did Covid kill office dress codes?

Lots of people got used to working in sweats and slippers this last year. Will they really go back to business casual (or business formal) as offices reopen?

At Slate today, I looked at how people who went remote last year are feeling about returning to collared shirts and pants with zippers — and argue that employers should take this moment to reassess what dress code requirements truly make sense. You can read it here.

{ 315 comments… read them below }

  1. Miss Muffet*

    I will be glad for “dress for your day”, or at least being able to wear jeans here and there (we used to have Jeans Fridays but we all worked from home on Fridays, so it was sorta moot. All that being said, I am a little more of the type to really dress for work, and love wearing cute heels and structured dresses, so I’m looking forward to the excuse for getting dolled up again!

    1. Not A Girl Boss*

      To be honest, I have found that dressing for work makes me more productive and puts me in a better mental space to take on the day. But my work wardrobe has started to skew more casual with no discernable change to that feeling of being dressed for the day. Specifically: no makeup, lower-maintenance mid length hair, chinos and black jeans instead of slacks, and well lined brallettes vs underwire.

      1. TurtlesAllTheWayDown*

        I do the same. I wear plenty of dresses, even at home, especially in summer, but gravitate towards less structured/more comfortable ones during COVID. Today I’m wearing houndstooth pants and a nice t-shirt. I’ll wear some nicer tees and blouses with jeans, too. My job involves a lot of zooms with coworkers and clients. I need to be presentable from the shoulders up, but full, nice outfits (sometimes including shoes) just make me feel more confident and human. Much like putting in my contacts vs. wearing glasses (which I did for 2 weeks last March before decided it was much to casual for me personally).

      2. SchuylerSeestra*

        Same. My rule is no working in PJ’s. I still go through my full routine, shower, put on make up, do my hair. I don’t go full business casual, usually a nice top and accessories up top, sweatpants and leggings as bottoms.

        It’s really comforting, like the one thing I have control over. I feel more confident and focused. Especially since I take a lot of Zoom calls.

        I just started sharing a coworker space with friends. I actally love wearing my cute work clothes, especially especially shoes.

        1. quill*

          I recently got new pants (4 pairs, which was a splurge for me at the time) and bras and a couple tops to prepare to go back into the office.

          The main thing I’m doing differently to dress up for work in the mid to high 90 degree heat the last week is wearing jewelry again.

          … well, and I’m no longer wearing leggings and an oversized sweatshirt but it’s not winter anymore either!

        2. Tara*

          A friend of mine said that apparently, if you did something in the lockdown/working from home/not around others, you did it for you, if you stopped, you did it for others. She kept wearing makeup, so she said she must do that for herself, but stopped wearing perfume – so apparently she didn’t care so much how she smelled. I thought it was an interesting proposal. I find myself not wearing makeup that often, apart from when I need a boost.

          Also, love the Hamilton/Orphan Black reference in your username!

      3. kicking-k*

        Me too, really. I haven’t been remote for a while, but most of my colleagues are, so hardly anyone sees me: I’m wearing a jersey dress, a light cardigan, and Birkenstocks with bare feet. Pre-Covid I was at a different workplace and I’d have worn the same dress with nylons and Mary Janes (and still would if it were cooler or raining). But the director’s PA is also doing flat sandals so I felt I could. I’ve also been doing black jeans instead of dress pants and I don’t believe anyone has actually noticed…

    2. many bells down*

      Same, I was a SAHM for years and didn’t have much reason to dress nice. I love my funky outfits and can’t wait to get back to wearing cute stuff again. And it can be comfy! I’ve got some side-zip slacks that are as comfy as sweats. They’d be the most perfect pants in the world if they had pockets.

      1. TardyTardis*

        You may wish to check a store called Bonworth–they have extremely comfortable work slacks (and in petite sizes, yes!) and they all have pockets.

    3. rachel in nyc*

      yeah, this is sorta what my office did pre-covid. the people who work with “clients” were expected to dress nicely- depending on the day, who they were meeting with it could go from slacks to suits.

      I could get away with leggings and nice oversized sweater, but I admit I have a collection of work dresses that I’ll be happy to get to wear.

    4. Batty Twerp*

      We started with casual Fridays about four years ago, and then advanced to dress for your day about two years ago. So I moved to smart jeans and a top (like a long sleeved tee) pretty much full time.
      And… that’s what I’ve continued to wear since the viral yuck started. I’ve had two days where I stayed in my PJs to work and they were both arguably “working while sick” days (including the day after I got out of hospital following an emergency admission for gallstones over a weekend – I don’t even do sick leave properly!)
      Continuing to wear what I would normally wear has given me a sense of continuity – it’s just been announced that our planned unlocking has been delayed for another 4 weeks, so I won’t need to update my wardrobe until almost September (I’m in a department that we already know won’t be among the first in our company’s staged return to the office).
      It will need updating though – I’ve actually lost weight in lockdown (not necessarily by design).

    5. andy*

      I would find the requirement to wear something else then jeans oppressive. I dont want any of that, I want jeans and t-shirt, place to park the bike maybe.

  2. Ohno*

    As a larger guy who sweats easily, working from home in the summer heat has been a blessing. The idea of cramming into tight trousers and shirts again is not at all appealing – especially not after experiencing the joy of a suit with elastic waistband!

    I like the idea of “dress for the day”, though I also think basic sense should play a big part. If I’m going to sit in a corner for 8h and see no one, does it matter if I wear a comfortable t-shirt instead of a tight button up? Hope to see more leniency from companies!

    1. Ann Nonymous*

      I think your problem stems from “cramming” yourself into too-small clothing. There is a lot of very decent-looking, work-appropriate clothing that comes in large sizes. Why would you choose to wear too-tight clothing?

      1. Chilipepper Attitude*

        I feel Ohno. I have gotten clothing help (like the old, what not to wear show) and I just cannot wear suit type pants or even jeans. Even with the “correct size” its just all too tight. They have to be so large as to be falling off and even then, I just don’t like them.

        I am a short woman, I could lose some weight, but even at my slimmest, I preferred overly large or elastic waist pants. And I have never been able to wear a button down shirt, even as a kid. It just feels too restrictive. I cannot lift my arm, etc.

        1. Anononon*

          Exactly. For my body shape, there has to be some level of tightness for pants to fit if they’re not elastic/knit material, and I find that level quiet uncomfortable. (I’m not looking for any clothing suggestions, general commentariat. :) )

        2. Ohno*

          Yes this. I’m also very short which means nothing ever sits right! I feel like a child in suits unless they’re tailored which can run up easily.

