Annette Prieto Llopis
Director Client Relations, Center for Hispanic LeadershipFollow this author
During the past few months several clients and friends have come to me in a bit of what I have termed the “post-pandemic wardrobe frenzy.” Many of us are having to return to our company’s offices and no longer have the comfort of working from home leisurewear to rely on. For many of us, the time saved not fretting about our appearance and clothes was the only upside to the pandemic. Yet now the reality is employers want to see us in person.
Some of my clients complain about gaining “covid weight” admitting that most of their work wardrobe is too snug. Others say they simply forgot how to put an appropriate business ensemble together since their staples for the past year and a half have been yoga pants and t-shirts. Accessories now seem foreign.
I completely understand how this can seem daunting at first. For most of us, our main priority was keeping ourselves and our loved ones healthy. All other concerns seemed frivolous in comparison. Yet now, ready, or not, we are having to adjust once more and pivot back to what may seem like a lifetime ago. To say the least, nothing’s been easy since Covid first rocked our world March 2020. And now this…having to pull ourselves together and get our work style back.
I am here to tell you first and foremost, if you are experiencing this work wardrobe conundrum do not spend one more unnecessary moment stressing. My hope is to provide you some simple style solutions that won’t break the bank yet will have you feeling confident to charge into your office doors once again.
Unless your company has a required uniform or specific dress code, making certain you have the appropriate wardrobe staples is key. Whether you now need to shop for a new size or simply need a closet refresh, these staples include but are not limited to black slacks, a few blouses to match and comfortable knee-length dresses. Most of us have business-friendly shoes, purses and jewelry that just need to be dusted off a bit. You can find these staples many even on clearance at TJMaxx, Marshalls, Target and The Rack. You will, undoubtedly, find brand name pants, blouses, and dresses no matter your size or body shape. These stores currently have a wide variety of work appropriate designer blouses and dresses ranging between $15-$60.
Gaby Style fuchsia dress Marshalls on clearance for $20
Calvin Klein white blouse Ross on clearance for $4.49 & Banana Republic black pants TJMaxx for $5.99
If your place of work allows jeans even if just on casual Fridays, consider yourself having won the workplace wardrobe lottery. Yet please do yourself and your career a favor and refrain from ripped or boyfriend jeans in the workplace. You always want to demonstrate a professional appearance even if the setting is more casual. I recommend saving those relaxed styles for weekends and social outings. Invest in a great-fitting pair of dark denim (dark is dressier). These can be paired with blouses, sweaters, blazers and depending on the season your go-to shoe can be wedges, booties, or flats. Wearing thong sandals is another fashion faux pas for most of us.
If any of this resonates with you; you are in luck. Most stores have their summer styles on clearance and the fall fashions trickling in - often on sale as well. It’s a great time to bargain shop.
Happy styling, brighter days!
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