I used to be a firm believer in the saying, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” While this adage may be a useful sentiment for interviews and special events, it may not be the most practical advice for the modern workplace. In this blog post, we break down the official essentials that will maximize your wardrobe without hurting your wallet.
Say goodbye to your three-piece suit and hello to blue jeans! As the world gradually returns to pre-pandemic life, companies allowing their employees more flexibility to work from home isn’t the only major change occurring in the workplace. More and more companies are adopting the “smart casual” dress code. This style of dress is a little less formal than business-casual, while still maintaining a professional appearance that will allow you to meet with clients and run meetings confidently.
The onset of the pandemic had many of us working at home in our pajamas. The decision for businesses to relax their dress codes started as an incentive to bring employees back into the office, and is now implemented into mainstream company culture. As a result, employees report feeling a stronger sense of camaraderie and productivity in the office.
Last year, Goldman Sachs announced that it would allow employees to dress more casually in the office. Factory PR, a fashion and lifestyle communications agency based out of New York, expressed that it would rather have employees dress comfortably while still looking “put-together.”
For those of us who find ourselves running out the door every morning, having one piece you can throw on without the added stress of mixing and matching is imperative. Retailers such as TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Nordstrom Rack are great starting points for affordable dresses and jumpsuits, both of which can be worn alone or paired with a cardigan or jacket. If you really want to get the most out of your pieces and make them multi-seasonal, we recommend sticking to neutral colors like black, gray, brown and tan.
Bodysuits are another great everyday staple that can be worn many different ways. The classic T-shirt bodysuit from Aritzia is on the pricier side, but it is a great investment piece due to its versatility. Pair it with slacks for your next in-person meeting or with sweatpants while running to the grocery store. For men, we suggest an UNTUCKit shirt for an effortless, snappy-casual vibe.
Shop locally, or better yet, shop sustainably. Secondhand stores such as Plato’s Closet offer trendy pieces from name brands at a fraction of the original price tag. Not only will you save some serious money, but you will also be saving the planet!
The transition to a more relaxed dress code in the office is one that is likely to last well into the foreseeable future. It’s safe to say that you can trade in your blazers and heels for linens and loafers, regardless of where you work.
By Abby Walsh
Abby Walsh is a senior at The University of Alabama from Boston, Massachusetts, majoring in public relations and minoring in psychology. She is a writer and editor for Platform Magazine, and her membership organization includes Zeta Tau Alpha and Kappa Tau Alpha fraternities.