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Fashion & Style

Fashion & Style

The Concept of Casual Dressing - Workleisure vs. Athleisure

Years ago the concept of Casual Fridays had everyone “talking,” some were welcoming to the concept and others…well not so much. Perhaps the reason being some did not understand it and felt as though work should be associated with traditional suitwear, always. We certainly have come a long way since then with the entry of Athleisure to our wardrobe and overall culture. 

Comfortable and chic, with the ability to be curated ever so stylishly, Athleisure has graced us on the most coveted publications and catwalks. This said, there has always been a looming cloud over the phrased style choice as to whether it was “work appropriate” or not. Today, this is certainly not the case with our current ecosystem. Zoom meetings take precedence over all in-person coffee’s and meetings as well as an elevated importance towards conscience spending and multi-tasking wardrobes – more top of mind than ever before.  

Enter yet another brilliant term (or is it?) ‘Workleisure, a term coined by mixing casual and Athleisure. Like anything in fashion (and life) it evolves – sometimes into something completely new and exciting and other times it is halted until it resurfaces with new nuances. In this case,  

Workleisure was brought to our attention with comfort at the forefront of our society (and good luck getting it to go anywhere now!) while mingling with a more tailored approach.  I always discuss how we want to relay the best version of ourselves to society and most importantly feel confident. A more polished look than the “too casual” image, insert the two-piece sweat pant version I wore to the gym is always preferred, especially in this Workleisure space. When stying this route, keep in mind the following parameters:

Don’ts

  • A fabric that was developed to soak up sweat
  • Bralettes or racerback tops 
  • Anything see-through
  • Sweat pants/track pants (or two piece outfits) that are bulky and truly meant for the gym or yard work
  • Anything overly distressed, tops or bottoms
  • Sleepwear that is truly just that – you cannot transform that from your bed to the meeting virtual or not
  • Footwear that is worn-out 

Do’s

  • An athleisure/sweatpant silhouette transforms into the right look with the right fabric – wool, cashmere, silk or combination stretch fabric; even an elastic waist looks better with these fabrics
  • Print or pattern that is not too busy
  • Sweaters and t-shirts with some embellishment
  • Jackets without drastic tailoring unless you’re comfortable with that; think cardigan, kimono style, wrap-around, zip-up
  • Great sleeves which is always a statement without overtly trying too hard

Let’s look at a few options that work and that I would recommend.

The pandemic shattered all traditional workwear “stigmas” and subsequently turned our work attire upside down as a whole. The reality is this workwear culture has been shifting as early as the late 80’s in the corporate world for some but over the last few months, this new “normal” of workwear has been expedited in most industries and adopted as Workleisure. 

The shift has been made and although we still crave comfort and the pj-bottoms as our trousers, it gets tiresome. For our mental health, the effort that we put into our look, from hygiene, tying up our hair in a simple ponytail, to our wardrobe choice makes one feel like they are setting their day up for success. 

As we continue to navigate through this pandemic, we tend to question, what is next?  Will we re enter a period of closure for businesses, will lockdown circle back? What do all these questions look like for our wardrobe and style choices?…I say it is a balance – as we should be practicing for all things in our life.  A balance for our wardrobe. Workleisure, a balance of work and leisure, that is exactly it. Don’t over do it on one side over the other when styling. 

We want to maintain our effortless look, with fashion flair yet a polished professional look…lo and behold Workleisure.

fotini xoxo

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Written by: Fotini Learn
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