Re-thinking Office Wear and Business-Casual Uniforms
The history of office wear has always been a formal one. But times, as they say, are changing. Office wear historically represents the seriousness of a business. The business uniform, the standard sombre suit, was meant to reflect the seriousness of the business. Customers of, say, the 50s expected nothing less from a company than formal suits and a serious demeanor. But both your audience and your workforce have transformed over the decades – and especially in the last two years.
Our entire idea of a well-dressed professional has shifted to more casual, friendly brands and remote-friendly wardrobes. Today’s “business casual” is more like “professional chill” with soft blouses and sporty fleece being seen as commonly as dress shirts and ties. But with the mass introduction of remote and hybrid work, it’s no surprise that co-workers (and customers!) have become used to seeing each other in cozy sweaters with steaming mugs of tea. As businesses bring teams back into the office, the new workforce style is distinctly more chill than traditional business casual.
And we, for one, are in favour. New casual styles in the workplace (not to mention the advent of business-ready activewear) means a variety of comfortable, practical, and stylish options for employee uniforms.
The Shift to Remote Business-Casual
Remote work has had a huge impact on the new “business casual”, which is being introduced by once-remote teams coming back to the office. When commuting through a camera, we do our best to look professional, but we also got a taste of working in more comfortable clothes. While we’ve all done our best to look good on camera, we also realised that business casual can be… dare we say it? Comfortable!
Going Back to the Office in Comfortable Style
Heading back to the office, retail floor, or worksite – employees from all industries and walks of life find themselves hesitant to pull back on the scratchy slacks and synthetic dry-clean-only fabrics. Why go back to constricting, sweaty, and uncomfortable clothes if they don’t have to? And as employers, we see their point. If our teams can look great while being comfortable, of course we want them to have those few extra braincells to focus on work instead of being distracted by a pinching waistline.
Our teams are heading back to offices and workplaces in both style and comfort. But what exactly are the new clothing choices defining this more comfortable business casual?
Classic and Modern Business Casual
Teams today are embracing non-suit clothing and more comfortable shirt options. We’re seeing more polo shirts, casual chambrays, and long-sleeve knits, along with a trend toward softer blouses for women. Instead of suit pants, teams are choosing more comfortable slacks, blue-jeans, and even softer cloth pants cut into business styles. Which leads us to the business-ready activewear trend.
Business Casual Activewear In the Office
One of the keys is the new designs for activewear. Today, you can find ‘workout pants’ that are black, straight-cut and pocket-sleek. Moisture wicking tops can now look like normal shirts and blouses. Even workout fleeces and sweatshirts are being cut more closely with stylish stitching and work-appropriate colours. With professionals already subtly making the shift so they can go running at lunchtime, it’s no surprise that business casual activewear is making its big debut with the rise of a more comfortable office dress code.
Designing Comfortable Business Casual Uniforms
So what does this new business casual standard mean for uniform design? Workplace uniforms are often chosen to reflect the company’s environment, brand, and of course the work tasks your team will need to perform. This new trend is actually great news for uniform design! As workplaces (and customer expectations) become less formal, your uniforms can be more attuned to be comfortable and functional for the work tasks at hand.
Finally, you can dress your team in clothes they can stretch in, sweat it, and even run or climb in (if necessary) without discomfort. If your team is due for a new uniform, contact us today or design your team’s uniform from our broad selection of comfortable, practical clothing selection. Select, design & brand, order, and equip!
Not only will your team be moving with the times, they’ll be more comfortable and capable with this great new approach to flattering office wear.