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If you’ve worked from home the last year or so, chances are you’ve ditched the crisp dress shirts and stiff leather shoes for the clothes and accessories that make you a little more comfortable, like sweats, tees and sneakers.
Now, with more offices opening back up, it’s time to think about what to wear to work again (and how to transition away from your cozy at-home wardrobe into clothing that you can wear around your boss).
“I think we’re starting to see a change in what people are wearing to go back to work,” says designer Trina Turk, who’s known for her bold prints and brightly-colored shirting. “I really think that wearing something fun can put you in a good mood and I think that’s what people want,” she says, adding that she’s been seeing customers gravitate towards “the brightest, the most colorful, the most happy” of pieces.
“Nobody wants to wear the sweatpants anymore, nobody wants to wear their baggy T-shirts anymore,” she says. “I think we’re ready to get back to dressing up.”
Here, we’ve picked a few items that will help you get through your workday in style, with comfort and some fun in mind, too. What you’ll find in this guide: apparel and accessories that you’ll actually want to wear even when you’re not at your desk.
Trade your blazer for something that’s cool, fun and comfortable, like this jacket from Everlane. Plus, remember how cold the office gets? Rock this bomber jacket for an extra layer of warmth, and it’ll also serve as a stylish, professional statement piece that you can wear all year long, including with khakis, selvedge denim or over a suit and tie if you really have to wear one.
Naked Cashmere Thomas Crewneck Sweater
With a classic style and comfortable construction, this bestselling cashmere sweater deserves its own raise. You can wear it on its own or layered over a button-up, but no matter the occasion, it’ll be a work wardrobe staple you can wear for years. It comes in a standard fit, though you may want to go with a slightly larger size if you plan on layering during colder months. It’s available in five colors.
Vida Artist Print Face Mask by Blerta
Whether you’re walking through the office to grab some lunch or making coffee in the kitchen, you still might need to wear a face mask. Instead of a disposable mask, go with a more comfortable reusable style that will last you longer. Vida has a ton of options on its site, including this organic cotton mask that’s part of its line of Artist Print Editions. This two-layered mask even has an adjustable metal bridge, which is ideal if you’re wearing glasses. You’ll also get a few filters to use with it, and it’s also available in an extra-large size.
Flint and Tinder 365 Pants
These versatile pants will keep you cool during warm-weather commutes, say, on your bike, but still look super sharp when you have to hop into a staff meeting. They look great with ties, concert tees and tanks, making getting dressed every morning simple and quick. You can get them in nearly any color, including olive, navy, khaki and gray, and a tapered, straight, and slim fit. They also pack sweats-level comfort thanks to the stretch fabric that Flint and Tinder used. We suggest scooping up a few pairs — they’re perfect for weekends, too.
Everlane Forever Slip-on Sneaker
No, you don’t really need to wear uncomfortable leather dress shoes to work every single day anymore to look professional. In fact, there are a ton of modern pairs of footwear out there that will make you look like a million bucks, whether you’re in a chambray suit or chinos and a jacket and tee. These Everlane Forever Slip-on Sneakers combine a sleek silhouette with a business-casual style that you can rock any day, from your cubicle to getting happy hour cocktails with your colleagues. They’re also super convenient if you have to travel a lot for work.
Billy Reid Pensacola Polo
The only shirts we really want to wear to work this season aren’t just stylish — they’re super comfortable, like this polo from Billy Reid. The designer knows just how to make clothing that strikes a good balance between casual and professional, and this piece will become part of your regular rotation. The cotton top feels super soft and even comes in multiple colors.
Duer Performance Denim Jeans
If you’ve ever slipped on a pair of Duers’ jeans, you know just how good you feel when you’re wearing them. This pair’s made for an active day, whether you’re biking to the office or just want a little extra stretch when you’re sitting at your desk. But for all of the built-in performance they offer, they still look professional with their slim cut, and they come in a range of washes, including black and Heritage Rinse. We think the brand’s jeans are so comfortable that you may just forget all about your sweatpants.
Goodfellow & Co Camp Collar Button-Down
Proof that a stylish, lightweight button-up that you can wear to both the boardroom and the beach does exist.
Buck Mason Slub Curved Hem Tee
We’ve tested countless basic tees over the years, but our hands-down favorite T-shirt to wear to work and beyond comes from Buck Mason. Wear it as a base layer under a button-up, wear it on its own — you can’t go wrong. Over time, it feels like a vintage tee, with a slightly longer, curved cut at the bottom that sits below your waist (but also makes it easier to tuck it in when you want to dress up). It’s a good thing it comes in 11 colors — you’ll want ’em all.
The Rolling Stones Graphic T-Shirt
Whether you’re pairing this graphic tee with a button-up or wearing it on its own with chinos, it’s the perfect T-shirt for casual office style and can make a great top for commutes during the summer. It may even inspire your coworker to retell favorite concert stories from the Seventies.
Panerai Radiomir Stainless Steel and Leather Watch
If you want to invest in your work attire, why not skip the suit and start with what’s going to be on your wrist every day? This automatic Panerai doesn’t look overly dressy, but it’ll be the most timeless timekeeper at the office. It features a 42mm stainless steel case and a brown leather strap, ensuring it can still be a great go-to daily wristwatch for work meetings and all your other appointments.
Patagonia Baggies Shorts
After wearing these for ourselves the last year for nearly every activity, it’s no surprise these Patagonia Baggies are in such high demand. If you’re planning to commute on your bike or run to a fitness class after work, you need these water-repellent shorts. They make for great swim trunks with a mesh lining, and even work well as casual shorts to wear to concerts or a music festival.
Additional reporting by Tim Chan