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Working from home wear AccountingWEB Redefining what it means to dress for success
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Redefining what it means to dress for success

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Remote work has transformed our daily routines, especially when it comes to work attire. Molly Macfarlane explores the latest AccountingWEB work wear trends and spoiler alert… suits are out and slippers are in.

23rd May 2024
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Gone are the days when a suit would be worn into the office every day. Working from home has brought new and acceptable ways to dress for success, including pyjamas, Oodies and slippers. 

In 2011, an Any Answers was written by KPEM online asking members whether they should change the office dress code to smart casual. 

“I have been toying with the idea of being different from other accountancy practices in my local area and ditching the norm in terms of dress code for myself and my team," he wrote. "Instead of the usual business suit/tie etc, maybe go as far as smart casual for everyone.”

AccountingWEB checked back in to see how workwear has changed since the pandemic, so here are the latest AccountingWEB fashion trends.

Taking business casual literally

The first trend of post-pandemic work wear is business on top and casual down below. This approach is the best of both worlds when working from home, maintaining a professional facade in meetings whilst keeping some level of comfort.

AccountingWEB member, Ruddles, is on trend here, calling it the newsreader look. “At home, I dress as I would for the office – from the waist up. As TV newsreaders used to.”

As regular commenter, FactChecker, pointed out, this look may be a bit risky – cue the accidental exposure of pyjama bottoms and occasionally less…

“There were far too many examples when those unversed in video calls took the from the waist up only concept to heart but seemed to assume that the technology was somehow self-censoring. On a number of occasions, the affected person would expose all and sundry in the meeting to far more than they'd signed up for.”

Smart shoes are a no go 

If you’re still wearing smart and uncomfortable shoes, what are you doing? The accountants of AccountingWEB have swapped their brogues for slippers and aren’t looking back!

Regular contributor, Jason Croke, said: “You aren't properly working from home if you aren't wearing slippers (I'm wearing slippers as I type this).”

Remote working has removed the need for any footwear at all, as mentioned by bettybobbymeggie, who commented: “Right now I am wearing cargo shorts and a T-shirt and I'm sat at my desk in bare feet."

It has also opened accountants’ eyes to just how uncomfortable smart shoes can be.

“I went to a 60th birthday event the other week, shirt and tie and shoes. Oh my, how uncomfortable office shoes (brogues) are all of a sudden,” Jason Croke added.

Another member, ireallyshouldknowthisbut, had noticed just how many people now wear trainers over smart shoes.

“It's amusing to note how many people don't own any smart shoes. The number of trainers and suits under 40 is surprisingly high.”

This was confirmed by WinterDragon, who responded: “If you ever catch me out at an event like FAB or Accountex, then I will almost certainly be wearing trainers. I'm not prepared to do 20,000 steps in my smart shoes.”

Suits are staying in 2019

The AccountingWEB community have had their say on wearing suits and it’s time to say goodbye. Smart casual and casual wear is here to stay.

Many members have already parted ways with their suits, not seeing the point of keeping an extensive collection that goes unused.

“We're all casual whether in or out of the office," wrote mbee1. "A few months ago I cleared out five suits that I no longer wear. I've kept a couple that do fit as they can be suitable for weddings, baptisms and funerals.”

It seems that the biggest trends that have arisen since covid is the realisation that comfort is key and casual wear will not affect the quality of your work. 

Rgab1947 agreed with this sentiment, saying: “I wear a T-shirt and jeans. My clients use me for my brain and service, not for my Armani suit.”

Another member, Mkowl, also commented: “I don't need to wear traditional office garb to get in the mindset for work.”

So are you on trend with post-pandemic workwear? Do you enjoy being able to work comfortably or should accountants still keep a professional dress code?

Replies (6)

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Rob Swan
By Rob Swan
23rd May 2024 16:45

Since Covid/WFH I can't wear my formal clothes - except shoes - because I don't actually fit into them any more :( For some reason, my dressing gown always fits! I actually had to go and buy (larger) shorts in order to wear anything! :(
Looking on the bright side; I guess I'm 'on trend' ;)

Thanks (1)
Jake Smith, AccountingWEB
By Jake Smith
24th May 2024 10:19

I have to say the thought of having to go back to shirt and tie like I had to in an office job years ago fills me with dread. I don't mind having to look smart occasionally, but I much prefer to be able to wear whatever I feel like. Usually a fairly/very loud shirt depending on my mood. One thing that has changed since my time at AWEB is socks! Much to the disgust of my family I now have multiple pairs of vendor socks from conferences!

Thanks (2)
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By dwgw
24th May 2024 12:37

When I trained (late 1980s) it was unthinkable that men wouldn't wear a suit and tie. The dress code for women forbade them to wear trousers (although I think in-office secretarial staff could) or have bare arms! And that wasn't a tiny, old fashioned firm, it was the biggest firm in the world.

I became self employed 11 years ago and happily retired my office wear. What I wear doesn't affect how I work at home and T shirt and shorts are great when the sun shines. But I enjoy switching to smart casual for meetings and for me that always requires a jacket, whether as part of a suit or not (you need the pockets!).

But no more ties, even though I like them and haven't yet discarded any. I miss them in a way - but they're a [***] to clean.

Thanks (1)
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By LAMBERTCLERICAL
24th May 2024 13:13

My clients engage me for my technical skills - NOT my sartorial elegance!
I WFH in my study and generally I'm in shorts and T-shirt. I'm more than happy to receive clients like this and none has yet to comment.
If I need to visit onsite, I'll probably smarten up to joggers and a polo, with a fleece with my company logo.
For the most formal meetings, I have polos and shirts embroidered with my company logo, but I've not worn one for a couple of years now . . . . .

Thanks (1)
Replying to LAMBERTCLERICAL:
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By FactChecker
24th May 2024 14:56

You do know that they're not tax-deductible? :=)

Thanks (2)
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By Omid Motaleb
25th May 2024 09:52

There are two types of people: ordinary and extraordinary. The choice of which to be is yours.

Thanks (1)