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  • Janine - Own Your Style

Embrace the new relaxed working wardrobe!

After a year of lockdowns, 2021 has certainly not been the smooth pathway out of Covid-19 that we all first thought it would be has it! However, fingers crossed (tightly), now more and more adults are double vaccinated here in the UK, we are all venturing out more as restrictions lift. So as we emerge from our home offices (aka kitchen tables) and head back into the office what will we be wearing for the second half of 2021!

Some of you will be pleased to know that the demand for dressing up again has definitely increased. It's been proven that how we dress and the environment which we work can make such a difference to how we feel each day. So it's time to cast those joggers aside for the weekend or evenings on the sofa as the hype for lounge wear slows down and time to get those bras back on ladies (how liberating it has been not having to wear one everyday - lol) - but its time to face the world again!

Although heading back to the office is definitely healthy for our mental health as is the environment we work in but did you know what we wear also has a massive impact on how we feel too. When we feel good about how we look we feel more confident inside and the confidence we project then influences those around us too.

Adhering to strict work dress codes has changed over the past year as people have adopted a more relaxed attitude to work dressing and this won't change going forward as more and more companies opt for hybrid working week, splitting work from home and the office equally. This means more freedom of choice in what to wear but of course there are still those meetings and occasions where the formality of getting dressed up for the office or a meeting will be required.

In a recent survey by TOG, 54% of respondants agreed their perception of workwear has changed since the pandemic and 27% said their style has changed completely since the last time they worked in an office environment. 31% of people surveryed said they needed to adapt their wardrobe to reflect the new flexibility of mixed home and office working, whilst 38% said they wanted their new workwear wardrobe to maintain the comfort they have become used to whilst working from home. Comfort remains the main priority along with the need to look professionand and to fit in with colleagues. This doesn't mean people wanted to wear jogging bottoms and gym wear though, only. 4% said they would wear a tracksuit to the office (thank goodness for that!).

Workplace fashion is definitely changing though and it will become more casual as workers get more freedom to express themselves personally through their own signature style which will in turn enhance their performance and mental health - we all know when we are authentically ourselves we perform better.

34% of people surveyed said they feel happier and more confident in their role when they dress in their own style with 24% felt more productive so colour really can bring joy to the workplace.

To boost the mood when returning to work and for those of you who are now frightened of being more flamboyant in your style inject some bright colour into your day wearing some of the bold hues of this years trends including pink, red, yellow, green and orange. You could even opt for a 1970s vibe in a floral print in a blouse (see below) or maybe just a simple summer scarf. Remember wear red for energy, power and strength, Great for making a great first impression in a meeting! Wear pink for compassion and happiness. Pink and red are a bold choice together and are a perfect combination of bright colours when worn together this year. Orange is for fun, courage and confidence. Wear yellow for joy and creativity, Green is a healing and a calming colour and blue is great for trust and reliability.

This is THE green dress of 'the season' - remember two years ago the sell out spotty Zara dress, well this emerald green dress from Cos is the 2021 equivalant and its flying off the website. Comfort and style in one dress for £59.

Here are some key classic pieces that can take you from work to the weekend in comfort and style in a capsule wardrobe. These pieces can easily be mixed and matched with other pieces you already own, a quick reminder here that everything doesn't need to be new!

  1. The simple and uber classic breton top can be dressed up or down with trousers, skirts or jeans - wear on its own or with a scarf, add a navy blazer for extra style points.

  2. The navy blazer is a key piece for 2021, be it oversized or tailored there is a look to suit everyone. A classic piece that is always in style in my opinion but this year has made a bid for the top spot on the trend stakes again. Looks fab over shirts, t shirts, camisole tops or even for the more daring amongst you on its own buttoned up!

  3. A white oversized shirt from yours or your partners wardrobe, teamed with wide leg trousers or even dark wash jeans and heels for the office is a stylish look for anyone. Again teamed with a blazer for a polished office vibe and wear with a simple diamond necklace or an oversized chunky chain necklace for an up to the minute take on a classic look.

  4. A simple lightweight jumper can be worn over a blouse, on it's own or again with a scarf or necklace. On warmer days wear tied loosely over the shoulders for a relaxed look and add trainers or sneakers.

  5. For those with a more relaxed work environment the trusty sweatshirt makes its claim for a versatile piece in 2021 and can be worn over the breton, or a t shirt, on its own and with the blazer over the top. This can be a really classic dressed down look that still looks super stylish too.

  6. Add in a classic handbag, change high heels for this years loafers or for a chilled out friday vibe a pair of superga sneakers or white trainers - Veja - also a key look favoured by the Duchess of Cambridge.

Duke & Duchess of Cambridge June 2021 - photo credit Hello Magazine online

Here are some options of how to style these pieces together ...

Are you ready to embrace a new flexible way to working and what you wear to work ?

If you'd like help reinventing your wardrobe and your style for the office I am now taking bookings for Corporate Styling sessions - contact me for details and your free 20 minute Style Clarity call and lets get your wardrobe ready to reflect your individual style to enhance your wellbeing and productivity.

Why not book a place on my create your Dream Capsule Wardrobe online workshop on Tuesday 29th June - more details here and booking


Style & Brand Image Coach™

Credit to survey results from: https://www.theofficegroup.com/stories/future-of-work/report-the-work-wardrobe-embraces-a-flexible-future