The new work uniform: dressing in the office after the pandemic

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New Yorkers are generally one step ahead of trends, even when it comes to the pandemic. The streets of Manhattan are teeming with vaccinated office workers, but one thing hasn’t returned with them: classic business attire. Wall Street lawyers and bankers return to the office in jeans, t-shirts and – panting – sportswear, according to The New York Times, and it’s a similar story near us.

The death of the classic work uniform is another part of our new normal, and it causes sartorial stress for some. “We have a lot of guys coming in now saying, ‘I want to get back into a suit, because it’s actually easier for me,’ says Tom Riley, manager of Australian high-end tailor Patrick Johnson Tailors. guys dress casually for work, they’re more exposed as an individual, not necessarily as a professional identity, so that creates challenges when meeting with clients.

Tom Riley says that it is best to invest in certain key pieces of the wardrobe.Credit:James harvey kelly

While we may never go back to formal office outfits five days a week, being our best can give that extra boost in confidence. So how can you smartly execute your casual style?

First step: relax. “People are emphasizing comfort, and we’re coming back to a more generous fit – it’s not that tight and skinny anymore,” says Riley. “There is a feeling of richness that can only come with a little volume. You can’t do this with clothes that are too tight.

Secondly: invest. It is better to buy better quality clothes, but fewer in number, and to revolve your wardrobe around a limited number of key pieces: “nice jeans, a well-fitted jacket, quality shoes”, Riley said. “Disposable fashion is really starting to leave a bad taste in people’s mouths. “

Third: mix and match. Men show their creativity by combining paradoxical and contrasting pieces, such as a weather-resistant technical jacket with a classic suit. “But it’s not like you can just wear regular mountaineering gear – it’s a real part of a contemporary wardrobe.”

Fourth: get dressed (grow up). “We’re moving away from the street youth and seeing more maturity in clothes,” says Riley. It could mean juxtaposing a tweed jacket over denim with a crisp Oxford shirt. “It has the attraction of looking a bit ‘daddy’ – but worn soft enough that it doesn’t look like an ‘op-shop’.”

And finally: recycle. Riley suggests choosing the best fashion from the past, but choosing wisely. “Nostalgia is important in clothing because it makes us feel warm, but it has to be done for the right reasons,” he says. “Some trends are transitory for a reason, but good ones are eternal and endlessly mixable.”

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