After a year of working from home, more Singaporeans are returning to the office.
That means it is time to shrug off your loungewear and change back into office wear, but that does not necessarily mean the stiff, starched suits and sharp dresses of pre-Covid-19 days.
As dressing patterns shift in a pandemic age, stylists say they are seeing unique concerns from customers.
Ms Joy Tan, 39, founder of style consultancy The Style Atelier, has noticed many companies becoming more open to casual attire in their dress codes. But it has led to a new problem for her clients – how to look stylishly casual.
“People welcome dressing casually, but don’t want to look and feel frumpy,” says Ms Tan, who runs the business with Ms Violet Chan, 44.
“Textbook references on smart-casual dressing can seem quite uncomfortable or suited to the West. Singaporeans want (something) suited for the climate here.”
Even in the pandemic era, dressing should still bring you “social rewards”, such as exuding authority or friendliness at work, adds Ms Tan, whose company offers a range of coaching programmes in skills such as grooming, styling and language.
While stylists agree there is no one-size-fits-all solution – given an individual’s unique body shape, features and lifestyle – here are some tricks you can try to gear up for the office.