Remote Workers Returning to the Office Phase Out “Business Casual” in Favor of Resortwear and Sneakers

Hybrid Business Casual
Image via iStock.

The era of business casual outfits may be on its way out at the workplace. As explained over at Fortune, the idea of what constitutes professional attire changed tremendously while the majority of people were working from home.

Suddenly people were able to prioritize comfort or their personal style. But even with many now returning to the office, employees are not ready to just switch back to how things were. So many employees are concocting outfits that can meet the needs of any occasion.

In this new work style, dubbed the “hybrid wardrobe,” jeans, shorts, sneakers, and t-shirts are all becoming fair game for the office. Part of that is due to employees still wanting to retain the comfort and appearance flexibility they were able to enjoy while working from home.

Being remote really made people stop and examine a lot of habits and why they were considered necessary to be productive. More formal attire is one of those choices that workers came to question.

However, another aspect of this shift is just the worker’s personal finances. You used to have your professional side and your casual side and both had totally different styles.

But with prices having risen on everything, people are suddenly a lot more discerning in what they spend money on.

As a matter of practicality, it becomes harder to financially justify having two separate wardrobes that you need to maintain. So instead, many are looking for outfits that can fit in at the office as well as for when they are done work and want to go out with friends.

That is not to say all the habits of business casual have totally disappeared. But rather than a button-down shirt with slacks and dress shoes, that same shirt might be paired with some nice-looking jeans and sneakers.

For women, they might replace the blouse with a plain t-shirt and pair it with a blazer. Workers are looking for outfits that are not only more comfortable but also fashionably transferrable to different aspects of their life outside of work.

If you think this style might be too laid back for you, you might wind up encountering what some in the Fortune article did, where their formal attire suddenly made them stand out in the office as the one who was no longer in style.

Want to learn more about how office attires are evolving? Read what the writers at Fortune have to say here.


As more and more workers return to the office, employers are struggling with how to develop dress codes.


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