Office Attire trends in 2022

When Arielle Patrick, chief communications officer at Ariel Investments, started working from home in early 2020, she discovered an appreciation for essential materials.

“Before the pandemic, I aimed to wear a different outfit every day,” she says. “Now, I don’t have time to make an outfit decision because the job requires ten times more than it ever was. I guess you could call that ‘decision fatigue’.”

With the ongoing complications of the pandemic and its attendant variables, getting back to work looks different for everyone. Some are back at their desks, others have settled into the final era of working from home, and some are dealing with a combination of the two. Like Patrick, many would agree that 2022 is the time to reset your wardrobe professionally.

“The pandemic has always removed the pressure of research in a certain way, all the time,” says digital art strategist Jia Jia Fei, who splits her time between her New York City apartment and Dumbo co-working space. “Now getting dressed is fun again because we do it more selectively. As a result, I have done many occasions to purge my closet of things I no longer wear or bring me the joy of adjusting and dripping my clothes into essentials. I still appreciate the ritual of getting ready for work in The few occasions I have in-person meetings, and I will do my best to dress as if I were going to an event in my life before the pandemic.”

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In those days of non-virtual commitments, Fei chooses colorful suits, and she’s not alone. There is a pent-up appetite for embellishments, bold shapes and surprising embellishments that resonate with shoppers heavily. Retailers ended the holiday season with “8-10 percent gains,” according to Trade. Women’s daily wear.

“People are becoming more confident about dressing in a more comfortable, self-expressive way,” says Catherine Greenberg, vice president of women’s clothing at Neiman Marcus.

The concept of business attire has not been challenged as much as other types of fashion have been challenged throughout history. The last time professional wardrobes experienced a major change was during the 1850s, when women began adopting designer items inspired by traditional men’s clothing on a more mainstream level.

says historian Valerie Steele, director of the museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

The pandemic has led to another reassessment of what constitutes appropriate office wear and, to some extent, the accelerated changes that were already underway.

“Before this pandemic, we saw people who wanted more comfortable clothing and people saying, ‘Well, we should really be allowed to wear jeans to work. We should be allowed to wear flats in some offices,” Steele adds. “So with the pandemic, people have been wearing increasingly comfortable sport shirts and T-shirts to the office once a week and not many people come across them. Now, some people are really happy because it’s a chance to get dressed again.”

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Steele is among them. While she’s swapped out her black structured pants and sweatshirts with clothes that don’t have to go to dry cleaners for much of the pandemic, she’s eager to get back to what she calls “high-maintenance clothing.”

At Neiman Marcus, Greenberg saw high demand for brands like Gabriela Hearst, Punto, Lafayette 148 and Veronica Beard as well as casual everyday dresses from Trina Turk, Milly, Misa Los Angeles, and Cinq à September.

Gabriella Hearst Stephanie double breasted wool blazer

Gabriella Hearst

1,990.00 USD

“Our clients are looking for a more relaxed, convenient and versatile wardrobe right now,” Greenberg adds. “Stepouts are becoming more and more popular because they give women more options, either to coordinate a matching set or dress the pieces up or down. Knitwear continues to be a stylish way to go more casual with denim or leather. We expect office wear to be more casual than casual. Pre-pandemic period. The groups we love offer more options than ever.”

For Fei, this means regaining her visual identity in a business environment. If getting dressed makes you feel more like yourself, why not? Feeling comfortable is intrinsically linked to confidence. Who am I a fan of Zoom these days? Fi kidding. While others celebrate their clothes and take special care to make sure there is a clear gap between office and home life.

“I sometimes go to the actual office when I have an important meeting,” Patrick says. “It’s almost like a fancy dress when I’m in a suit. Sometimes I feel like I’m pretending to be my ex.”

In 2022, putting on a suit to work might not sound like getting dressed. In a time of uncertainty around the workplace, an adult’s daytime wardrobe may be one way to feel more comfortable, and at home there. It might be hopeful thinking, but isn’t that the point of fashion, anyway? Aunt Mammy thought so, and so do the more adventurous stylists today. They’re the ones who trade slouching for structure, sweats for sequins, and swapping Zoom tops for head-to-toe outfits ripped from Emily in Paris. It may be time for the rest of us to follow in their footsteps.

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