Five Ways to Navigate a Shifting Dress Code

asian woman in reiss lara dress in blog post about shifting dress codes following covid lockdown restrictions lifting

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I’ve only started working out of the office again since last week.  And while I’m easing myself back in with some half days here and there – boy, am I out of practice!  While I am looking forward to getting back into the rhythm of things, the idea of being back in the office is still daunting.  Aside from getting accustomed to the social distancing measures in place in and around the office and navigating public transport, I’ve also found it challenging getting my head around the shifting dress codes which have noticeably relaxed given this extended period of remote working. 

If you’re returning to the office after an extended period of working from home, you may be struggling to navigate shifting wardrobe norms.  Do I still need to follow the old dress code?  Everyone’s so much more casual these days – will I look odd if I show up in my usual corporate dress?  How do I strike a balance? 

There’s enough for us all to worry about right now.  And your outfit is one area where you shouldn’t have to feel overwhelmed.  So here are five ways to make outfit-selection easier as you adapt to office life post-lockdown:

#1 – Dress down a formal suit with jeans and a tee

If you don’t know how formal to go, opt for something right in the middle.  A blazer always gives off suit vibes but you can add casual pieces like a tee and jeans to not feel or look too stuffy. 

Sarah Lloyd jacket* (size 8), Arket tee (size S), Nobody Denim jeans, Gucci belt (review here), Celine bag (review here, affordable dupe here), Dior heels, Ray Ban sunglasses

#2 – Balance an tailored piece with a knit 

Go for a “power-casual” office look by pairing something polished with something relaxed.  It’s like WFH, but without the slippers 😉

Everlane knit* (size XS), The Frankie Shop trousers (size S), Celine bag (review here), Dior slingbacks, Ray Ban sunglasses

#3 – Dress down a dress

Relaxed an otherwise power dress with some flats or sandals – also, great for your feet if you’re transitioning from “traditional” WFH footwear (*cough* slippers *cough*) to actual shoes again!

Reiss dress (review here) (size S), Gucci belt (review here), Celine bag (review here, affordable dupe here), Everlane flats* (review here), Ray Ban sunglasses

#4 – Simplify your colour palette 

woman in light neutral outfit in blog post about shifting dress codes in the office

Make things easier for yourself by keeping your colours simple.  Neutrals tones and monochrome outfits make the decision making process less overwhelming.

The Curated coat* (review here) (size XS), Reiss knit (size S), Everlane jeans* (review here), Gucci belt (review here), Everlane flats* (review here), Celine bag (review here), Ray Ban sunglasses

#5 – Style your outfit around your favourite top

A silk blouse has been one of my WFH go-tos.  It’s the perfect balance of put-together and femininity with how it softly drapes when worn. Work from the one piece and dress for your day.   

Everlane silk shirt* (review here), Scanlan Theodore skirt (sold out, similar here), Celine bag (review here), Dior slingbacks, Ray Ban sunglasses

Are you back in the office or transitioning back to office life soon? Have your office dress codes relaxed? I’d love to know! As always, thanks again for your stopping by.

P.S. The pieces to take your workwear to the next level and designer bag regrets (I fess us up about my bag mistakes… and share the key lessons learnt).


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