Dressing It Down: The Accelerated Shift To Relaxed Workwear


The pre-pandemic era saw a shift to a more relaxed approach to workwear among millennials and gen-z. With ties and high heels no longer considered essential, the counter-corporate culture of the tech industry had a strong influence on the way people dressed for business. With the return to work, the expectations of appearance have changed even more due to the changing attitudes of millennials and gen-z towards work and career. These generations value work-life balance, agility, and the expression of individualism, which is incompatible with the traditional corporate dress code. The growth of the gig economy has further facilitated this shift with the possibility of working from anywhere in comfortable attire.

 The COVID-19 pandemic has had a notable effect on how we dress for work. Video calls and virtual meetings have replaced in-person meetings, which has allowed employees to be more comfortable with their attire. This has resulted in a shift in the way we present ourselves professionally, allowing us to express our individual personalities through our clothing. No longer do ties or high heels need to be worn to demonstrate a person’s ability to do the job.

 In warmer climates, where global companies have offices, allowing employees to wear more comfortable clothing such as shorts and short-sleeved shirts have been beneficial because it has increased productivity and engagement in the workplace. This trend has been particularly pronounced among millennials and gen-Z, whose attitudes towards work and career have changed, and the rise of the tech corporate culture has also contributed to this shift. The pandemic has only added to the trend, and more companies are expected to adopt more flexible and casual dress codes in the future.

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