          1. quill*

            Oh same. Not so much the suits, but I’m just built in ways that women’s pants never seem to be cut. I’m dreading when high waisted jeans go out of fashion, because currently at least I can tighten them up in the waist by sewing in elastic…

      2. KayDeeAye*

        There is plenty of clothing that fits “properly” and still doesn’t feel very nice. I think that’s what Ohno’s talking about.

        1. Ava*

          That’s very assuming. It’s this clothing affordable? Is this clothing easy to obtain? A lot of plus size women have to buy their clothes online because their size is not carried in the store.

      3. Carol the happy elf*

        Agreed. I had a few years on Prednisone, with the Moon Pie/moon face and munchies. I learned that I actually put on MORE weight when my clothes were constantly too tight.
        My doctor’s wife had a business where people were measured and fit for clothing that didn’t cut into incision scars and rub across tender, painful areas. Imagine an underwire with a mastectomy, because one post-chemo woman was told she MUST wear a bra with a chicken-cutlet on the empty side.
        Going from the same size with stronger and more powerful spandex beneath, to loose, but elegant was sheer heaven.
        One man, who had a colostomy bag, was delighted with the pants that had a “fake fly” and opened at the pockets on both sides. Completely unnoticeable, well-fitting, and comfortable.
        I’ve been on both sides, and clothes that are loose enough make for a productive day.

      4. Autistic AF*

        Why is it more likely to you that a fat person doesn’t know how to dress themselves than it is for business/formal clothing not to be designed for large bodies? Even when they are, say higher-waisted pants, garments are often fashionable on smaller people and dowdy on larger people.

        1. une autre Cassandra*

          And expensive! Suits that require tailoring to look decent (most or all of them) aren’t a trivial expense.

          1. Autistic AF*

            Also true! I can find pants that fit my thighs or pants that fit my waist – years ago I found a pair of dress pants that had elastic tabs to adjust the waist and they were so nice.

            1. Queen Anon*

              Same here. I was so happy to discover actual denim jeans with an elastic waist instead of a zipper fly about 20 years ago. It was the first time in my life – and I was in my 30s – that I had jeans that weren’t baggy in the butt and thighs because the stretch in the waist made that much difference. First time ever.

        2. Pam Poovey*

          It really blows people’s minds that fat folks’ problems actually stem from fatphobia and not our own personal failings

      5. Ohno*

        Maybe it’s my use of wording – by cramming, I meant that I find this kind of “stiff” clothing uncomfortable. Since I sweat a lot, anything that’s not oversized will immediately be drenched by contact to the skin. But even larger sized garments will eventually stick and feel “tight”.

        I just prefer comfortable clothing as it’s breathable. I don’t think it makes a difference for my coworkers whether I wear a suit or jeans!

        1. Miss Pantalones En Fuego*

          I have noticed that it’s much less common for men’s clothing to be made with any kind of stretch fabric. Most of my clothes, even the crisp formal trousers, have some kind of stretch which makes them infinitely more comfortable without being baggy. I have the opposite experience, though, in that I feel less sweaty if I wear a close fitting camisole or undershirt. Seems like it would be too hot but it stops me feeling sticky.

      6. MusicWithRocksIn*

        One of my big problems with going back to work full time is defiantly that I need to buy more work clothes. I bought new work clothes for my new job when I was coming out of my maternity clothes, but they were all winter clothes, and then the world shut down before I needed summer stuff. Looking at my closet now my summer work clothes are all super worn down. I would still prefer not to spend time in a mall right now – but man buying clothes online is so hit or miss. I need to stop clinging to my yoga pants like a little kid with a stuffed animal, but I just don’t wanna.

        1. Chinook*

          I really wish AAM could get a sponsorship from eshakti dot com because so many of us have learned about their custom fitting dresses, tops and pants via the comments here. Being able to wear something that fits my body’s geometry is so very comfortable. I know I sound like a commercial but they really are good quality (and they claim to treat their employees right, going as far as posting photos of their working conditions during the pandemic in India).

      7. Bluesboy*

        Think you might be a bit harsh here. Men’s clothes are ‘supposed’ to be a bit tight to look good. When Cary Grant made North by Northwest apparently millions of men told their tailors “I want to look like that!” and their tailors answered “err…ok. But you won’t be able to sit down!”

        I work in a sector in which you have to pay attention to your appearance. That means a certain level of tightness to the clothes I wear. It’s also 38c and 90% humidity. It is what it is, I live with it. But just because I’m hot and wearing fairly tight clothes doesn’t mean I don’t know my size, or am cramming myself into to-night clothing. This IS my size.

      8. Temperance*

        I don’t think that it necessarily does. It’s similar to how even my most appropriately fitting suits won’t be as comfortable as a pair of soft wideleg pants and a t-shirt.

    2. aett*

      I was going to make a very similar comment! Summers here typically range from 95-110 going from May through early October, and my office – not the building, but my specific office – has awful A/C despite our complaints over the years. I’ve been allowed to “dress for my day” for a few years now, and as someone who never has client meetings or anything, my days are almost always casual, but I still hate wearing jeans when my legs could breathe free. Or better yet: just work from home where I have excellent A/C and don’t have to eat lunch in my car with that hot weather.

      1. TardyTardis*

        I was very lucky to be able to wear muumuus and sandals in our building when the A/C was off (when it was on, it was back to longjohns and sweaters). Some years I didn’t wear shoes for three weeks.

    3. dan*

      I am all for dress for the day but that dress for the day better be perfect – I work to recruit students so when I have in person one on one meetings I am all decked out in our school colors in business wear. I also keep an emergency outfit hanging in my office because you never know as well as some makeup basics.

      1. Sometimes Charlotte*

        My husband is in academia. When he was dept chair, he kept a sport coat hung on the back of his office door in case he had a meeting with administration pop up. He was still in jeans, but it elevated his look without being too dressy for the rest of his day.

    4. Chinook*

      The problem with “basic sense”/”common sense” approach to dressing for your day is that it is not necessarily common or basic to everyone. To one person, dressing comfortably for the day is a clean t-shirt and a basic black jobbing pants but, to another, they see no problem with that shirt being holey or frayed and the jogging pants having eye catching words across the butt (all seen in a blue collar environment).

      Some guidelines need to be in place and there will always be people who will push against them as being too limiting. After all – why should a shirt collar be 100% intact and not stretched since it doesn’t interfere with the job? And why are you looking at what is written on my butt (despite it being in dayglo yellow and large enough to be read without glasses)?

  3. Sharp Dressed Man*

    I’m in the last decade of my career, and it’s certainly been pleasant not having to dress up to go to the office during the last year.

