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Post Pandemic: Back To The Office Wear - Staying Comfortable And Looking Sharp!

Updated: Dec 5, 2021

How many of you have enjoyed working in your sweat pants and t-shirts while working from home in the past 18 months or so? I know I did, and if you’re anything like me and you like to stay comfortable but still look sharp at work, here are few tips that will have you looking and feeling great while you go back to the office!

1. Hybrid Pants AKA Dress Joggers or Chinos

I call them hybrid pants because they look like chinos or dress pants but they actually feel like joggers. One thing for sure is that you’ll be super comfortable in them and no one will ever know that you’re wearing ‘sweats pants’. It’s an easy hack to dress up your outfit but still look presentable.

If your workplace allows you to wear jeans, I suggest wearing your darker jeans early on in the week as it’s a more classic look but towards the end of the week you can dress up your lighter wash jeans with the next suggestion (sports coat!).

Bonus tip: Your pants are not fitting exactly how you want it? Take them to your local dry cleaners and get them tailored! It’s a great custom fit and will only cost an extra $20 or so.

You can go for the budget option and spend the extra dollars to taper the ankle and hem them if they are too long - Just try to buy the pants with the closer fit first, however if you have old pants laying around that still look good but just need a little work, $20 to get them looking perfect is not a bad idea.

2. Sport Coat or Blazer

It’s getting cold, if you’re like me and live in a cold city like Toronto, you’re always looking for ways to stay warm while still looking your best.

A good way to do that and still give you a sharp look around the office is to wear a blazer or a sports coat. They are usually a little more rugged than your regular suit jacket and look more casual, but you get a classic look which dresses up any outfit you’re wearing. You can wear them with your chinos as mentioned or wear them with jeans.

Blazers are so versatile – I'd suggest going with a navy blue or charcoal grey color for your first ones. That would get you through many different outfits. If you’re not a blazer fan or want to change things up, a great alternative would be the shawl collar cardigan. You’ll be able to use it interchangeably with all the items mentioned in this article.

3. Plain T-Shirts and/or Crew Neck Sweaters

You don’t normally think about T-shirts when you’re going to work because it’s so casual but guess what? If you pair them with your blazer, you’ll instantly dress up your outfit.

Most of us already have a bunch T-shirts laying around from the summer anyway, why not use them to layer up during the fall and winter months? And, as temperature drop, you can add more layers such as a crew neck sweater under your blazer.

It’s a great look and you stay warm as the weather gets colder - Just make sure you stick with your plain color fitted T’s and sweaters, no graphic or your favorite printed quotes here.

You can definitely be a little more adventurous with colors with your T’s if you wear a blazer over it because it immediately dresses up your outfit and it’s a great way to show a little personality and switch things up. Just don’t go too crazy with bright fluorescent colors, especially in the fall and winter months.

Copper yellow, dark forest green, burgundy (think red wine’) are some great ideas if you want to add some color and are perfect for fall and winter.

4. Loafers and Dress Boots

Ok, so you can’t really wear your sneakers to work (although you can pull it off if you know how pair it well) however, wearing casual loafers, I find are supper comfortable. I say casual because there are so many types and some can be dressier than others and can throw off you’re outfit but if you choose the right one, you’ll look great and stay comfortable.

If you’re not a fan of loafers, this is the perfect time to pull out your boots! You see, most people think of boots as super casual footwear but if you buy dress boots you can pair them nicely with all the recommended outfit in this article.

My Final Thoughts

With these 4 recommended items you’ll have a plenty of variety to take you through the week. Pick up a couple sport coats or blazers in navy blue and charcoal grey to get you started.

Use your t-shirts and crew neck sweaters to layer under your sports coat in the colder months. You can easily take it off and have more of a casual look if you’re hitting the bar after work or just hanging out - With or without, you’re still looking great.

For your trousers, you can go with some dress joggers and if your job allows it, wear your blazers with your jeans. Your blazer will immediately dress up your outfit even if you’re wearing lighter wash jeans.

Finally, I'm a boot lover, so there is no better time to pull out your dress boots during the fall and winter months. Also, when it comes to comfort and looks, I think of loafers, and if the weather permits, you can still rock them before the snowy or rainy season begin.

Ultimately, you won’t be able to wear your shorts like when you were working from home but with these recommendations, you’re going to be comfortable and look great in the office.

As one of my favorite clichés, look good, feel good!

In terms of just pure style and comfort in the workplace, is there anything else that has worked for you that I might have left off?

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