Return to the Office In Style
Written by: Stephanie Glennon
Most people probably like rolling out of bed and being able to “go” to work, pajamas, bedhead and all. Some people may be distraught at the thought of returning to the office, for reasons beyond health concerns - maybe they don’t want to commit to the effort of the work-appropriate looks they’re being held to.
Thankfully, you’re not most people.
If you’ve been dying to get closer to “normal”, if you’ve been getting all dressed up and not having any place to go, if you’ve been virtual-window shopping for weeks now, then the potential of returning to your office - where people can see you, talk to you, and where you can have the familiar background hustle and bustle of other adults doing their job - may not be quite so daunting.
Maybe you’re even a little bit excited.
We don’t blame you. In fact, we’re right there with you!
Especially because a return to the office, your return to the world, is a second chance at a “first” impression. If you’re anything like us, you’ve been coping with the quarantine by embracing retail therapy, and you’ve been dying to make the office your personal runway once again.
Us too. We’ve been busy taking this opportunity to flex our creative muscles and really bring something special to the table as we (finally) transition from summer to fall, from working at home to working at work, from pandemic to post-pandemic.
(We’re remaining optimistic, okay?)
So let’s talk about your options, as you go back to filling your coffee thermos and packing your lunch. Just by being at work physically, you’re making a statement - so what sort of statement do you want to make?
It’s a big question, isn’t it? How do you want to reintroduce yourself to your coworkers, now that you’ll be sharing physical space with them? How do you want to reinvent yourself and your wardrobe?
We’re here to help answer all of those questions, and any others you may be turning over in that big beautiful brain of yours, all so you can have the best possible re-entry into the real world.
First things first: returning to the office at this point feels a little like the first day of school, or coming back to work after a long (stressful, pandemic-infested) vacation. There will be some bumps along the way as you get back into good habits and find your place again, and that can be more than a little uncomfortable.
It doesn’t have to be, though, and the first step to tackling any awkwardness or discomfort is getting your mind right, but sometimes that’s just too big a task to take on, especially when you have, you know, actual work to do.
The next best thing to getting your mental house in order? Getting your physical house in order, or at least looking like you do. When you feel your worst, you should look your best. Seriously! It’s a time-honored mental ‘hack’. Not only does it help pull your brain out of its own funk, but other people really do treat you differently depending on the clothes you’re wearing and how you wear them.
If it’s still pretty warm where you are (it definitely is for us, #isitfallyet???), being temperature-conscious doesn’t mean you have to dress down.
With these short-sleeved polos, you can bring an air of business-casual to the workplace, and provide yourself with a transition period - it can be hard going from your jammies to a suit-and-tie over night! Short-sleeved polos are an excellent compromise between business and casual, and an even better compromise between summer and fall, which is perfect for this in-between-seasons phase of weather most of us are experiencing.
Maybe, though, you don’t want to ease back into it - maybe you’re ready for work to be work again, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Maybe you’re one of the folks who still had to get dressed for webcam meetings even during the quarantine period, or maybe you didn’t have an audience but you still got dressed every day anyway, because it’s work, and you can’t do that in the same clothes you snooze in.
(If you’re one of those people? Props to you! We gave up that around Day 3 of being work at home, but we sure admire your work ethic.)
If you’re one of those people, and you’re looking to spruce up your wardrobe for people to see you in a non-pixelated, oh-wait-I-was-muted fashion, and you want to turn it up a notch so they know what they’ve been missing, take a look at our dark blue poplin mini check button-up, which brings a quiet, detailed dignity back to the office, something that can get a little lost in the shuffle when meetings are interrupted by crying children or cats with opinions walking over keyboards.
Looks like these are a great opportunity to show off your eye for precision and style - paired with a dark pair of jeans or a light pair of slacks, you’ve got an outfit that reminds everyone you’re in this office to work, and to do good work while you’re at it.
Or...maybe you’re like more than a few of our friends, who always get so excited for fall for one very simple reason:
Not that we can blame them. If this quarantine hasn’t already showed you this, let us be the first to tell you: as well-worn and easy-fitting as the plaids you’ve gotten from second-hand stores, that’s probably not a safe or viable option for you anymore.
(Believe us, we’re heartbroken too. Who doesn’t love a good thrifting?)
That doesn’t mean that you’re saying goodbye to the closet staple, though. It just means it’s time to get a plaid button-up that says you’ve outgrown formerly-loved or off-the-rack styles. It says you’ve grown up; it makes a statement with its electric blue and deep black check.
It says I’m here.
Sometimes, we all need that reminder.
Plaid stands out. Especially in fall, as it stops being so bright and sunshiney all the time - as it gets cooler and more overcast, patterns like these bring attention, and in an outfit like this, it’ll only be the good kind.
So no matter where you fall on the back-to-office scale of excitement, you can take one thing off your worry-list: no matter how you want to show up, you’ll show up looking good, and you’ll make everyone glad you did.