From sharp and good relaxed to seasonal and classic, workwear has advanced because the pandemic for these Atlantic Canadians

As much more Atlantic Canadians return to their workplaces following everyday living in the throes of the pandemic and below lockdown, where by everyday seems and calm suits dominated, numerous have been remaining wondering what accurately to have on.

“We aren’t just dressing our higher halves for a Zoom conference anymore it is time for a total head-to-toe specialist seem,” explained Billie-Jane Buell.

The Brackley Seashore, P.E.I-dependent principal designer and operator of Buell Types Inc. has been witnessing a surge in demand for her expert services, which incorporate picture consulting/wardrobe styling, closet edits, individual purchasing and company specialist graphic keynote talking.

Buell has worked as a costume designer, assistant costume designer and wardrobe consumer in the Toronto film market, with and for well known superstars these types of as Rob Lowe, Farrah Fawcett, Jessica Lange and Liane Balaban. She brings her exceptional know-how and manner instincts to her existing position, which entails performing with shoppers ranging from novices to seasoned specialists throughout Canada on their wardrobe/workwear challenges.

“I take pleasure in sharing my skills and passion, while collaborating with shoppers to create their new, tailor made, hybrid workwear design,” she stated.


As someone who's worked with and for famous celebrities in the fashion and film industry, Brackley Beach, P.E.I.-based Billie-Jane Buell, principal designer and owner of Buell Designs Inc., combines her knowledge, expertise and fashion instincts to collaborate with her clients across Canada. - Capture Photography
As another person who’s worked with and for renowned celebrities in the vogue and film business, Brackley Beach, P.E.I.-based Billie-Jane Buell, principal designer and proprietor of Buell Designs Inc., combines her knowledge, experience and manner instincts to collaborate with her shoppers throughout Canada. – Seize Pictures

Buell suggested concentrating on the following wardrobe fundamentals: entire body condition, proportion, colours, fit and personalization.

“I remind my clients to get sustainable when achievable, or to store vintage,” she commented. “Also, closet edits are a great way to be funds-aware and conscious of the environment by repurposing some of your present wardrobe with a uncomplicated alteration respiratory new everyday living into it.”

The reaction she’s been acquiring has been overwhelmingly beneficial and her purchasers are transitioning well.

“Most of my image consulting/wardrobe styling shoppers are prepared to ditch large heels and electrical power suits, likely instead for modern-day seems that are qualified, with relieve of movement, this sort of as a wonderful excellent T-shirt, blazer, straight-legged dim denims (with no contrasting best stitching) and cozy footwear that does not sacrifice on style,” she said.

These times, she observed, a great deal of adult men and females are sporting hybrid dress pants in functionality materials to the office environment, thanks to the mother nature of their stretch blends, generating them relaxed and wrinkle-totally free.

“These crossbreed pant models appear dressy and are business office-deserving when paired with the right tops,” she defined. “Golf pants in reliable colours can very easily double as men’s gown pants for the office not just on the greens.”


“Most of my image consulting/wardrobe styling customers are completely ready to ditch high heels and electrical power fits, likely in its place for modern day appears to be like that are skilled, with relieve of movement.”
— Billie-Jane Buell


She also has a recommendation for ladies.

“A wonderful women’s bi-stretch slacks design and style to look at is the Kate straight-leg pant in bi-extend cotton, by J. Crew,” she explained.

Despite this newfound latitude, Buell cautions her customers not to acquire it much too much.

“Be watchful not to cross into the territory of becoming much too casual that can immediately read as unprofessional,” she explained.

When it comes to her individual wardrobe, she gravitates toward classics that face up to the test of time and are infused with individualized design and style factors. She prefers sustainable normal fibres, white cotton shirts, high quality cotton standard T-shirts, graphic T-shirts, great-fitting denims, pencil skirts, flexible blazers and classic leather jackets.

“I also have an assortment of go-to designer sun shades, an understated white gold pinky ring from Malta as a finishing contact and fab footwear to anchor my outfit,” she reported.



As somebody who considers her fashion to be at any time-evolving, her thoroughly-constructed options supply a trace of her identity.

“I have a large selection of classic brooches that I discover inspirational and an heirloom cameo/ruby necklace that was produced in Sweden lots of yrs in the past, which has fantastic meaning to me,” she explained.

Adding a own contact is one thing she encourages her clientele to incorporate in their new ‘hybrid workwear style’ in order to truly feel authentic, though remaining respectfully skilled.

