If you’re getting ready to return to the office after months of Zoom and Teams calls in jogging bottoms, now could be a good time to press reset and refresh your wardrobe.
For some it will mean simply adding a few of this season’s new styles (hello statement blazer) to their usual workwear wardrobe, while for others it’s a chance to begin wearing informal work outfits that still have a nod to the comfort of home working.
Whatever your style, Drake Circus has more than 60 retailers ready and waiting to help you pick up some pieces you’ll love.
To help you plan ahead, here’s our short guide to planning your back to work wardrobe:
*Image provided by M&S
Shop this season’s styles
Bring your wardrobe up to date with the addition of a few statement pieces that embrace this season’s latest styles.
For women, puffy sleeves and pastels are in this summer, bringing a bit of fun to your office clothing. Wide leg trousers are also on trend and are the perfect combination of being both smart and comfortable.
For men, you can’t go wrong with a classic white shirt, or a striped top. And, with many workplaces having a more relaxed vibe after 18 months of working from the kitchen table, now might be the time to add a bit more casual to your wardrobe with a statement shirt or a bright coloured jumper.
If you’re not one for following trends, building a capsule wardrobe of timeless basic pieces which you can mix and match to create a range of outfits for work is a great idea. There’s plenty of inspiration online to help you get started.
*Image provided by M&S
Get ready for the commute
Whether you’re hopping on a bus or driving to work, don’t forget to factor your travel plans into your wardrobe update.
Layers are often the solution, meaning you can wrap up warm when travelling but not overheat in the office, or vice versa. Sometimes the air-conditioning in the office can leave you feeling a bit chilly, so it’s always a good idea to leave a light-weight cardigan or jumper in your work locker if you can.
Think about your back-to-the-office shoes too, as heels or even trainers that haven’t been worn in can set your day off on the wrong foot, too. Head to schuh or Marks & Spencer here at Drake Circus to check out the latest styles and get expert advice. And don’t forget to always carry an umbrella in your bag!
Keep some home comforts
If you’re addicted to your loungewear and slippers, then returning to the workplace might feel like a shock to the system.
If your job requires you to be on the smarter side of casual, then there’s plenty of ways you can still keep the home comforts. Try a pair of box fresh white trainers teamed with a midi work dress, or comfortable smart-trousers with an elasticated waist – the idea is that your smarter clothing balances out the informality of your footwear.
Equally, jeans can be smartened up with a structured shirt or blazer, and adding a bit of jewellery or a watch can also help to elevate the style of an outfit. Head to H&M, New Look or River Island for some inspiration.
Choose the right bag
As well as your outfits, it’s worth thinking about what bags are going to be best for hauling your daily essentials to and from work. Accessorize, Marks & Spencer and Next are your go-to places for stylish totes, rucksacks and laptop bags for both men and women.
*Image provided by Accessorize
And don’t forget, if you’re going to be hybrid working, you might also need to factor in carrying around your IT equipment too.
From day to night
The return to work may also bring with it the return of evening drinks and socialising with colleagues too – cheers to that! There’s plenty of ways to turn your smart office wear into something a bit more casual for after hours.
Midi dresses and jumpsuits are a must in your office-wear wardrobe to help to cut down on your outfit planning time and you can easily style them to transform your outfit from a day to night look. With a quick change of shoes, shedding a tie or blazer, you can turn your office outfits into something a little more casual, or dressy, for the evening.
*Image provided by New Look
Don’t forget to add some accessories – jump on the latest trends by picking up some chunky gold earrings, colourful bead necklaces or hair scrunchies.
Make-up can also help with your transition from day to night. Beauty consultants at Boots are on hand here at Drake Circus to guide you if you’re looking for some inspiration.
And not forgetting…
That’s your new work wardrobe sorted, but there’s a few more things you’ll want to consider before you head back.
For those going back to a desk, now’s the perfect time to give your workspace a fresh new look too. Head to Paperchase or Tiger for a whole host of desk accessories, including desk tidies, desk organisers and stationery. Why not also print some new photographs for your desk frames and give yourself a reason to smile first thing in the morning.
If you’re thinking of taking your own lunch in to work, then it’s time to transport it in style. Paperchase and Tiger have some brilliant adult lunch bags that will keep your food cool and dry, but won’t ruin your smart new look.
*Image provided by Paperchase
A stylish insulated water bottle is also a great way to keep you hydrated through the day. They can hold either hot or cold drinks, and you’ll find them in stores such as Paperchase, Tiger and Marks & Spencer.