It’s like we’re all crawling out of a cellar we’ve been in for two years—albeit a cellar on Zoom and in comfortable clothes with our kids running around in the background. But now people are heading back to the office and the confusion about how to dress is real. We’ve run the gamut from formal to tech bro, but what do post-pandemic times hold?
I love right now. Not only are we reconnecting and seeing each other’s faces in-person again, but people are reinventing themselves, from the work they are choosing to do to their sartorial choices. It’s the natural result of emerging from such a serious and disconnected time.
I’m working with corporate executives who are switching careers and jobs and realizing that because no one at work knew them before, they can reinvent their executive style. There is a new focus on individual definition—instead of dressing for their co-workers, clients are expressing who they are. External definitions are giving way to internal ones, and personal style wins.
The New York Times business section published an article on “power casual” work wear recently, and included my thoughts, among others. The bottom line is that comfort isn’t going away, but how you present yourself still matters as the office beckons. There is really no difference between power casual and deconstructed office, the look I have been helping clients with for years. My male and female executives still need to look powerful and pulled-together, and do it in a way that expresses their individuality.
They also have to do it in new settings (hybrid workplace) and old (after-work events). There is a lot of confusion about how to move from the hybrid office to home or office to social events in this crazy new age. But my advice remains the same as it was before March 2020—optimize your personal style with an efficient, streamlined look and make it about you.
We’ve all gotten comfortable with elastic waistbands and loose fits, and now it’s time to blend that comfort with pulled-together style. No one is going to raise their eyebrows if you show up looking like you made an effort—it will set you apart (in a good way). My women executive clients are doing an amazing job of this right now. Keep a look out—they’ll be catching your eye soon.
And, as always, if it is time for some personal image consulting to optimize your lifestyle and personal brand, you know where to reach me!