I don’t know about you, but when I’m working from home, I want to be as comfortable as possible. At the same time, after a few weeks or months of not wearing anything presentable (thanks, ‘Rona), sometimes it’s nice to dress up a little bit more – but that doesn’t mean you’re necessarily ready for real pants.
“Even if you are working from home, it is essential to look presentable,” says Fashion Expert Dawn Del Russo. “More than ever, we are being observed through our screens. Waking up, putting on a clean new outfit, fixing your hair and adding a touch of makeup will give your mind an instant lift. When you put effort into your look, you put effort naturally into work.”
So, is it possible to find something that will look nice on Zoom but also be comfortable on the couch? Also, I think I speak for all of us when I say that we’d rather not spend a lot of money now on clothing that we can’t wear to our offices whenever they eventually open up. We need pieces that can do it all, and thankfully, the experts we spoke with say that it can be found.
Trae Bodge, smart shopping expert at Truetrae.com, says that fashion trends have been heading in a more casual direction over the past few years – athleisure is a relatively new term – with younger people entering the workforce, but there has been a more aggressive shift towards comfort and casual with the work-from-home nature of the pandemic.
“You can have a very comfortable look that looks elevated that doesn’t cost a fortune,” Bodge says, adding that she likes to look for things that are well cut, well made, washable and in a good price point. “There are brands that are making really beautiful things.”
Embracing Fall Trends
Fall trends are certainly more casual this year, but they are becoming more refined, Russo says. “Think cashmere matching sets and silky loungewear that can be accessorized. Elevated comfort is the look this season.”
Colors are trending toward calming and muted ones like taupes, rose, sage, and subtle blues. Sneakers and low boots are becoming the go-to shoes, and sneakers with dresses, which was once a faux pax, have become the norm.
Russo says that trending styles right now have a 90s vibe, likely due to their casual appeal. Leather is seen on just about everything from pants to skirts, and even trench coats. Sweater vests are making a comeback, and cropped sweaters and turtle neck tops are being paired with high-waisted paper bag pants for fall.
Brands to try
If you’re looking to add some new pieces to your fall wardrobe but still want them to be practical for the current life situation we are all in, check out some of these comfy-yet-chic brands.
PASHKO is an athleisure company providing elevated styles and great cuts at a good price. Their lifestyle apparel is high-performance and eco-friendly. They offer styles for both men and women, including free home try on. Just looking at the top of the pants page for women, the Serene, Namaste, and Purity styles look comfortable and nice enough to wear when you go out or to your office.
Betabrand has some great offerings for staying comfortable at home or in the office. Their classic “Dress Pant Yoga Pants” are more flattering than typical leggings with different cuts (such as boot cut, straight leg, or wide leg) for a more traditional pant-like feel, making the yoga pant more sophisticated. With the different colors and patterns, your boss won’t be able to tell if they’re work pants or yoga pants.
Leimere’s tagline says it all: “Cashmere-infused knitwear, perfect for staying in or going out this fall.” Their elevated cuts have a loungewear fit and feel, so you’re wearing something beautiful, but you feel like you’re in your pajamas. The St. Tropez Jumpsuit, Cabo Set, and Venice Mock Dress are comfortable best-sellers that could easily be worn at the office.
Athleta designs clothing to integrate performance and technical features for everything from running to yoga for active women and girls. Yet many of their items are designed to bridge the gap between comfortable and office-ready. Some of our favorite transitional designs include the Headlands Hybrid Cargo Tight and a line of T-shirts that are great for layering. They also have a number of styles that fall into their City Pant category, including this newly introduced Brooklyn Camo Lined Jogger.
REVOLVE is not necessarily known for selling gym clothing or athleisure styles, but some of their latest offerings fit right into the comfortable chic styles for this particular season. Check out the It Girl Pants, Easy Jumpsuit, and the Scarlett Leather Jogger.
Our Best Transition Tip: Layers
Layers are key for an easy and effortless gym to office transition, Russo says. Try black style yoga pants with a fitted high neck top, a robe style blazer that can be removed for the gym, and finish with a quick change of sneakers to low boots. Plaid pants are also trending and many are made with stretch, which is perfect for work/gym looks.
It doesn’t seem like we’ll be out of this pandemic anytime soon, so look for pieces that can give your work wardrobe a comfortable boost for this fall and beyond.
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