After working from home, for close to two years, we have gotten very used to being comfortable. It’s possible that sweatpants, tee shirts, sneakers and sleep items formed the basis of your WFH wardrobe. As we start expanding into the office, we want to hold onto that comfortable feeling. The good news is that by wearing newer fabrics and a mix of tailored and looser styles, we can be comfortable and still look professional.
Tailored Pieces, Softer Fabrics
Clothing manufacturers realize that we need more comfort in our professional clothing. Designers and brands such as like Everlane, Reiss and Spanx have come up with hybrid products made from cotton and blended knits. They feel soft against the skin, while keeping their shape in a classic style. Examples include high waist pants with elastic at the middle, jackets in cozy sweatshirt material and fleece lined leggings. Jackets and pants in softer, more cuddly versions can still be tailored to a classic style. You can look for soft drapey dresses to wear with leggings. When wearing these items you will not feel the need to get “comfortable” when you come home.
Watch Fit of Your Clothes
Clothing that fits at your natural waist and through your shoulders is a more conservative look, and therefore better for business. When clothing follows the line of your body it’s more comfortable and easier to match. Jackets, shirts, dresses and blouses are both more comfortable and professional when fitted at the waist. Similarly, tops and jackets without a sewn-in shoulder seam may be flattering, but not as comfortable or professional.
Another area to watch the fit of your clothes is your pants. Narrow or straight leg pants that come to the top of your foot look terrific with comfortable flats. Wide or flare leg pants, however much we love them, do not always work with flats or low heels. Pants with a drawstring or elastic waist can be covered with a top or jacket to be more businesslike.
Add Comfortable Shoes
When you want to feel comfortable and professional, it’s important to wear the right shoes. Shoes that are cushioned yet give support are ideal. We all know the unpleasant feeling of wearing uncomfortable shoes, and don’t want to repeat it. After giving our feet plenty of room in soft slippers or flip-flops, putting on stiff, unforgiving shoes seems difficult. The good news is there are many styles which are softly comfortable and give support. Aim to wear outfits that work with flats, such as narrow leg pants that come to the ankle, or top of foot. This way you can easily wear comfortable shoes with a low heel.