Workplace fashion has had its evolution throughout the decades. In the 40sand 50s, dressing at work was very reflective of a hierarchical statement, echoing the workplace’s environment itself. The style of work attire used to be strictly formal, style-driven, and different from today. These days, the workforce is delving more into casual attire. Many businesses are adopting casual dressing as the code for workplace attire, are embracing ‘dress-down Fridays’ and regarding more comfortable wear as the norm.
Professor Karen Pine, Psychologist at HertfordshireUniversity says, “Over the last three decades, we have experienced a big movement in the workplace, where traditions and protocols have fallen enormously. The biggest changes have included the decline of the hierarchy, the boss being less of an authoritarian figure and more of a coach, all colleagues being called by their first name, and the biggest change, the transition from a formal dress code to a casual one.”
After the pandemic, when the work-from-home model defaulted, there was an outrage of employees on LinkedIn sharing photos of themselves in jeans working at home, saying it helps them get in the zone for work. Let’s analyze and highlight how work-attire motivates and encourages people to work better!
Casual attire boosts productivity
Workplace dress codes are most effective when they are casual because studies have shown that 61% of the workforce is more productive when the dress code is more relaxed and comfortable. According to ChrisBailey, author of The Productivity Project, he rotated his wardrobe between a traditional suit, business casual wear, and even pajamas as a three-week social experiment to see the impact of dressing on his productivity. It indirectly affected his productivity, as casual wear had a strong influence on how confident and relaxed he felt.
The work from home wardrobe dilemma
For a lot of people, the beginning of the work from a home model, after the pandemic declared a lockdown, was amazing because they could wear their most comfortable clothes and have ease while working without having to work in the constraints of tight formal wear.
On the other hand, once virtual and remote work became the norm, the same people found it difficult to transition to the space of work because of their casual home wear and noted that it didn’t motivate them to start their day anymore unless they wore jeans or put on formal wear. To get ready for a meeting, or just to get in the zone of working, most employees started practicing wearing work attire at home. And it yielded more productive results!
Casual business wear as work-attire norm
The hybrid working model has combined the efforts of looking good for work, and being comfortable in your clothes while working, to create the perfect attire for the future of work - the casual business wear attire. A fancy top with a pair of comfortable jeans, or a minimal t-shirt with formally comfortable pants, are some of the more common clothing options at work these days.
Remote work has blurred the lines of casual wear, so it is absolutely up to you how you dress up at work. Therefore, wear whatever motivates you to work and gets you in the zone to hustle, because the modern workforce is very flexible with workplace attire, and you can virtually wear anything that suits your preference!