Post-pandemic fashion boom looms as workers return to the office, survey finds

‘Post-lockdown, what constitutes workwear is likely to become altogether more fluid and versatile,’ office company claims

Richard Jenkins
Tuesday 30 March 2021 17:57 BST
<p>The average worker is planning to splurge on clothes for their return to the office</p>

The average worker is planning to splurge on clothes for their return to the office

Returning to the office is set to ignite a post-pandemic fashion boom, as more than half of UK workers plan to refresh their work wardrobe, according to a survey

The average worker is preparing to spend nearly £200 each on new work clothes in the next month to celebrate the end of lockdown, it is claimed.

But some admitted that working from home comfort would be hard to forget, and they planned to buy “comfortable clothes” for their office re-entry.

Hybrid working was also set to become the norm, with most of the 2,000 office workers polled planning to mix home and office working in the future.

The poll was commissioned by The Office Group to mark the launch of Liberty House, its latest flexible workspace opposite the Liberty London department store in Soho’s fashion district.

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Nasim Köerting, head of design at The Office Group, said: “Our research shows that people are largely looking forward to the return to the office, and after a year of low-key dressing, this time will be exciting for many workers, offering them the chance to express themselves through their outfits.

“And just as workers will be seeking fashionable office outfits, so they should demand the same style and inspiring design from their workspaces – as good design fosters productivity, creativity and collaboration.”

The survey found that a year of remote working had had a lasting impact on the nation’s sartorial choices, with 38 per cent of workers looking to retain the feeling of “comfort” achieved by the dressed-down approach that typified lockdown.

This sentiment extended to their post-lockdown office demands, as several now wanted their workplaces to have a home-from-home feel.

Just 12 per cent of adults planned to return to a traditional, formal office look once synonymous with the nine-to-five. Instead, the majority intend to adopt a “smart casual” look.  

But more than one-third of those polled via OnePoll felt happier at work when dressing to suit their own style, and one-quarter said dressing for work on their own terms made them more productive.


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