With a new 12 months on us, Buell encourages her consumers to reimagine their 2023 workwear.

“It’s time to make what we wear to get the job done a new hybrid design and style that appears to be like professional: is flattering, whilst remaining cozy and anxiety-cost-free,” she reported. “No sacrifices — comfort and ease and type can now unite.”

Good informal

Conor Stack couldn’t agree a lot more. The well-liked St. John’s, NL-dependent realtor with Royal LePage House Consultants and attorney can be discovered sporting a new glimpse as he serves the greater St. John’s region, wherever he’s been very hectic.

“Before the pandemic, I most likely leaned a bit more toward small business casual, these kinds of as gown trousers, gown shirts and blazers,” he explained. “Now, I’m more on the aspect of clever casual, wearing pleasant, darkish denims purchased at Civic Duty, which is a socially-conscious and locally-inspired shop, or Lululemon’s ABC pants, which attribute a wide variety of matches — all intended with ease and comfort in thoughts, with a pleasant, quick sleeve costume shirt, or sweater.”

While some firms have costume codes in area — classified as business qualified, enterprise casual, good relaxed or casual — Stack mentioned Royal LePage does not have a gown code.

“Various realtors dress anyplace from very casually to fits and ties, but I’d say most dress clever casual,” he said, incorporating there’s a smart cause for that, whilst noting Blundstone boots comprehensive his appear.

“Sometimes, I end up in crawl areas, dirty basements, overgrown backyards or industrial, business properties, so it isn’t always useful to gown up.”

While the newfound overall flexibility in article-pandemic workwear is a stark distinction from the whole fits Stack would wear 4 days a week through his several years of doing the job as a law firm at Cox & Palmer in St. John’s, in addition to once in a while as a realtor, one particular theory he adheres to is the worth of projecting a experienced picture at all instances.

“I imagine it is essential for consumers to know I choose their appointments significantly and I’m arriving well prepared,” he reported. “That begins with knowing the houses and performing the acceptable investigation, but it also incorporates dressing appropriately for the working day.”

It’s a issue Buell can not emphasize ample.

“Employees should really make thoughtful alternatives about what they dress in to work because they’re symbolizing their employers’ manufacturer id,” she reported. “It’s important to be respectful of that and to depict your employers nicely in entrance of shoppers/consumers.”

As for companies who may perhaps have to speak with workers about the significance of adhering to a company’s costume code, Buell gives the subsequent tips.

“Employers really should generally make their staff informed that there are dress code anticipations to abide by and to share these details with them,” she stated.

She pressured that open transparency and communication are vital.

“Everyone is an personal and should have a minimal wiggle room to specific themselves to a selected extent, while staying in the parameters of their employer’s dress code and manufacturer identification,” she said. “Employers also need to be open up-minded and handle all staff members with equality and regard.”

Combining looks

As for Atlantic Canadians who operate in other options, they’re also locating inventive methods to reinvent their appear as they re-arise from the shadow of the pandemic and into the highlight.

Sarah Roberts, of Halifax, N.S., is a single of them. An alumna of Dalhousie University, she graduated in 2021 with a Bachelor of Administration majoring in entrepreneurship and innovation and minoring in economics.

Right now, the 23-12 months-outdated is the founder and communications officer of New Enterprise, a non-profit firm she recognized in 2019.

“We aim to make entrepreneurship an accessible and equitable place for all persons in our group,” she spelled out, incorporating she’s passionate about generating social improve.


Sarah Roberts of Halifax, N.S. is the founder and communications officer of New Venture. When it comes to workwear, she merges classic and contemporary elements into her wardrobe with ease. - Gabrielle Bailey photo
Sarah Roberts of Halifax, N.S. is the founder and communications officer of New Venture. When it comes to workwear, she merges vintage and up to date features into her wardrobe with relieve. – Gabrielle Bailey image

New Enterprise hosts a selection of revolutionary applications on subjects these types of as entrepreneurship talent development. Its most recent is called Minor Capabilities Library, where business people teach every single other about the business enterprise capabilities they have.

The group also has an initiative termed the New Enterprise Market. A household-pleasant celebration, it delivers everywhere from 20-40 distributors with an opportunity to market their wares, which incorporate goods this sort of as garments, jewellery, arts and crafts, baked items and much more. The most recent one particular will take spot at the Halifax Brewery Industry on Feb 4, from 4-7 p.m.

When it will come to what she’s been wearing to get the job done, Roberts, has been combining appears to be, which are both innovative and present-day.

