There is no aspect of life that has not been impacted by the pandemic. Trends in the work culture has shifted drastically as work from home became the dominant mode of working. The need to “dress to impress” was rendered futile when people are working via online platforms, and meetings mean call over Google Meet or Zoom. Corporate uniforms including suits, shirts, ties and polished footwear is replaced by loungewear and sandals. However, work from home does not always mean working in comfort. The schedule of office hours is disrupted, and work calls, meetings and deadlines do not follow clock-time any longer, especially in the corporate. To ensure some amount of control over work-life during this time of uncertainty, employees started discarding their uniforms and relying more and more on comfortable clothing. Hoodies, t shirts, shorts, tights and other loungewear items became immensely popular.
Pandemic exacerbated the demise of formals at work
Even as offices are opening up in an attempt to restore normalcy, employees are not ready to get back to the usual corporate dressing. Formals had already received some competition from work casuals before the pandemic. The pandemic has only accelerated the decline of formals at work. However, it is not entirely possible to discard formals completely in a corporate setting, and more so in the F&B and hospitality industry. Important client meetings and direct encounter with customers and clients will require dressing up formally. Employees that have been enjoying the convenience of choosing their comfortable clothing for almost three years, cannot be expected to return to old habits all of a sudden. More and more companies are allowing casuals that are appropriate for work as primary pieces of workwear.
Is there a link between dressing up for work and productivity?
There is no concrete study that states dressing up and productivity are directly relational. Some studies have proven that productivity is directly related to uniforms. And this is due to the sense of unity and belonging that uniforms foster in employees. Moreover, most jobs require uniforms, for instance, chefs, technicians, front office employees and, so on. There is very little room for improvisation or even the option of eliminating uniforms from these positions. The studies that proved productivity is affected by workwear, however, considered a handful of industries to arrive at a conclusion. It is not possible to conduct an umbrella study for all industries, and hence some research has even proven that loungewear improves work productivity. In this case, every company should tailor their uniforms rules according to their needs and what offers maximum benefit for them.
Post-pandemic work fashion
Work fashion has changed substantially post-pandemic. While loungewear cannot completely replace formals, there have been major alterations in the trend. Tuxedos, skirts, ties are being replaced by more relaxed fitted shirts, flared pants, and going tieless have become more popular. Loungewear, a work from home staple, is also being replaced by more comfortable dresses, casual shirts and breathable pants and tights.
The focus on sustainability is becoming more important than ever in the fashion industry
People are becoming more aware about the alarming impacts of climate change. Sustainable practices have crept into every lifestyle practice and so it has in the fashion choices of people as well. Fair trade practices, durable clothing items made from recyclable and biodegradable material are gaining immense popularity. Even thrifting for second hand clothing items to reduce wastage has been a popular practice. If you are an employer, you should be able to be transparent with your employees and offer them sustainable uniform options. This will also contribute towards CSR goals of your company.
Some future workwear predictions
The change in workwear trends is not projected to be limited for a small span of time. It is not expected that employers when once they get adjusted to working from offices will give up comfortable clothing. Relaxed silhouettes will replace more restricted designs. Ties and scarves will take a backseat. Footwear will include more sandals and sneakers rather than dress-shoes. To adjust to these fleeting styles corporates could opt for casual workwear. Industries like F&B and hospitality that do not have as much freedom in terms of improvising could rethink their fabric material. Breathable, durable and more flowy fits could be included. If you own a business and wish to instill morale into your employees, you should partner with Style Uniform. Our designers and tailors have expertise regarding the trends in workwear and assist you on ideating better uniform designs. Explore newer heights in the post-pandemic age with a happy and satisfied team of employees.