After working remotely for the better part of the last year, most women aren’t exactly excited about the prospect of wearing their work wardrobes again. After all, why would we want to don stiff dress pants – “hard pants” as they’ve come to be known – and heels after a year of sweatpants and slippers?
Still, as unpleasant as the prospect may be, there are plenty of practical, but professional pieces that can make the transition back to the workplace a little easier. Make sure you’re ready to return to work by stocking your wardrobe with these 4 office-ready must haves.
Fitness Goes Fashion
Besides soft sweatpants and pajamas, athleisure has ranked among the most popular clothing categories of the pandemic, but you can’t exactly wear your gym clothes to the office. You can, however, opt for fashion forward variations on some of your home workout favorites, like an elongated muscle tee with padded shoulders or leggings styled like dress pants paired with a blazer or cozy cardigan. It’s the ultimate in comfortable cosmopolitanism.
Swap Your Bag For A Backpack
When you head back to the office, you’re going to need a bag to carry your stuff, but shoulder bags were never a great choice as far as your health and posture go. As you head back, then, consider swapping out your old totes for a stylish leather backpack. It will distribute the weight evenly across your shoulders, but still let you bring your computer, lunch, and anything else you need with you.
One important note: if you’re switching to a full grain leather bag for the first time, it’s important that you know how to care for it. Leather needs to be conditioned and stored correctly so that it doesn’t become brittle and start to crack. You also have to be careful about cleaning leather, because the wrong products can easily cause stains.
Keep It Simple
Getting dressed for work shouldn’t be a hassle, but after a year of skipping the morning routine, it can easily feel overwhelming. Rather than getting bogged down with choices, then, consider this a good opportunity to pare back your wardrobe. Opting for a minimalist wardrobe with pieces in a few favorite colors will help minimize decision fatigue and make all of your pieces more flexible. For example, if you have mostly black, white, and purple items in your closet, you’ll be able to mix and match them easily.
Upgrade With Accessories
If you’re going to focus on keeping your wardrobe simple and comfortable, then this is the ideal time to upgrade your outfits with fun and unusual accessories. Whether you’re all about classic sunglasses and belts or have a collection of scarves, you can never have too many timeless accessories. At the same time, make sure you’re tossing cheap pieces that were in style for a moment. You don’t need a pile of costume jewelry or headbands you stopped wearing five years ago, so let them go.
Uncomfortable work clothes were never anyone’s favorite part of heading into the office, but as you plan your return to work, consider this the perfect opportunity to refine your style. You can be comfortable and chic all at once – you just have to find the pieces that highlight that intersection and help you feel your best.