For many, the new norm is to work exclusively from home – a surprising and welcome feature of lockdown. For most people, the return to an office workspace looks less and less likely, and empty nests will become a huge reality for urban landscapes, the length and breadth of the country.
The implications of these changes will directly impact personal style, as people work more online, where a very crucial seven seconds is all it takes to create an impression to online biz buddies, prospective clients and recruiters. This demands a new dress code. One which is casual and comfortable enough for home working, not starchy and formal corporate code, yet chic and considered, to create a positive, professional ‘vibe’.
Curated. Casual. Chic. The new style blueprint for homeworking; dressing with purpose and intent.
So how do we achieve this? A great place to start is to invest in neutrals. Think greys, whites, black, camel, and beige. These staple pieces can be styled in many different ways by introducing pops of accent colour and accessories, to create several different looks. It’s important that these neutrals are in colours and shades to complement natural
colouring – cool or warm skin tone, for instance. A colour consultation can help nail this. Once neutrals are in place, the process can begin to achieve that curated look. By adding jewellery, scarves and jackets, colour is introduced, and multiple looks are achieved, cost-effectively.
Whilst there is no need for the uniform and ubiquitous formality that once dressed the corporate corridors of power, the blueprint for home working must encapsulate an element of chic to avoid appearing slovenly and unprofessional. Neat, well-groomed hair, well-applied, discrete make-up, and manicured and polished nails, whilst seemingly archaic, finishing school tips, are all fundamental to achieving a casual but purposeful look.
Accessories will give a much-needed explosion of colour to the neutral base and, if chosen carefully, will create a chic look and an insight into personality. Style personality is a key component of dressing appropriately and reflecting an individual’s traits and preferences. Two of the six Style Personality descriptors – ‘Quirky Creative’ and ‘Timeless Classic’ recognise and reflect style personality; an individual’s dress code will be aligned and communicated in line with their core values. It’s about creating a personal brand. The impression created should be aligned with the individual, their brand, and their values.
Taking careful account of clutter and background distraction is a well-documented topic but an essential part of the homeworking style blueprint process. Again, it’s about creating a positive first impression. Does the space look functional, organised and purposeful? Prospective clients and collaborators are unlikely to do business, if not.
Whilst casual and comfy are the order of the new homeworking day, the challenge is to be casually dressed with deliberation and design. To dress for flexible, working days with as much care as we did previously, with more focus and less formality.