How is COVID19 affecting formal fashion?

Women wearing Navy Blue Blazer with Stand Collar from Entrepower India

Will the covid-19 pandemic change how people dress for work in the future?

It’s been more than a year now since people have been stuck amidst four walls, juggling between disoriented work-life balance and emotional turmoil. Pandemic has brought a drastic change in the lives of people. The changes in the work environment have affected people in physical and psychological aspects along with their lifestyle. Work-from-home and remote working cultures have brought drastic changes in the way people dress for work. Adorning a messy bun, lazing around in comfy pyjamas, and a baggy t-shirt sounds tempting while working from home but it starts to feel a little dull and monotonous after some time. It is long believed that dressing up for work awakens confidence, reminding one of their value and independence. It feels good when you look good. Though one has the option to turn off the camera during video call meetings, a drastic change has occurred in the style of work outfits for women and men. The entire working class is taking a dress-down and comfy yet formal clothing approach. Even Goldman Sachs, which is known as the epitome of elegance for its projection of bespoke formal and classy crowd, relaxed the dress code for its staff in 2019.

1. People started styling office wear dresses and business attires in their way. They preferred blazers that were stretchy and cool rather than perfectly tailored.

2. While tie-up suits and blazers on top of casual t-shirts became the new normal for formals, heels and oxfords got replaced with flip-flops.

3. Minimalism became mainstream. The craving for branded wear from bigger brands subsided along the process.

4. With the effect of fewer activities, people started to work on their health. From ordering workout outfits to yoga mats, they welcomed a pleasant change to their lives and the wardrobe.

5. People started focusing on mental health and body positivity. They started experimenting with new styles, DIY clothing, and embracing their body by wearing and flaunting what comforted them.

6. Smaller brands got recognition for their unique designs as business was now online and the platforms were similar for everyone. From office wear dresses for women to lounge wear, everyone believed to be vocal for local.

Hence, this affected the local fashion industry and even had a global impact. In the US, fashion companies saw a 90% decline in profits in 2020. The business fashion sector was the one that got most affected.

It is a possibility that post-pandemic office dress codes will widely depend on the frequency of days we expect people to work from office spaces. This might mean that people wear business casuals for a few days a week when they’d need to dress up for client meetings and presentations. But most companies have learned that employees prefer flexibility over fixed dress codes and they will try to inculcate that in the forthcoming policies. Though it also depends on the individuals, as some people would still prefer power dressing for wanting to look nice. Dressing in a more presentable manner will help people draw a line between workplace and home office. So right now is the perfect time to think of fresh new outfits to revamp your wardrobe with new wears. It is finally time after a year’s break to strike the desk in style. While people are more comfortable with this casual, timesaving dressing, they try to dress up more to add to a formal vibe as they attend a few days of work from the office. So it’s not that formal wear is sidelined, but there is a healthy balance between the two.

With winter approaching in India, it is important that people stack winter wearable formal outfits which are dark in shades, and cozy. Even with winter, given that people have embraced the lazy morning schedule since working from home began, it is the need of the hour to build an office capsule wardrobe that helps one save time in the mornings and stay on top of their dressing game. It is logical and important that people invest in basics that they can wear frequently and pair with almost anything. Some of these include oversized blazers, kitten heels, tote bags of a regular black/brown shade, and modern everyday jewellery.

People will miss liberty once offices run at full capacity, but this period has opened a whole new horizon of opportunities for comfortable formal fashion. While office wear dresses for women will have added elasticity or the benefit of pockets, male formal fashion needs to be improvised by adding flexibility and breathable designs.

As per the social feedback, there is a mass that believes in revolutionizing the styles in a way to reinvent the fashion statements. Many brands have been listening to this feedback keenly. One such brand is Entrepower that offers the most comfortable and breathable designs for female formal fashion. Led by two powerful women, this brand is all about making it stylish and easier for women to climb the ladder of success by easing their wear and making them confident one step at a time. Body positive and timeless, they make their designs to inspire women across borders. From pockets for women to slit blazers for comfort, they offer a wide range to make the transition to formal wear as easy as it gets. It is for sure that it will take a long time for people to transition back to uncomfortable formals from PJ’s giving it back to school after a long summer vacation kind of feeling but it will be enthralling to witness what new is new that the fashion industry offers.

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