How we dress at work has changed over the years. Formality is no longer mandatory, and dress codes have become increasingly more flexible across the entire workforce. The traditional tailored monochromatic suit has been replaced by garments such as jeans and tennis shoes, and by lighter fabrics such as linen and cotton. This shift towards the casualization of fashion has been instigated by the changing demands of consumers across the industry. Also, companies are no longer exclusively concerned with corporate image and are now open to considering the comfort of their workers and the image they want to project.

In a modern work environment, comfort and functionality are essential to performing at a reasonable level. Bosses have finally realized that the less inhibited and less restricted that their employees feel, the more prone they are to perform their duties enthusiastically. Not surprisingly, the benefits of incorporating a more casual wardrobe have manifested as positive, creative, and practical tendencies amongst the workforce.

 

WE ARE WHAT WE WEAR

Very often, we express ourselves implicitly through the clothes we wear; however, this is only possible if we are afforded a certain degree of independence and autonomy that allows us to decide, according to our tastes, what we wear and how we wear it.

Rigorous past formalities of corporate structure too often prevented us from expressing ourselves through our clothes. Today, without such stringent corporate guidelines dictating our uniform policies, and thanks in part to a wide variety of styles, garments, and fabrics offered by the market, we get to enjoy a rather ample degree versatility and flexibility at work.

For many, however, this change in the ways we dress to go to work has its fair share of pros and cons. On the one hand, our freedom of expression is significantly enhanced, but on the other hand, a sense of team unity and a bit of business identity is lost.

Even so, in specific sectors such as finance, retail, and criminal law among others, old-school protocol prevails. In these industries, Casual Friday is still a thing. The opposite, however, occurs in artistic sectors such as design, advertising, and entertainment, where both men and women are allowed to wear casual fashion. These professionals enjoy greater flexibility and consequently also experience lower incidences of stress-related illnesses.

 

NEVER OUT OF FASHION

For its versatility, availability of styles, and comfort, one of the most used casual clothing items is the classic jean pants. Fashion experts warn against wearing ripped jeans, as this particular style is typically thought to have rebellious connotations and can undoubtedly be misconstrued in an office environment.

Tennis shoes have been embraced by corporate ideals and are often seen in offices across the world. The right pair of tennis shoes, when adapted to the office space, can be a powerful symbol of attitude and style.

The possibility of varying and combining outfits has ceased to be something exclusively feminine, and now men get to enjoy the privilege too.

Believe it or not, the fashion industry has been at the forefront of subverting gender norms when it comes to fashion sense and fashion forward culture. Men now enjoy an expanding range of styles and alternatives to choose from. Some men are capable of leading trends and increasingly have a more significant presence in the sector.

While women get to combine all kinds of outfits and accessories with different pants, dresses, and skirts, men have the option to get creative with differing shirt models, different styles of pants, and of course, a wide range of shoes.

It is important to clarify that formality has not disappeared, but rather undergone a reinvention. Taking advantage of this new-found fashion independence can be a lot of fun. There are no limits besides your imagination.