Back-to-Work Survival Skills for Women
What’s trending in the new casual office
After more than a year of working from home, returning to the office can feel like going into the wild. Surviving back-to-work means gearing up with clothes that are comfortable yet show you mean business
To many returning to the office, the combination of professional and comfort is a must. So it’s time to assemble a kit with durable, long-lasting accessories and on-trend outfits that don’t stray too far from WFH comforts.
“Focus on professional-looking clothing items in knit and woven fabrics,” advises Elizabeth Lewis, CEO and founder of Brand, Style & Bloom, a personal branding and personal styling consultancy. And she’s just being honest when suggesting we could all use a little stretch to help accommodate that Covid-15+ many of us have gained.
Rachel High Rise Skinny - Yoga Jeans
We know, ditching your leggings and spandex shorts is a tough pill to swallow. But as you gear up for returning to work, these Yoga Jeans are a great piece of kit to have in your closet. No one has to know about the stretchy denim - all they’ll see is the flattering, hip-hugging fit.
Resolve 2 Jacket - The North Face
Be ready for wind, rain, or cold with a durable everyday jacket. The North Face is well-known for their pieces that last for years, and this jacket is no exception. It’s designed to withstand any surprises from Mother Nature as well as the typical chilly office environment (the air-conditioned one, not asking-for-a-raise one).
Monarch Short Sleeve Shirt - Obey
Blouses like these will help you flow back into the office space. They’re silky enough to remind you of your morning robe, but will leave a good impression on your colleagues and clients. It’s the perfect combination of a classy button-down with a soft WFH shirt feel.
Culotta Casual Pants - Minimum
Wide-leg trousers like these are a key piece of clothing for anyone’s go-to outfit. They’re on-trend, made of soft fabric, and look professionally tailored.
One Series Collared Coverup Shirt - Reebok
Be prepared for anything the bumpy office hallway throws your way with this versatile off-white button-down. The waist tie gives you some sophistication, while the ripstop polyester material is cool and comfortable. Plus, it matches everything!
Smartwatch Ionic - Fitbit
This practical everyday watch will help you work off some of that pandemic paunch. The health insights keep you motivated, and the big, square screen adds a bit of flair to your comfy back-to-the-office look.
1-1/2 Bridle Leather Belt - Filson
Buckle up for crazy deadlines and last-minute meetings with this sharp-looking essential belt. The saddle-grade leather will last for years, and you can customize the fit with the seven belt holes.
Vera Wallet - Matt & Nat
A go-to wallet is a must for quick sprints to lunch or a mad-dash for coffee. This one fits all your cards and cash while maintaining a slim, chic size. Plus, it looks so good you might be tempted to stay out on break a bit longer.
Dina Scarf - SOIA & KYO
Feel like your stretchy jeans and white button-down are too plain for the boardroom? Stand out from the pack with this flowy, neutral scarf. The crinkled texture and geometric lines will have you looking sleek and styled for any client lunch or board meeting.
Bandana - Dovetail Workwear
Shield yourself from dusty roads as you make your way to the office with a classic bandana. This is a multi-functional piece of kit that you can wear as a hair accessory, use to clean up emergency coffee spills - and can even be a face mask in a pinch.
2976 Leonore Faux Fur Lined Chelsea Boots - Dr. Martens
How many times have you looked out at a dreary sky before heading to work and thought, “Ugh, if only I had rain boots!” Gear up with these soft faux-fur-lined Chelsea boots. You’ll be able to head into those colder, wetter months knowing you’ve got your footwear attire covered.
V10 Leather Extra Sneakers - Veja
Sometimes to survive the day, you just need to stunt in a pair of all-white, fancy sneakers. These sustainably built shoes look amazing with many different outfits and help you look put together every time.
Adrian Polished Smooth Shoes - Dr. Martens
It’s go time: dressier shoes are a must for those days when you have an important meeting or are taking a client out. These classic leather loafers with a double tassel will boost your confidence for any occasion.
574 Shoes - New Balance
Neutral, casual sneakers are the working equivalent of a good pair of hiking boots when it comes to returning to the office. On those fuzzy mornings when you grapple with going back to the office again, a go-to pair of shoes like these is one less thing to worry about.
Canvas Classics Shoes - TOMS
Okay, so they may not be as cushy as your house slippers, but they’re a close second. These comfy, match-with-anything shoes will get you through those days when you’re dying to work from home once more (& slip them off at your desk when no-one’s looking).
Rugged Twill Tote - Filson
Nasty weather is no match for this water-repellant, abrasion-resistant tote bag. Even if you have to go through dusty subways and crazy, busy streets, this rugged tote will keep all your things protected.
Norrvage Briefpack - Fjällräven
Carry all your gear, from laptop to meeting notes, with this casual backpack. The wool material will match nicely with your knit or woven office attire, and the padded sleeve provides (laptop) peace of mind no matter how crazy your commute.
Colton Backpack - Loom Collection - Matt & Nat
Claim your place as the best-dressed in the pack with this beautiful dressy backpack. Even if your clothes are casual and comfortable, this sleek bag steps it all up a notch.
Greta Work Tote - Pixie Mood
Handle anything the workday throws at you with this faux-leather everyday tote. It fits everything in your work arsenal, and has a colour that works well for all seasons. The inside pockets help separate survival items like hand sanitizer and face masks.
Olivia Crossbody - Pixie Mood
Need a purse to add to your return-to-work gear? This crossbody is a stylish bag that holds all your small valuables. The stunning vegan leather and magnetic closure take you easily from the office to happy-hour drinks.
Have a significant other in your life, or just prefer to dress more masculine?
Then check out our Back-to-Work Survival Skills for Men article for latest 2021 trends & tips on the wild return to work.