Experts predict 'comfortable clothing' revolution on return to office

The (dress down) return to the office: Fashion experts predict ‘comfortable clothing’ revolution with no ties, jeans and TRAINERS allowed and looser-fitting clothes to hide those lockdown pounds when staff return to desks

  • Millions set to return to the office when Covid restrictions are relaxed on July 19
  • Experts said dress code will be more relaxed and ‘allow for more breathing room’
  • It is also predicted that men could swap out a tie for a shirt and blazer with jeans
  • But despite this, founder of Charles Tyrwhitt said tie sales are ‘surprisingly good’

Fashion experts have predicted a ‘comfortable clothing’ revolution with no ties, jeans and trainers allowed along with looser-fitting clothes when staff return to the office.

Millions of workers will be back at their desks when restrictions are relaxed on July 19 after spending over a year attending Zoom calls in their loungewear.

The stark contrast between clothing worn while working from home and that of the office has led many to anticipate a more relaxed dress code.

Experts believe that clothes will ‘allow for a little more breathing room’, with elasticated sections being added to waistbands and looser-fitting dresses.

It is also said that men could swap out a tie for a shirt and blazer with jeans, alongside white fashion trainers or Converses becoming more commonplace.

But despite these predictions, Nick Wheeler, founder of the suits and shirts retailer Charles Tyrwhitt, said tie sales have been ‘surprisingly good’.


Fashion experts predict that men could swap out a tie (pictured left) for a shirt and blazer (right) with jeans when returning to the office from July 19 (file photos)


The stark contrast between clothing worn while working from home and that of the office has led many to anticipate a more relaxed dress code (file photos)

Tamara Abraham, fashion editor at The Telegraph, told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: ‘I don’t think we’ll be going to work in loungewear anytime soon but we have become very used to being comfortable so we’ll probably see dress codes become a little more relaxed. 

‘I’ve seen smart, tailored trousers with maybe a small elasticated section at the back of the waistband, so it doesn’t feel quite so tight, or dresses cut to allow for a little bit of breathing room. I think those are going to be the things that we’re reaching for.’

She added: ‘Men will still wear shirts, but they might ditch the tie or there will be a shirt and blazer with jeans. 

‘Perhaps for women, a blazer over a t-shirt. And trainers I think will become more acceptable in a lot of workplaces too. 

‘Smart ones, not the ones you wear to the gym, but a white fashion trainer or a converse won’t be a strange sight at a business meeting.’

However, Charles Tyrwhitt’s Mr Wheeler believes the suit and tie are ‘very much coming back’.

He told the radio programme: ‘I wouldn’t say it’s [lockdown] killed off the suit and tie. 

‘I think during lockdown people didn’t wear suit and ties, much to my complete annoyance, but they’re very much coming back.’


Tamara Abraham, fashion editor at The Telegraph, said white fashion trainers or Converses could become more commonplace (file photos)


Experts believe that clothes will ‘allow for a little more breathing room’, with elasticated sections being added to waistbands and looser-fitting dresses (file photos)

He added: ‘I sat next to somebody at a wedding the other day who had been trying to find a tie in Marlow and said the only place where he could find one was our store. 

‘So I think if people stop selling ties then the people who are selling them will probably sell a few more, and that’s actually what we’re seeing as we’re coming out of lockdown. 

‘Our tie sales have been surprisingly good – not like what they used to be but still surprisingly good.’

Referring to the possibility of store closures due to restrictions, he said: ‘Men quite like the idea of getting up in the morning and sticking on a suit and tie – it’s all very easy. Now they’ve got to make some decisions. 

‘And what we found with our stores is about 20 per cent of our sales are coming through personal appointments. It’s like a step back in time to the 19th century, where you’d go to a store and you’d have proper attention, and you’d probably work for the person in the store to make you look good. 

Despite these predictions, Nick Wheeler, founder of the suits and shirts retailer Charles Tyrwhitt (store pictured above), said tie sales have been ‘surprisingly good’

‘People always say “are we going to close our stores” – it’s impossible to say at this stage because we’re still coming out of lockdown, and until we see what the new norm is going to be like we’ll have to wait and see.’

The order to work from home is expected to be scrapped on July 19 in England and Chancellor Rishi Sunak said he is looking forward to the shift back to offices.

Boris Johnson confirmed on Monday night that the legal requirement introduced in March last year that left millions in the spare room or at the kitchen table will be abandoned. 

But the move to be taken when Step Four of the roadmap out of lockdown comes into force – most likely on July 19 – will allow employers to choose the pace at which their employers come back to work.

There will also be fresh guidance on how to operate a safe workplace that will be based on Health and Safety Executive (HSE) rules from before the pandemic.

It will comes as a boost for city retailers who have suffered from a lack of footfall and companies with large, expensive premises which have lain empty for months at great expense.

But it remains to be seen how many firms – and staff – will want to return to full-time workplace life and the financial and time costs that come with it.

Source: Read Full Article