There is a new term floating around the professional world: “work leisure” — and it’s transforming the way people dress for work. This compound word combines the values of being easy-going while looking ready for work. Overall, it unites the virtues of work-at-home comfort with the chic style of traditional work outfits. By striking a balance between fashionable professional clothing and some best-loved basics, you can put together many attractive looks for the office.
A long season of remote work has shown many people the simple comforts of dressing down while still staying on top of goals. Specifically, such working conditions have proven that dressing in more relaxed clothing has many benefits, with comfort being number one on the list. Though wearing clothing that is fit for the public eye is still a thing, more professionals can now see both the pros of casual Friday outfits and full suits. So what’s the difference between work outfits and work leisure, and how can we incorporate more comfortable styles into work outfits?
When you think about the typical work outfit, images of sharply dressed people in suits, slacks, and work dresses come to mind. Basically, traditional work outfits are at least business casual, which means jeans are only for special days. You need slacks, button-down shirts, and men's sports coats to achieve the desired look for the office.
Work leisure resembles “Casual Friday” outfits but can even go one scale down in formality. Made for sitting comfortably at a computer for hours, they often incorporate creature comforts like women's cotton sweaters, tunics, and leggings. Comfy jeans and comfortable T-shirts can also be part of these ensembles. Essentially, a work-leisure outfit feels like something you’d wear when going out to breakfast with a good friend or a relaxing shopping trip. It’s functional yet still stylish, but it is far more relaxed than a traditional work outfit.
As people return to some form of in-person work, elements of work leisure can be discreetly incorporated into a work outfit. Here are some features that people love about work leisure that you can easily carry over into a more dressy outfit:
By living in different worlds in different seasons, workers have had the advantage of experiencing new ways to dress during work hours. And though a full sweatsuit feels wonderfully cozy, it doesn’t send the right message in an in-person office setting. When you return to a communal work environment, it’s important to send the nonverbal message that you made an effort to look professional. By striking a balance between comfort and professional style, you can encourage others to maintain that “going out” look without going full athleisure in the office. This method has several advantages. Dressing for work will prepare you for the day and put you in the mindset to be productive. This draws a line between work and home so that you can fully relax when you change into comfortable PJs at home. At the same time, this period of working at home has shown many people how it’s possible to relax the standards sometimes and to sneak in better fabrics for better satisfaction through the working day.