    But I attribute some degree of my professional success to dressing as formally as I could get away with. I was tracking the organization’s leadership and following their style model; this was one tool in my kit that made people take me seriously.

    So I’m reluctant to give up the advantage I enjoyed over those who dressed more casually (or carelessly). Not sure how this is going to play out. Where I work, phasing in more office work is going to take us another year or two.

    1. cacwgrl*

      Agreed! While we had significantly fewer people on site over the last year, the overall dress code has become more casual, but I’ve always operated on a similar thought process. Not every day is dress up day, but at minimum, a well fitting top, slacks of some kind and flats/nice sandals were acceptable, unless we knew in advance we had someone coming or needed to go somewhere where if we wore this, it would be an issue, either dressing up or down. I prepared for that with appropriately interchangeable blazer, heels and sturdier shoes at the ready always. A chief of staff years ago made a comment that she always kept a blazer on a hanger and lipstick in her desk for her 10 second touch ups as needed and that stuck with me. As a result, I know my leadership knows they can count on me to be prepared for any meeting/interaction in seconds and I also hesitate to give that up by going constantly casual and don’t see my bosses giving it up either. I can see many settings where a more casual appearance works and is accepted, but I truly don’t think the level/area I’m currently at is one of those environments. Graphic T-shirts and holey jeans will never be ok, nor is clubwear, casual flip flops, and most days, even regular jeans. I’ve enjoyed every day of my WFH opportunities when it comes to wardrobe but I definitely also am happy to pull out my iron to get my on site clothes ready. And they’re more fitted so putting them on more often reminds me of how I need to adjust diet and exercise.

    2. Elizabeth Bennett*

      My company is more casual than not, even the top brass. In fact, since most of the top brass are men, they’ve kinda started dressing alike with loafers, khakis, cotton button down with a sweater/sweater vest, or a polo. It is so much alike that one of our admins dressed up for Halloween as “a company executive.” She nailed it.

      1. andy*

        All male mamagement in our company wears blue shirts and black pants. They look like im uniform.

    3. Wool Princess*

      I would argue this is a point for doing away with office dress codes. The “dress for the job you want” approach is far more complicated for feminine folks, especially in male-dominated fields (where there may not be any women in positions of leadership to model after, without getting into the minefield of women’s fashion industry’s problems). Imagine if folks were taken seriously based on the quality of their work as opposed to the clothes they wore?

      1. NotARacoonKeeper*

        1000000% this! “Part of the reason I am successful is because I look like a person who should be successful” Should. Not. Be. A. Thing.

        In addition to the gendered impacts, there are also racial ones (whose bodies are “professional” clothing design for?), not to mention that fit can be an issue for people whose bodies aren’t normative for a variety of reasons. Also, the entire idea that we need to buy and maintain a completely separate wardrobe to do the same work we’ve done in our pajamas for the last year is environmentally destructive, and reinforces our reliance on clothing produced in horrible conditions.

        Time to rise up against “professional dress”!!!!

  4. Not A Girl Boss*

    The worst part for me has been the horror of remembering that “hard pants” don’t have pockets. Like, where did I ever put my phone?? Such an inconvenience!

    Also, “hard pants” are just not really sport-specific to sitting all day. Nothing about them is aligned with that requirement, other than perhaps ‘looking appropriate’. We have different bottoms specifically designed for tennis, jogging, hiking, mall-shopping, sleeping, lounging, date nights, hot summer days… but we don’t get bottoms tailor made to sitting in an office? What gives?

      1. Not A Girl Boss*

        Some do have pockets, but not really large enough to comfortably stick a phone in. A lot of them have faux back pockets, and only tiny front pockets. I know I probably could find them with enough looking, but shouldn’t this be like a standard feature???

        1. Annika Hansen*

          Yes, it should be a standard feature. I generally look for travel pants. They generally have bigger pockets and are less wrinkly. Duluth Trading Company also makes larger pockets. These wouldn’t work for a really formal office.

          1. Bucky Barnes*

            Duluth has some with deep pockets that look fine at work, and I’m in finance. They’re just not the really outdoorsy pants. And they’re wonderfully comfortable.

            1. EchoGirl*

              Gloria Vanderbilt is another brand that tends to have decent-size pockets. I’m not much of a pocket user anyway, but they’re noticeably bigger/deeper than on a lot of other women’s pants brands. (GV is my go-to brand anyway because their fit is a good match for my body type.)

              1. TardyTardis*

                Another commercial for Bonworth, yes, they do skew Old Lady, but the pants are reasonable and have good pockets (besides, they think I’m a medium, God love’em).

        2. MusicWithRocksIn*

          Part of this I blame on the (girl) pants being stupid – but I also blame how darn big phones are getting. It’s like they are all half tablet these days. I miss the smaller phones that were easier to tuck places! And then a decent case always makes them a little bigger. How are we supposed to haul these stupid giant things around?

        3. DW*

          I’m in the process of expanding all my pants pockets. It takes a bit longer than it should because I don’t have a sewing machine but it’s definitely worth it.

      2. RussianInTexas*

        I think all my dress pants have pockets.
        None will fit my phone, but I don’t think any of my jeans pockets, or even the cell phone pockets in my purses will either, because phones are so damn huge now. I didn’t want my phone to be this big! But it was the best option available!

          1. Not A Girl Boss*

            Seriously. The resurgence of small iPhones has me itching for time to re-up. Remember that ad way back when about an IPhone being perfectly ergonomic compared to the mini tablets? Soooo glad they seem to be coming back around.

    1. D3*

      Hard pants *for women* often don’t have pockets. All of my husband’s dressy pants have nice roomy pockets. Most of mine don’t. I do have two pair that I paid nearly double for to get pockets!
      And I’d love to hear what features you’d include in bottoms tailor made for desk work in an office!

      1. Not A Girl Boss*

        Haha, mostly I want some kind of magical fabric that keeps your pants firmly in the mid-rise range without digging into your stomach in the least. And without being skin tight – something I don’t have to wear a thong with, please. With giant pockets. And a built in badge reel. Since I am aware I have effectively described sweatpants, I will throw in a ‘must still look classy and stylish’.
        (Bonus points for that magical nanotechnology that sheds coffee spills.)

        1. Kit*

          I know of a few companies that make pants specifically for people who use wheelchairs most or all of the time, so the waistband is higher in the back and lower in the front, optimal for sitting. I don’t know how well they’d do if you stand up frequently.

        2. Dasein9*

          Trans guy with hips here. Uniqlo makes magical pants that look like dress pants but are really sweatpants and the men’s models at least have good, roomy pockets and a real fly. They also have a hidden interior drawstring, which helps a ton with the whole “fits my hips but not my waist” nonsense people shaped like me contend with when buying men’s pants.

