports jacket over a Donegal weave turtleneck. Normally the garment worn under a Prince of Wales check jacket should be plain but the Donegal check is a delicate pattern and combines perfectly thus creating harmony.
Wearing jeans in a darker shade will complete the look and make the combination more formal. The jeans should be slim fit. Threadbare or faded blue jeans should never be worn to the office. They will look too informal.
If you do prefer something more formal, go for chino’s because they are a little more formal than jeans. Now is the perfect time to start wearing them. They are available in many colours and patterns and are easy to combine with various items of clothing.
Lastly, simply finish this look with some leather shoes. If possible, in blue. You’ll be good to go!
The current situation gives you the opportunity to experiment with various looks and trends and also to bring some creativity to your wardrobe.