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What to Wear When Going Back to Work

by Madisyn Taylor on August 06, 2021

Wondering what to wear to the office post-COVID? Do you have to be a suit-and-tie kind of person, or can comfort come first?

You might think that an easy day is no big deal and it won't matter what you're wearing, but your clothing choices will determine how well (or, poorly) you feel throughout the workday.

If you made the switch to working from home for a living, chances are that your style has changed. Gone is any semblance of professionalism in favor of more casual clothes like sweats and sneakers.

In addition to clothing changes, there have been other lifestyle shifts as well during this pandemic.

Now that the offices are slowly reopening, it’s time to get back into your work wardrobe. With a little creative thinking, you can have fun with how you dress around those you work with, within the office, or at least figure out what clothing is appropriate for different occasions.

From dress clothes to lounge-worthy clothing, this list has you covered for the office and beyond.

 

Try a Polo for a Refined Look

Polo shirts are a classic and for good reason. They're the perfect way to look polished without looking like you tried too hard or dressed up too much for work.

For this style, keep your shoes clean (i.e., either dress shoes or loafers) and throw on jeans if they're appropriate with the shirt's color. If the polo has an embroidered logo, keep a light touch on accessories (just one necklace or bracelet) and make sure you're not wearing too much jewelry in general.

The polo shirt is perfect for any work environment because it's so classic, comfortable, and easy to style.

Plus, there are so many different colors and styles out there to choose from, like a striped polo or an embroidered logo.


For more formal offices, you can wear dressier jeans with a polo shirt (not tight) for an elevated look. You'll want to keep shoes polished but simple - brown lace-ups are perfect here!

If it's a more relaxed work environment, you can dress down the look with sneakers or canvas slip-ons.

 

Raglans Make The Grade for Street Style

The material of the Raglan is thick cotton, perfect for wicking away sweat and keeping you cool in warmer climates.

This tee looks great tucked into trousers or worn loose over jeans. It works well under an open shirt or blazer for work.

You can also wear a slim, long sleeve Raglan to conceal your arms if you're self-conscious. Add a pair of fitted jeans with the top for more coverage and warmth.

Also, style it like an oversized sweater by tucking in the front of the shirt into your pants so that it's gathered on one side.

Lastly, try wearing the shirt with a blazer, especially if your office is more formal and you want to dress up a simple jean and tee look for work.

 

Consider The Classic Crewneck

Layer your crewneck over a button-down shirt for an effortless and polished look. If you want to wear crewnecks at the office, try putting on a button-down shirt under that will show when pulled out of the top's collar – this is sure to command attention in any meeting room! Make sure your collars are folded down neatly so they don't pop up in unwanted places.

Additionally, you can pair it with the right pants, and voila! – You have a great-looking office ensemble that will elevate any outfit (even more). For some classic looks, try dark wash jeans or khaki pants paired with a light gray crew neck.

If you want something different but still professional, try navy blue trousers instead of khakis to dress up the outfit just enough while retaining an elegant feel.


Lastly, if you're wearing a light crewneck sweater with dress pants or jeans – For example, try pairing that outfit up with a dark blazer. Conversely, if your clothes are darker in color like gray or brown then keep them looking crisp by layering on top of a light-colored jacket such as white or tan.

 

Wear a Henley Shirt for a Weekend Warrior Vibe

Henleys are perfect for going back to work because they can be worn with both a blazer and jeans.

Some may even consider them perfect for a casual office environment where you want to dress down your outfit because it looks like a t-shirt with sleeves! They're also great when paired with skinny ripped jeans because they're so adaptable.

Again, these shirts are mostly great for layering thanks to their adaptable nature. You can wear them even if you have thinner arms and don't need to cover anything up.

  

Hoodies Are The Ideal Layering Top

For a hoodie, wear it just like you would any other sweater. Slip one over your button-down shirt and pair it with slim chinos for an office look that's not too casual or business. A wool tie will dress the ensemble up nicely without going overboard into formal territory if needed.

Also, some people may find it hard to believe, but a simple change of color can turn an everyday hoodie into something more fashionable. Choosing darker colors such as black or dark gray will automatically upgrade the look and give off that sleek vibe you want while still being convenient for work.


Additionally, styling your favorite sweatshirt for work is easy! Here are three ideas:

  1. Wear it over a button-down tailored shirt with dark denim/formal pants and boots. This look works well as an office ensemble during the day, or could easily be transitioned into cocktail attire when you clock out.
  2. A classic navy top would also pair nicely here; try pairing that understated style with ripped jeans in the evening - great if you're trying to achieve a laidback city vibe.
  3. For daytime styling, wear this combo tucked into black pants to quickly transform any outfit.


The key to a successful, post-COVID return to work is dressing comfortably and appropriately. Make sure you wear clothes that make you feel confident, comfortable, and at ease.

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