Have your power suits, tailored pants, leather shoes and heels gathered dust and now pushed at the back of your closet?
As we hit targets, beat deadlines, and lead online meetings over sounds of crying babies and barking dogs— we’ve all proven to be successful professionals in our pajama bottoms.
The remote work lifestyle has changed our daily routines and has changed the way we consume fashion. We no longer have to spend extra time preparing for what to wear in the morning: “Do I look the part? Will my outfit be comfortable enough for a long commute? Will it rain today? Do I have a big client presentation? Do I have after-work socials?”
Today, our battle gear for WFH would mainly just have well-kept hair, a presentable make-up look (for ladies), and a presentable shirt. Add a ring light and an extra microphone, and you are armored for the corporate battle at the comforts of your own home.
Clothing and how we look remain to be a subconscious expression and how we present ourselves to the world. We dress with intent because it helps us achieve our goals for the day.
Now that the workforce has embraced an unspoken lenient dress code, what does corporate attire look like now?
According to managementstudyguide.com, corporate dressing is “the act of dressing formally and correctly” in line with your job profile and with the company’s culture.
Corporate attire is synonymous with business attire. It is the type of clothing you wear as a professional. Your corporate attire varies depending on the situation you are in and the type of office you work in.
The way you dress affects how people see you and is important because you represent the organization. Corporate dressing still matters today and is important because:
- It can help you attract people—especially clients or customers you are targeting to close deals with.
- It can empower you by boosting your self-confidence.
- It helps create a good first impression and in the long run, has a great impact on your career.
Prior to the pandemic, in-office job interviews require the job candidates to wear business professional attire—well-fitted and may be tailored to fit you.
Currently, most companies are still conducting online job interviews versus in-person, and this may still be the trend moving forward. Online interviews do not only require you to prepare the right attire but also the right setup, which includes the right interview spot, the video platform, the interview format, etc. It is highly advisable that you wear a business professional attire or a business casual that will look good on screen and against the background you will be using.
The way you dress while on a WFH setup depends on your role, the company culture, and the industry:
- As a general rule of thumb, looking professional from your hair, face, and top/shirts are the focal points to consider when your day requires online meetings and interactions.
- On the other hand, your attire is entire to your liking if your day requires an independent or solitary type of work (without online video interactions).
Only you can decide on how dressing empowers you to conquer your day. To some, comfort and practicality help them with work that entails “rolling-up-your-sleeves” like writing, coding, researching, designing, crunching data on Excel, etc.
Nevertheless, dressing also acts as a subconscious prompt to others, which is why some companies have uniforms and strict dress codes (think of doctors on duty with lab coats or a judge in a black robe). When you put on a piece of clothing, it signals your mind and body that you are in “work mode.” Because of being at home most of the time, it also helps others make the distinction or segregation between time to work, leisure, and bedtime.
Dress codes post-COVID will highly depend on the organization’s policies. It’s advisable to talk to your manager or the company’s HR team to know what attire is accepted in the organization.