A Return to the Office Beckons New Business Casual Options for Women

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The last couple of years have been an odd shift for work attire. Many went from wearing typical professional attire in the office each day to suddenly working from home and being able to dress totally casually.

Now as people return back to the office, there is more of a compromise happening between the two styles to offer more business casual choices.

Per the New York Times, there are quite a few new options available for women at work. Here are some of the changes offices have seen as well as what has remained classic choices.

Experts spoken to about the topic said that business casual has been seeing a transformation into “business comfort.” While working from home, many only had to dress professionally from the waist up due to appearing on camera at a desk.

And now that more casual approach to the lower half of outfits is starting to show up in offices.

Women now might still wear blazers, but also pair it with a comfortable pair of sneakers rather than high heels.

It is also now more common to see professional-looking pants that have gotten rid of zippers and buttons in favor of elastic. We are seeing more of a hybrid as elements of comfortable leisure wear are being integrated into professional-looking garments.

However, it should be noted that this kind of loosening of the dress code is dependent on your profession. Legal or government jobs are still basically operating under the same style expectations as pre-pandemic. And offices that are fully on site now may not have as much flexibility as offices that utilize a hybrid setup.

Still, as the older generations phase-out of the managerial role and those positions get passed onto millennials and generation Z, more youthful views on formality can be expected.

Many department stores have now shifted away from selling plain, neutral work dresses. In their place are sundresses. High heel sales have also dipped across the board in favor of more comfortable flat shoes.

You may now very likely find it to be the case that rather than there being one solid standard for what professional attire means, it could vary quite widely depending on the office and your boss.

For a complete run down of all the style choices you now have to conform with business casual dress codes, read the New York Times piece here.


Amanda @siedleraesthetic shares her perspective on what to wear to work – after the whole working from home situation.


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