The relationship between getting dressed in the morning and feeling productive for the day ahead has been one of age-old debate. But the discussion on the intersection of productivity and fashion has never been more relevant than it is now.
As many of us are in the process of transitioning from working from home to returning to the office the conversation surrounding productivity is on everybody’s lips. Discussions surrounding preferences of working from home versus from the office come hand in hand with conversations surrounding workwear. When we began working from home during the pandemic, our fashion choices transitioned from smart-casual to more comfortable options. However, did this hinder the nation’s productivity or is comfort the best way to ensure a proactive day at work?
Although this topic predominantly revolves around opinion and personal preference, there have been a lot of reports and statistics surrounding the matter. Each attempting to make sense of the issue.
The Way You Dress
The way we dress aides productivity and creates a sense of routine. Our current reality is one with all sense of schedule upside down. Moreover, we can now see a strict differentiation between work attire and clothes for relaxation.
This argument is countered with the belief that comfort, for many, allows for better focus on tasks. It eliminates distractions as well as allowing you to feel your upmost confident in order to boost productivity.
With the varying debates, I do not believe that this is a topic that can truly be quantified. The statistics may determine what works for the majority of people, but it can never prove that one option is undeniably better than the other. There will always be people who work better in different environments and conditions; including the clothes that they wear.
The answer to this debate is that people work the best that they can when they are comfortable and confident. And while that may seem like an argument against workwear, it is actually quite the opposite. When it comes to workwear, some of us feel motivated and inspired when dressing up for work. It’s part of the working life culture and we enjoy the structure that having a working wardrobe gives us.
I.e. some of us would never be caught wearing pyjama bottoms on a Zoom call. Fashion certainly changes, and relaxes ever so slightly, when performing those same tasks from home. We’re more likely to choose comfort. Similarly, the return to the office may be met with excitement about age-old traditions, but others may be struggle with the rigidity of a dress-code.
The conclusion of my argument is that productivity increases when we are comfortable and confident. Without a shadow of a doubt, comfort and confidence looks different to us all. Whether comfort to you is jeans, athleisure or a suit, you will work at your best when you feel at your best.
The way we dress has a huge impact on our day-to-day lives. It influences self-expression, confidence, and comfort with every fashion decision. Therefore, the change in attitudes towards post-pandemic workwear could have potential improvements for productivity. I note that the move past strict dress codes could improve the working culture of many businesses. Not only can would we dress based off our own ideals, but we would also have the freedom of expression.
Amelia Gregory is Junior Fashion Lead for SSEDITORIAL. She writes on everything from sustainability to runway. She is our lead contributor for red carpet reviews, so keep an eye out for her latest 'Best Dressed' list. Find her on Instagram: @milly_gregory