          1. Coenobita*

            Oh wow, those sound amazing! Do you know what Uniqlo calls them? Should I just search their website for “magical pants”? :)

          2. Junior Dev*

            what’s the name of the pants? I looked up “uniqlo dress sweat pants” but it was unclear from the results which you’re referring to.

          3. Dasein9*

            They were called “Easy” or “EZ” or something along those lines. But a lot of their clothes are made to stretch a bit.

          4. pleaset cheap rolls*

            Adding if you’re an average-sized guy, there are tons of dress clothes out there that can fit and be comfortable (I don’t know about women’s clothes or men who are very large). I wore a Uniqlo suit out on Thursday – a “summer suit” with unlined jacket and pants – and I felt like a million bucks. And I would wear the pants indoors too, but working from home I have to turn off the AC on calls.

            I’m all for a general move to slightly more casual – but I also want to look well put-together. Casual need not be lazy or messy looking (unless that is the intention). Dressing for office work should be intentional.

            In my case, I got short-sleeved dress shirts – something I NEVER would have worn before the pandemic and working from home.

          5. cryptid*

            they used to be called Ezy, but I think they call them Smart now. Bonus, if you’re on the short side many will be an inseam that works for you because they’re intended to be short/ankle length.

      2. cat lady*

        There are a ton of really interesting articles about the patriarchal and political reasons behind the lack of pockets in women’s clothing– highlights include the ability to carry seditious materials hidden away during the French Revolution, Victorian chatelaines rendering “pocket” contents visible, and suffragettes demanding pockets as symbols of equality.

      3. Mockingjay*

        I miss the high waisted, flowing dress trousers of the 90s which had huge pockets. Those looked good on many body types because they draped your body instead of molding to it. They were made from quality fabrics like wool and linen blends or cotton weaves which breathed in summer and kept you warm in winter and lasted for years.

        I’ve found nice-looking stretch pants which work for the office, but fabrics today are mostly synthetic or poorly woven blends and don’t breathe or wash well.

    2. Yessica Haircut*

      YES on the pockets issue! During COVID, I stocked up on leggings with giant pockets to wear every day, and I’ve been so spoiled. I carry my phone with me all day, and sometimes when I take a quick lunch break in my backyard, I’ll shove a whole can of LaCroix in my pocket to save on trips back inside, and my stretchy pocket happily accommodates it. Now that I’m going back to wearing dress slacks, I’m once more dealing with my terrible, useless two-inch-deep fake pockets, and it’s beyond frustrating.

      On a related note, if anyone knows where I can find some nice professional skirts in A-line or fit-and-flare with substantial/hearty pockets, I’d love recommendations!

      1. Not A Girl Boss*

        White House Black Market has a few boot skirts and big flowy a-line skirts with pockets! My saviors!
        But mostly I just wear those little yoga booty shorts with the phone pocket down the side of the leg, under my skirt. Which makes it useless for checking my phone in public without flashing everyone but hey, beggars, choosers.

        1. Madame Curator*

          Modcloth, I have several amazing fit and flare or A line dresses, extremely stylish and all with functional, phone sized pockets!

          1. Tortally HareBrained*

            I second this! I love my ModCloth skirt I got last year, and even though my workplace doesn’t give me many excuses to wear it the pockets were a fabulous part of it.

      2. JR*

        eshakti! They are online only. Everything comes in every size. You can customize anything for an extra fee (neckline, sleeves, hem length, your exact measurements). Almost everything has pockets big enough to fit a kindle.

        1. starsaphire*

          +1 for eShakti! I have a gorgeous formal black dress that’s made of jersey (so it feels like wearing a big sweatshirt) and has huuuuge pockets.

          So. Comfy.

        2. Shannon*

          Second this. Plus they really do have so many sizes – extended well beyond the W26 that so many women’s plus size shops stop at. If you have the patience to take measurements they can really custom fit for you. If not, you can still get really close with the “standard” sizing.

          As a plus size person with a non-hourglass shape, it’s been a real boon.

        3. Autistic AF*

          eShakti is not worth it outside of the US in my experience – shipping and customs were pretty high when I shopped there (which hasn’t been for a few years, admittedly).

          1. Chinook*

            I disagree. I am in Canada and I can’t find anything better for the price (including exchange rate). They have upped their game in the last year or so with country specific costs integrated into their shopping site. I still pay in USD but they have figured out how to do the customs and shipping better. I have tried to shop locally but most of the stuff in stores is lower quality overall (even with the high end brands) and also made in developing countries (only I can’t track the working conditions in those factories or see photos of what they are doing during COVID to support their local community).

            1. Autistic AF*

              I am in Canada as well. I see customs is still an additional fee according to their website so exchange/customs/shipping is still easily an extra 70% of the (USD) sticker price. Good for you if you can afford that, but that doesn’t make it universally worthwhile.

    3. Semprini!*

      I saw an article (years ago, pre-pandemic) about a company that made clothes designed for wheelchair users, which took into account the fact that clothes are normally designed to fit when people are standing up but wheelchair users are necessarily sitting down.

      I was thinking they should expand their marketing to people who sit all day! Market them as sitting pants, broaden your customer base, scale up!

      If any clothing design people are reading this, make us some sitting pants!

    4. Falling Diphthong*

      I think you may have hit on something with why the people on TV in hard pants are always having their conversations as they walk busily up and down the aisles of the office–the hard pants look much better in this context.

    5. Miss Muffet*

      I spent most of covid buying up leggings with pockets! Why haven’t they always had pockets? And why are we still putting up with this no-pocket BS?!

      1. Annika Hansen*

        I refuse to buy pants/leggings without pockets. If every woman did that, we would have pockets!

    6. nnn*

      As an aside, was the term “hard pants” in use before the pandemic? I never heard it before this year, but I tend to be out of the loop.

      1. PJS*

        I first heard it used by Sharon McMahon @sharonsaysso on Instagram. I think I may remember her saying that was a term she made up, but I’m not positive.

      2. Spotted Kitty*

        I refer to my pajama pants/sweat pants as “soft pants”, so I guess it makes sense to call jeans and dress pants “hard pants”.

    7. Jay*

      Universal Standard. Everything I’ve ordered from them has pockets and the fabrics are awesome – everything stretches and is comfortable while still looking professional. Won’t help smaller people – they have their own sizing. I’m an 8/10 in standard clothes and I wear either an XS or an XXS in their pieces, so if you’re smaller than an 8 they’re not for you. They go up past the usual range for larger folk. I love them.

