By Boma Benjy – Iwuoha
Over the last six months, with the lockdown experienced in several countries, many have gone from regular nine to five daily job routines to remote work, virtual meeting and webinars, having little or no reason to dress up.
And as things begin to return to normalcy, work schedules are not quite the same, as organizations have learnt to operate remotely and have little or no need for dress-up daily routines. In some cases, the corporate look has been replaced by smart casuals.
Now, what happens to our beautiful wardrobe, and fashionable work clothes (the ones that still fit), shoes and newly acquired accessories? Do we innovate with what we have, or do we make a schedule to reminisce about our days of planned weekly wardrobes? I would say innovate.
The French fashion designer and businesswoman, Coco Chanel once said; “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, and what is happening.”
With the shift from regular to remote work, we should indeed consider a shift in our daily wardrobe. After all, change they say, is the only constant in life. So we move with the times.
Let’s take a look at our wardrobe after the lockdown:
- Virtual Operations:
When operating remotely and holding virtual meetings, we can get sucked up in our comfort zone. Oftentimes we are multi-tasking, and we end up taking meetings with the hairnet on. (Who’s watching when the video is off right?) Don’t get too comfortable in you lose T-Shirt, oil-stained nightie or simply sitting on the bed with your underwear. You never know when you will mistakenly click the video on.
For some, makeup has become a thing of the past, even when the video is on (I’m not judging, I am guilty of this too). Imagine how you would feel if you saw a picture of your daily zoom conference call show up online with you looking how you actually took the call. I am thinking about it now, and I do not want to see that picture.
I guess it’s time to move with the times if you need to take a virtual meeting, do not let those clothes go to waste, remember they could actually go out of season so make use of them. Dress up, put on some makeup, put your hair in order. Looking good, like you were actually going for a meeting, even when no one sees you can also sprinkle some confidence in your voice. Is it a marketing call, an office routine meeting, or an E- interview? Look your best even when it’s just you. It’s not a crime to look good for you.
By dressing well, you do not only look better, but you also feel better, which makes you act with even more confidence. I would know this; I feel 100 times better every time I leap into my pumps.
- Smart Casuals:
Due to the new mode of operations, most organizations have adopted a more relaxed – smart casual dress code. I walked into a bank recently and was surprised to see the usually stuffed up staff looking all at home in their T-Shirts and casual blazers. I caught myself wondering if it was a casual Friday, but no, it was Monday.
While this shift may be a welcome development for some who always hoped the day would come when they can walk into the office in little black dress, this may not exactly mean the little black dress kind of casual.
Smart casual is a dress code that typically comprises of well-fitting, neat and appropriate pieces that are slightly less formal than a business casual or business professional dress code. However, smart casual is much more elevated and put-together than dressing for off-hours and avoids items that are too casual or loose-fitting.
So now is the time to scan that wardrobe, and put those clothes together in a different way. Finally, we get to wear those things we could not find the time to.
Like that skinny stretchy white pants that always looked like it did not belong to the office, well, now it can, with the help of a blazer and a white shirt.
- The Masks – safety is the keyword
It has become standard practice to have your face mask on before you are allowed access into public places.
In this context, facemasks are protective materials covering the nose and mouth to help reduce a person to person exposure to the saliva and respiratory secretions and reduce the spread of the coronavirus disease.
These face masks have become part of our daily routine; it is safe to say they have come to stay. And since they have, why not make it fashion?
Earlier on, the majority of the people basically needed a face covering, but lately, it’s been incorporated into ladies clothing. It’s now made in different colours, fabrics, styles and designs. What’s worth doing is worth doing well, right?
Finally, what do we do with clothes that don’t fit anymore?
While some people took advantage of the lockdown period to keep up with their exercises, adopt a healthy lifestyle and shed some weight. Majority of the people, especially, people in the corporate settings who saw the lockdown as a long holiday, took to their fridges, binged, slept and gained a ton of weight. I would know, I went from a clothing size ten to size twelve and gained nine kilograms.
Weight gain would naturally mean that your clothes no longer fit properly. Shopping for new clothes has also become an expensive venture following employee pay cuts, and many more pressing budgetary needs.
Everyone wants to know what to do with their clothes that don’t fit anymore. Well, there’s not much you can do with tight clothes. If you try to alter them, you probably destroy them completely. Besides, tight clothes make you look even bigger than you actually are so my advise? Start a fitness challenge, keep fit and lose some weight.
That way, you can fit right into your gorgeous clothes again.
In my next article, I would be sharing a thirty-day fitness challenge that would keep you energized and healthy, and help you fit into your clothes again.