“For a the latest Small Abilities Library occasion, I wore a product-colored, chunky knit sweater, layered around a billowy, orange circle skirt with a dainty, floral sample,” she recounted. “I biked to the function, so I wore my Converse system substantial-tops. I almost often dress in some of my maternal grandmother’s jewellery, together with her gold bangle bracelets and my paternal grandmother’s Claddagh ring.”

Roberts is also the guide singer of the Halifax-based mostly pop-punk band, Steel Minimize Oats. Very last November, they were voted Ideal New Artist/Band by The Coastline, winning gold. The quintet launched their debut EP, At The Eleventh Hour, last thirty day period and, when it arrives to picking awe-inspiring attire, the band has a palpable feeling of enthusiasm.

“At times, we’ll put on matching outfits, while, at other periods, we’ll adhere to selected color schemes and aid each individual other pick issues out,” she reported. “Our glance is very eclectic.”


Steel Cut Oats, a pop-punk band from Halifax, N.S., use their carefully-crafted fashion style to make as much of a statement as their music. They are, from left to right, (top) Emma Laffoley, Ted Morris; (bottom) Sarah Roberts, Sophie Janke and Johannes Koechling. - Clem Olivier photo
Steel Slash Oats, a pop-punk band from Halifax, N.S., use their very carefully-crafted fashion design and style to make as substantially of a statement as their new music. They are, from still left to correct, (major) Emma Laffoley, Ted Morris (base) Sarah Roberts, Sophie Janke and Johannes Koechling. – Clem Olivier picture

The classic glance

Ted Morris, 23, of Port Williams, N.S. concurs. He’s the band’s drummer. With programs in the works for a tour alongside the East Coastline this spring, he’s wanting forward to demonstrating off his signature vintage-impressed glance on the street.

As another person who loves snagging items like prolonged, button-up shirts and vests from regional stores like Hazel’s Handpicked Clothing in Port Williams and Ametora Source in Centreville, as very well as hats from thrift outlets like Consignor’s Spot in New Minas, his hottest foray into the entire world of manner has been a supply of intrigue.

“I obtain obscure manufacturers created in Canada and the United States, as properly as older pieces manufactured a lot more domestically, extremely attention-grabbing,” he mentioned.

And when Morris is not searching for his most recent treasure to reveal on stage, the 2021 graduate of Acadia’s Group Progress with Environmental and Sustainability Reports application can be found dressed sensibly, according to the period, for his job as the assets manager and eco-educator at Ross Creek Centre for the Arts. Located on a sprawling farm of nearly 200 acres of mainly forested property on the North Mountain outside of Canning, it merges arts instruction for youth with neighborhood and specialist artist systems.

Morris can take care of the buildings and the landscape, in addition to primary events and environmental education.

“There’s a serious arms-on ingredient to my position, so my workwear mostly consists of previous T-shirts and workpants,” he said. “In phrases of footwear, I are likely to wear steel-toe Blundstone boots. On the other hand, in the winter, I go for anything extra rugged: a pair of green Bekina boots, as perfectly as toques. And, in the summer time, you can capture me in denim overalls and a straw hat.”


As the drummer of the Halifax, N.S.-based pop-punk band, Steel Cut Oats, Ted Morris loves showcasing his latest vintage threads finds on stage. - Ish Aquino Photography
As the drummer of the Halifax, N.S.-based pop-punk band, Metal Lower Oats, Ted Morris enjoys showcasing his latest classic threads finds on phase. – Ish Aquino Pictures

Initially impressions however depend

With many Atlantic Canadians established to graduate from institutions of bigger discovering and vie for jobs in a competitive natural environment this spring, Buell presents some advice.

“First impressions actually rely in a occupation job interview,” she reported. “This is the time to showcase what a beneficial staff you’ll be to your prospective employer.”

She advised dressing in a contemporary, tidy, non-distracting and specialist way exuding competence and self-assurance.

“Your wardrobe requires to reflect your ideal self and relate to the situation you are interviewing for,” she said. “If it is a amazing, graphic design and style place, you can costume in a more informal and inventive way, but, if it’s a company posture, you need to undoubtedly dress in a level of business put on. A tie is not a necessity any longer, but a very good, collared shirt with gown trousers and blazer, will assistance you rock your interview.”

Buell also indicates studying to see if the corporation you’re interviewing with in fact has a gown code, prior to your interview.

“Don’t fail to remember: eye speak to, great posture and a smile are all great add-ons to your outfit,” she suggested.


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