  5. Not So Super-visor*

    My office went back with the pre-pandemic dress code. I will be the first to admit that I replaced all of my dress pants with the yoga style dress pants (electric waist, pull on but have belt loops and pockets to look like real pants).

    1. Student Affairs Sally*

      “electric waist”

      That sounds way more uncomfortable than a buttoned waistband! *insert crylaughing emoji*

    2. Not A Girl Boss*

      I have always kind of cringed at labeling yoga pants ‘dress pants’. Not at the people wearing them, just it as a marketing tactic. Because… they just aren’t. They are still completely skin tight, and even with the pockets etc they still look like, well, yoga pants. Heck, a lot of ‘normal’ dress pants are going the way of the thin clingy spandex too. To each their own, I certainly wouldn’t care if I saw my coworker in them (or any other yoga pants).
      But I have instead transitioned to more chino-type pants and all-black jeans. With the industry I’m in I’m just not comfortable revealing my assets in the yoga-pant-dress-pants.

      1. Kimmy Schmidt*

        I think yoga pants has maybe taken on a broader meaning of “stretchy”? I have some pants that I call my work yoga pants, but they’re definitely not skin tight or clingy. They aren’t baggy either, but they’re thick and look like real pants and I can actually move around in them.

        1. Sans Serif*

          I love yoga pants. I have four years of work left till retirement and I want to spend them in yoga pants. Comfy is a good thing.

      2. Charlotte Lucas*

        I have some dress pants that are in between slacks & yoga pants, & I love them! They’re cut dressy enough to look polished, but they feel more like leggings/yoga pants, with an elastic waist.

        But I truly love dresses f for the summer, which look polished & are cooler & more comfortable. In fact, I pretty much wore dresses last week. WFH during a heat wave with no AC means you need clothes with airflow. (FYI – Dress Barn carries a lot of dresses with pockets. Real ones.)

        1. Not A Girl Boss*

          I love dresses too! They look like you put in so much effort but are so easy. And yes to the airflow and no tight waistband. I lived in flowy skirts WFH last summer for the same reason as you. Unfortunately, pants are required for my new job (manufacturing).

        2. KaciHall*

          My office doesn’t have a dress code, beyond ‘don’t look trashy’ (which is useless, btw.) I alternate between jeans with t shirts and dresses (with leggings and sweaters as weather permits). Most of the dresses are cheap ones ($15-25) from zulily, but look nice and all have pockets.

          I went to go pick up lunch today and realized I didn’t have pockets and was so confused. I have on an actual dressy dress today!

        3. Seeking Second Childhood*

          Dress Barn closed all its stores around here, and I was never in the same size twice with them so online is a big old no. Alas, because they were a favorite.

      3. Anonya*

        I completely agree that yoga pants are not dress pants. That one brand that’s specifically known for yoga dress pants is not fooling anyone.

        1. Stinks McGee*

          I agree. Personally I wouldn’t wear Betabrand pants to work, and I think they’re much easier to spot out in the wild than people realize. I’m not judgmental of people being comfortable at work, so when I spot them, my reaction is mostly approval that someone is sticking it to the man by wearing straight-up yoga pants to work, but it’s a bold move that I wouldn’t have the courage to try.

      4. Philosophia*

        There is (or there was—I stocked up some years ago) a middle ground for women: ponte dress pants, made primarily of rayon rather than polyester as their predecessor doubleknits were. The fabric is (or, again, was at the time I bought ’em) fairly thick, so they’re not great for high summer, and the pockets are generally faux, alas, but they have a comfortable amount of stretch without being unduly revealing.

        1. cat lady*

          yeah– ponte knit is, I think, the key to comfy dress pants. And ones that are cut looser to the leg and only fitted through the waist read as non-yoga pants. Ponte knit can even accommodate regular pockets if the waistband is sturdy enough!

          1. Generic Name*

            Where can one find such pants? I’m tired of skinny jeans, which is what I was wearing to my casual office previously, and I’d like to wear slightly dressier pants, but I’m not a huge fan of chinos or anything that reads as “preppy”.

            1. Filosofickle*

              Try J.Jill. I have several pairs of their Wearever full-leg pants and some lighter weight rayon-y ones and I adore them. For me, these are like public-approved pajama pants! I far prefer a wide leg to clingier pants or leggings.

            2. cat lady*

              I’ve only found ponte knit pants with pockets and buttons/zips in a few places occasionally– once in New York & co and every once in a while Ava and Viv (Target’s plus size line). But Old Navy pretty reliably has a ponte knit legging, and my sister highly recommends LL Bean and American Giant for heavier weight leggings that read as pants (just not great plus size options, so I can’t attest myself)

            3. Not A Girl Boss*

              Banana Republic has some. So does white house black market. Avoid the Old Navy ones, they’re super thin.

              Personally I find the lack of back pockets on most kind of off putting though, in that they show off the booty more. But otherwise I agree they’re not bad.

            4. Workerbee*

              White House Black Market has/had some with pockets, and if they don’t anymore, Poshmark should. I found a pair there earlier this year.

            5. Stretchy Pants For Life*

              The Simply Vera Wang ponte pants from Kohl’s have been a reliable go-to for me since I had knee surgery and needed a pair of pants that I could wear to the office, but also dip into a room and stretch in (and generally be comfortable in, being on crutches in an office sucks!). The front pockets are fake, but the back pockets are real and fit a phone the same way my jeans do…and they have an actual fly and everything, so I feel like I’m trying at least…75% :)

    3. kiki*

      Yeah, I invested in Ministry of Supply’s Swift Drape Pant. They’re fashionable and drape-y and stretchy. So comfortable and they’re not tight, so they avoid all the “are those leggings or pants?” debates that can happen with tighter cuts.

    4. Mrs Nesbitt*

      I wear Betabrand “dress yoga pants” everyday. They don’t look like yoga pants, and they fit me less snugly than many of my female coworkers standard dress pants. None of my coworkers or managers have said anything about them. Love them, not going back.

      1. Richard*

        When my wife bought these a while back, I was skeptical, but they’re actually perfect for work pants. They’re black and have seams and features in all the correct places for dress pants, but they’re soft and stretchy and nice. I’m on the hunt for comparable men’s substitutions for when I go back next week.

      2. cat lady*

        Is there a particular Betabrand cut that you find fits less snugly? Like straight cut– is that looser through the thigh as well as the lower leg, as well?

