As summer gives way to autumn, we’ll have to adjust to more than cooler temperatures and nights drawing in. That’s because the turning of the season also coincides with a return to the workplace. Yes, our hiatus from work is finally over! For many of us, this means a gradual transition, with hybrid working becoming the new norm.
However, as excited as we are to emerge butterfly-like from our homes, post-lockdown fatigue means many are facing a wardrobe dilemma …namely, comfort versus style. Let’s face it, we’ve all been living in loungewear for the past year and a half. Conducting Zoom meetings in tracksuit bottoms, wearing onesies for the supermarket run and sometimes spending whole days in our pyjamas. So do we really have to revert back to what we wore before? Or is there a way we can blend our loungewear with workwear? The answer is an emphatic yes! By following some simple style rules and blending in the latest trends, you can maintain that level of comfort while still looking acceptably polished for the office.
Here are our tips for a stylish, yet comfortable, return to the workplace:
Cosy trousers are in
Once upon a time, office trousers were pleated, pressed and extremely fitted. However, this season, why not try incorporating wide-legged trousers into your work wardrobe? They’re stylish, extremely comfortable and are bang on trend for autumn/winter 2021. Wear them full length so they brush the ground, and pair with a loose shirt and loafers, and you’ll be emulating the catwalk looks from Carolina Herrera and Gucci.
Work that footwear
Apparently, all these months in flat shoes and walking around barefoot has led to our feet actually expanding slightly. So this will explain why those heels that you used to saunter along in Carrie Bradford-like are now so crippling! Well, fear not, the winter 2021 shoe trend is actually going to help your transition to proper footwear. Boots – ankle and knee high – can be worn with a high heel or as flats. Shearling and chunky boots will also be de rigeur, blending with your style and aesthetic. Likewise, loafers are really in. The best are highly embellished, giving you that bit of bling that can liven up even the most monochrome of outfits.
You can even continue rocking those white trainers. Just make sure they’re clean, and still a bright white. Whether you choose leather or canvas, trainers or slip-ons and flats or platforms, you’ll rock your style in some cool sneakers. Paired with a floaty dress, skirt or trousers, a white trainer means you’ll always step out in style.
Think loose and comfy
The news that Marks and Spencer’s is no longer selling men’s suits in many of its stores is the biggest signal to date that we’re moving into a new era of workwear. The high street giant may be shifting their stock to smart casuals, but this means that many of the separates you’ve been wearing will now be acceptable in even the most formal of settings.
You can swap that stiff, fitted shirt for the loose, comfy peasant style top you’ve been wearing at home. However, our advice is that if you’re wearing a more casual top, wear it with black or navy trousers. Likewise, if you’re wearing yoga style leggings, wear a tunic or shirt to lift the formality of the outfit.
Smarten your look with an oversized blazer
Formal, fitted blazers have always been the go-to for fashionistas looking to complete their outfit. However, soft, jersey blazers achieve the same effect and are a far more cosy choice. If you’re not aiming for a structured look, invest in a boyfriend-style, oversized blazer. This outerwear/office wear is set to be huge this season. It’s also perfect for popping over that lounge suit or floaty dress you adore, to lift your look from the sofa to the workplace.
Go for a bright shirt
This season, it’s about making an impact with colour. So if you’ve decided to go for comfy casual on your lower half, then brighten up your look with a bright coloured, loose-fitting shirt. For maximum impact, go for bright green, vivid fuchsia or scarlet red. These eye-popping colours will freshen up even the most monochrome of outfits, helping you go from drab to fab.
Adorn yourself to lift your look
Our final tip is to think jewellery. This season, to combat the paired down look we’ve all been embracing in lockdown, minimalist pieces will give way to statement and drama. Chunky chains, mismatched earrings and bright enamel pieces are all set to hit the high street, and can be just the finishing touch an outfit needs. Wearing mainly one colour? Pep it up with a bright pendant or choker. This is the ultimate way to elevate your look.
We hope these style tips help you navigate your way back to work. Whether you’re starting back on a staggered pattern or going straight to full time, by investing in the right pieces you can successfully incorporate loungewear into your work wardrobe. Good luck with the transition, and remember, you never need to compromise comfort for style!