        1. Mrs Nesbitt*

          I personally have the “Boot Cut” style, and I find that they fit exactly like every other boot cut pant I’ve worn- fitted through the hip and thigh, but loose from the knee down. When I say “fitted” I don’t mean stretched tight, just not baggy in that area. I bought them according to the size chart and found them to be accurately sized. They do have a wide leg cut as well. They are also a heavier weight fabric than regular yoga pants- I would actually find them too heavy and hot for doing yoga- and the heavier weight makes them look more like standard dress pants.

      3. Joielle*

        I just bought two pairs of these today (and a matching blazer)! I actually had a pair some years ago when they first came out and I LOVED them but I’m, uh, not the same size I used to be. I’m going back to the office in a few weeks and I figured it was about time to restock, because I am not wearing pants with zippers if I can help it.

        For anyone who’s skeptical – it’s just a fancy name for ponte dress pants.

    5. pleaset cheap rolls*


      This is the level – more comfort, perhaps a tiny bit more casual, but not sloppy. Not gym clothes. Still dress clothes.

  6. Pickled Limes*

    I work in libraries, so I’ve been in person for the whole pandemic. Our leadership allowed a slight loosening of dress codes for the few weeks early on when our state had a stay at home order in place and the libraries were 100% closed to the public, but the second we started doing curbside deliveries and being seen by customers again, it was right back to business casual. We had to spend all of last summer, in a hot region, making deliveries to customers’ cars while wearing nice pants and good shoes. They did allow us to wear hats to protect ourselves from the sun, but that was the only concession.

    I’ve never understood the need for a strict dress code for library staff, because I think people will enjoy storytime just as much or feel just as happy to have found the book they wanted if the employee helping them was dressed casually, but I suppose that’s government work for you.

    1. I'm just here for the cats*

      That’s so interesting. My home town librarians wore either long dresses or nice jeans/pants. There was one who wore heals but that was just her personal style. Of course I lived in a VERY small town and their was only like 3 librarians

    2. Yessica Haircut*

      Casual dress makes so much sense for librarians! I worked as a librarians’ assistant way back in the day in college, and I’m so appreciative I was allowed to wear jeans and sneakers. Most of my job was running to and from the stacks, and reshelving/shelf-reading, which involved a lot of movement and squatting. If I’d had to wear stiff trousers and heels, that would have been a huge hassle.

      1. starsaphire*

        …right? How do you sit on the floor and reorganize the bottom shelves (and get covered in dust) in business casual clothes?

        Mind you, I once worked in a skirts-nylons-and-heels office where a big part of my job was sitting on the floor rolling up blueprints, so… *sigh*

        1. Filosofickle*

          In the mid/late 90s my roommate was in a technology role that often involved tasks like crawling under desks to wrangle network cables. Their dress code required skirts and hose for women. It was absurd.

    3. Coenobita*

      I’m also surprised about your dress code! I have a side gig working circulation (granted, only on the weekends) and our dress code is basically “cover yourself and don’t wear clothes with swearing/political messaging.” I mostly wear jeans and the free tshirts we get from library events!

      1. Pickled Limes*

        I think it’s mostly because we’re one department in a large-ish regional government and the same dress code applies to all departments. It would make more sense if each department could make the dress code that applies to their workers, but that’s not what we’ve got.

        1. Coenobita*

          Aha, yeah, that makes sense. Our departments are pretty autonomous for things like this, thankfully!

    4. Anon-mama*

      Public library tech. The few weeks we were closed to the public didn’t change all that much. Maybe a couple women wore leggings more often than they would have, or appropriate shorts (SO hard to find). But we’re actually fairly casual with the public.
      In the summer (and before the a/c gets kicked on in random got spring days, the men wear shorts regularly. T-shirts are acceptable, especially if they’re book/library related. Many women and a couple men do wear business casual, but I think that’s personal preference.

    5. Anon Librarian*

      Our library dress code is basically:
      no words on shirts
      no jeans
      closed toe shoes

    6. Temperance*

      That’s so odd – all of the libraries I frequent tend to have super lax dress codes. The librarians regularly have bright colored hair and wear jeans and t=shirts.

  7. Chairman of the Bored*

    Much like remote work generally, relaxed dress codes are likely going to be a way that smart employers can make themselves more appealing to good job candidates for free or nearly-free.

    Given the choice of two similar jobs but Job A makes me dress up every day and Job B is fine with jeans and a T-shirt I’m going with Job B for sure. I doubt that I’m the only one.

    I’m sure there will still be organizations that will require employees to sit at desks in starched collars for no reason, but they’re going to find it increasing hard to hire good people.

  8. Yessica Haircut*

    We had a couple of optional trial days in the office recently, and I thought it was funny that I and every other woman I worked with who elected to participate showed up with full hair and makeup (one of my coworkers did winged eyeliner and a meticulous cut-crease) and dressed hyper-professionally. We confessed to each other that it was really fun to have a reason to dress up!

    That said, I have to say that, long term, once the novelty wears off, I think I’m really going to resent the extra time that getting ready in the morning takes. Being a woman in society can be so expensive and time-consuming, and opting out of that “bare minimum” of styling can result in being perceived as sloppy and unprofessional, which is beyond frustrating. And it gets worse as you age. I feel like in my early to mid-20s, I got a pass for being barefaced and rocking into work with wash-and-wear hair, but on the other side of 30, I’m seeing the perceived acceptability of my preferred style drop further and further down. I know that’s probably going to get even worse when I hit 40.

    Some days, you want to just give up altogether and move to Themyscira.

    1. EPLawyer*

      I’m over fifty. I don’t wear make up even to court. I put on a suit, nylons (yes, I wear them, I prefer them to bare legs), nice shoes and brush my hair. My hair is a short cut that is wash and go. Not once did anyone remark on it and think I am less than professional. Basically if you act like this is your professional look, you will be accepted.

      1. Yessica Haircut*

        That’s really heartening to hear! I think my industry may be weirdly conservative about women’s appearances (despite being progressive in other ways), but I really hope that’s changing.

        I appreciate you sharing your experience and giving me a glimmer of hope!

      2. Ginger Baker*

        100% agree. I sometimes wear lipstick Just Because but about 95% of the time at work I wear zero makeup. I generally put my (very long, past-waist-length) hair up in an exceedingly simple bun or a very basic braid. If I want to be Really Fancy I do a braided updo that apparently looks really intensive but takes me about 20 minutes tops and usually half that. I tend to wear a blazer at work, so by default I get extra Whoa Professional points, but I do that because I like it and feel very pulled together, plus it ensures that between the blazer and a patterned top, the fact that I refuse to wear a bra for four years now it not noticeable. I just keep a blazer at work and throw it on there; I spent years before that without one and still looked Quite Professional.

        I’m not at work as a model and while I know lots of women who LOVE wearing makeup and happily spend significant time and money on that, it’s not my jam. I don’t look sloppy and I most definitely don’t look unprofessional just wearing…my own face. Upside is, since this is my go-to look ALL the time, there is never a suggestion that I “look tired” etc. if I don’t have makeup on.

        1. Not A Girl Boss*

          Yes exactly. There are so many other ways to ‘make up for’ a bare face. And to be honest, I often think excessively done makeup looks less professional than bare faced. I can’t wear makeup because I have a recurring (exceedingly painful) blocked tear duct that is often triggered by eye makeup. I also don’t ever remember to wear accessories (jewelry or whatever).
          My hacks:
          -I also love to wear blazers – they make you look so put together, even with jeans, and are no more effort than any other sweater. Same logic for dresses, easy but professional.
          -I make sure my clothes fit well, and spend a bit extra on high quality clothes that are appropriately lined and well constructed. This includes tailoring occasionally if need be. I also hang dry them to preserve the good fit. I just buy less clothes – I have 3 pants and 10 tops and 5 blazers, and wear them in rotation and no one has ever noticed. Some of my shirts have lasted 5 years or more worn twice-monthly, so its way cheaper than the cheap Marshalls clothes you only get 2 wears out of anyway. Same logic for my 3 pairs of really high quality leather flats – I think shoes are underrated in making an outfit.
          -I cut my hair to a low-maintenance mid length. It air dries well with a good quality leave in spray, especially if I shower right after work. I rotate through down, half up, bun, wash, repeat.
          -I have a high quality face oil I apply in the morning that makes my skin look nice and dewy, even though its not makeup.
          -I always make sure my brows are manicured, since I can’t cover that up with makeup.

      3. Fieldpoppy*

        That’s how I feel. I’m 56, and I work in boardrooms of hospitals, and I wear soft dresses, nice leggings with long tops, comfortable shoes and no makeup. No time for that nonsense anymore lol.

      4. Jay*

        I’m 60. I’m a doc. My clothing is the dressier side of business casual – we’re allowed khakis and polos. I wear skirts and blouses or nice pants and blazers – my preference. I never wear makeup. My hair routine is wash, towel dry, finger-comb, done. My post-pandemic splurge was copper hair with fuschia highlights. I love it!

      5. Jane*

        I feel like it really depends on the person. I have very dark undereye circles and bad skin. Sure, I don’t have to wear makeup, but it’s a pretty significant difference when I do. I’m sure no one would comment, but would they notice? Probably.

        1. Not A Girl Boss*

          I certainly don’t have nice skin, but I think most people at work just think I look like… me. People don’t really notice much except drastic changes. So if I wear makeup one day and then don’t the next, people notice and say I look nice or I look tired. But I doubt anyone is whispering about unprofessional no-makeup-girl behind my back if I go a few weeks without makeup.

        2. Autistic AF*

          I typically have adult acne and my grandmother once asked if I’d been bitten by insects. Wearing a face mask has been nice coverage!

        3. KittenLittle*

          Me, too! =( Does anyone have any concealer recommendations? Mine is doing nothing for me.

          1. Autistic AF*

            Here are a few liquid concealers I’ve used over the years…

            Lancome Effacernes Waterproof Protective Undereye Concealer
            Maybelline New York Age Rewind Concealer
            Nyx Gotcha Covered Concealer

            I find these days that concealer in a pot/jar has better coverage – I have one from Nyx that they don’t seem to carry anymore.

          2. JJ*

            I have pretty textured skin, and I found chemical exfoliants really helped (I hate wearing concealer/foundation so am trying to attack the base problem). There are all kinds of different ones, The Ordinary offers a bunch for cheap if you want to experiment. I’ve had good daily-use results with the lactic acid one.

            That said, the Glossier stretch concealer is ok, just make sure you’re well moisturized first.

      6. cat lady*

        alas, not always– my very professionally-dressed, neatly styled lawyer sister’s (female) boss told her she had to start wearing makeup to work, especially to court. And she isn’t even a litigator!

        1. EPLawyer*

          Oh I got told that when I started. So I spent a LOT of money on make up. Then one day I just … stopped and haven’t worn it since. No one has said anything.

          1. cat lady*

            It’s no coincidence that said boss is kind of a jerk in other ways, too. She’s Regina George grown up and a labor lawyer.

    2. andy*

      I am woman amd never wore makeup in my life. Collegues are mix of make up wearers and not.

      So I think it is more about women who dont want to dress up not fitting into your company culture.

  9. middle name danger*

    “Personally, I’m pleased, because after the pandemic, I definitely don’t fit into my work trousers anymore!”

    This was a huge concern of mine. I’ve been in person this whole time but wearing much more casual clothes (even workout clothes) since there were only three of us in a warehouse. My nice work clothes…don’t fit, because of (understandable) weight gain the last year. I don’t make enough money to replace them immediately.

    1. I'm A Little Teapot*

      Thrift stores! Hit or miss obviously, but when you find things that work is much, much cheaper.

      1. middle name danger*

        They’re a lot more miss than hit when you’re a bigger person, unfortunately.

        1. Autistic AF*

          The amount of time it takes to find things as a bigger person can offset the lower costs, too, especially when you can’t try on in-store.

          1. middle name danger*

            This. The return to office was very sudden. I just don’t have the time and energy to devote to bargain hunting for a new work wardrobe that I will only be wearing for a short while. (I usually have a lifestyle that is going to bring me back to my pre-covid weight pretty quickly, including a job where I’m moving around a lot in an industry that’s been completely shuttered.)

    2. Exhausted Trope*

      I actually lost weight during the Crisis due to a combination of factors. My dress pants fit better than before but I still hate putting them on after being in shorts for so long. Ugh. They just don’t feel good anymore. My office’s only concession was nice jeans with dressy shirts /tops but that’s over and we’re back to biz casual.

    3. Regular Human Accountant*

      Same! None of my work pants or skirts fit. We still aren’t in-person and I’m hoping I can squeeze back into my clothes by the time we are, because for the past year-plus my work “uniform” has been leggings and a big t-shirt and even though our office dress code is casual, it’s not THAT casual.

  10. EPLawyer*

    I am not looking forward to having to put on a full suit and then drive to some court and hang around all day.

    Thank you to the commentariat who responded the last time we discussed returning to the office and having to put on suits again. I said I ate my way through the pandemic and didn’t want to buy new clothes because I intended to lose the weight. Everyone was all buy the clothes you will feel better. I went clothes shopping over the weekend and bought some suits that fit. I also purged my closet of suits I was hanging onto in the belief I would get back to a very unrealistic weight for me. Still not happy about my weight, but now I have incentive. When these clothes are too loose, I get to go shopping again and buy a new wardrobe.

    1. catlin*

      I’ve been doing the same thing! It’s been hard to part with clothes that I really loved because in a sense it feels like I’m giving up on having the body I did in my twenties. I’ve actually called it grief when describing it with friends, but they’ve been going through the same. Framing it as “if I lose weight I get to buy new clothes” is more fun and full of opportunity than “maybe I’ll lose weight and can fit into this vintage DVF dress that’s taking up space in my closet and kind of makes me hate myself.”

      1. Joielle*

        I feel this so much! I finally donated the last remaining pieces from my 20s when I moved recently and it was a little sad, but also kind of a relief. Even if I do become skinny again, I can’t imagine I’d be the exact same shape as before, so the old stuff wouldn’t fit the same anyways.

  11. NYC Taxi*

    I’m that person who always dresses up at work – even during the pandemic I “dressed down” with business casual. I have a lot of issues with focus, and I find that dressing the part makes helps me keep my sh*t together.

    1. Miss Muffet*

      I agree with this. I worked exclusively from home for 8+ years, and even if I was in more casual clothes, I would always shower, do something with my hair, and put on not-pajama clothes. There was just something to marking the transition between “home” and “work” about it. Didn’t have to do the full makeup or any of that, but it was enough that if I had to run an errand, I was fit for public consumption, and that was enough and made it feel distinct from “home”.

  12. I'm A Little Teapot*

    When I buy work clothes, I have always prioritized comfort and not ironing. Which means that while my work clothes aren’t as comfortable as my sitting-around-the-house clothes, they also aren’t uncomfortable. Even my bras aren’t bad (I do need to go bra shopping, but that was going to happen regardless). I don’t wear shoes that hurt my feet. So, there can be a happy medium with work clothes where you’re still meeting the dress code but you’re not horribly uncomfortable. My work wardrobe is business casual. Business professional is harder and I’m very glad I don’t need to do that anymore, but there’s still things you can do to help.

    The trade off is that maybe you won’t look as polished as before, depending on what works for you. That’s something you have to consider.

    1. quill*

      With the caveat that I have always been a lab rat, or lab rat adjacent, I have never had a workplace that cared too much about my shoes, and I’ve only had one that didn’t want me to wear jeans. (One specified no lightwash jeans? But that was hardly a problem, those were sooo out of style at the time.)

      My main hack is jewelry. I have plenty of it but even if you only use a few pieces on rotation, it make a difference.

      Plus, if I have to go into the lab to wrestle a pressurized cannister of smelly agar-water in my darkwash jeans and plain t-shirt, I can take my earrings and necklace off and stash them in my purse for safekeeping.

      1. Cooper*

        Jewelry and a cardigan/wrap/something over the top = outfit that looks like you put in effort!

  13. SheLooksFamiliar*

    Hmm. A lot of people both in and out of the workplace are eager to return to ‘normal’, or at least to ‘familiar.’ That’s why I think a lot of companies are going to keep a version of their previous dress codes if only to maintain the concept of ‘normal.’ In some companies, the optics matter as much as the actual results. Also, I imagine companies want their customers and employees to think, ‘We’re back and that whole pandemic thing is history! Full steam ahead!’ Looking like you did in 2019 could help send that message, I guess.

    But I think it’s a good idea to question pre-existing dress codes. A lot of folks, employees and customers alike, are now conditioned to work in extremely casual attire. Wearing even business casual clothes could take some getting used to. To be fair, when I had to be onsite with a client last fall, I chafed at wearing business semi-professional attire, and definitely didn’t like wearing more makeup than usual. Also to be fair, I got used to it after a few weeks and it didn’t feel punitive.

    We’re pretty resilient when we need to be but I don’t think more formal dress codes are needed.

  14. Charlotte Lucas*

    I have some dress pants that are in between slacks & yoga pants, & I love them! They’re cut dressy enough to look polished, but they feel more like leggings/yoga pants, with an elastic waist.

    But I truly love dresses f for the summer, which look polished & are cooler & more comfortable. In fact, I pretty much wore dresses last week. WFH during a heat wave with no AC means you need clothes with airflow. (FYI – Dress Barn carries a lot of dresses with pockets. Real ones.)

  15. A.N. O'Nyme*

    Am I the only one who reads these and is not uncomfortable in any of these clothes mentioned? Notable exception being make-up because I don’t do full face anyway.
    I do hope dress codes will relax so everyone can work while wearing what they find comfortable, but I also hope the pendulum won’t swing too far to the other side and people who do choose to still wear business casual will be spared the comments about “freeing their legs from the pantyhose” or “freeing their boobs from underwrite prisons” or whatever.

    1. Charlotte Lucas*

      Where I work, the code is: Dress appropriately. Everyone interprets it their own way, & it means people just dress in their own style.

      1. BubbleTea*

        This is basically the same at my office. We don’t see our clients in person and we don’t have stakeholders visiting, so the dress code is “wear clothes”. It’s a wide range from fairly smart casual though to denim mini dresses and bare legs.

        Apart from the days where I start work in pyjamas and shower mid morning, which is a major WFH bonus, I’ve not changed how I dress at all. I feel very lucky in that respect!

    2. I'm A Little Teapot*

      Honestly, I’m pretty convinced that everyone is wearing clothes that just don’t fit them right. Feet hurt? Your shoes probably don’t fit right. Bra hurts? Wrong size. Pants too tight? Wrong size. If you’re wearing something that fits properly, it will be more comfortable.

      1. Miss Muffet*

        This was, in large part, the commentary behind one of the recent bra-less posts. If you feel that trapped in, you aren’t wearing the right size. Go get properly fitted!!

        1. RabbitRabbit*

          A lot of mall fitters aren’t good at it though – or will only give a size that they sell. Go to the subreddit /r/ABraThatFits and read their sizing guide, including the information about breast shapes.

        2. Happy*

          Why? If someone is comfortable not wearing a bra, that should be perfectly acceptable. They shouldn’t have to go get properly fitted unless they want to.

        3. quill*

          Yeeeeah just did this and apparently I’m now in a size that they actually make! Hurrah!

          They’re always going to bother my underarms, though. Combination of dry skin and the way I’m shaped, but I can slouch without impaling myself now.

          When it comes to shoes though I’m SOL: my feet are extremely picky, and I’m not talking about heels vs flats: I need extremely specific cuts of lace up shoe that are large enough to cram my orthodics in. Fortunately New Job is very fond of athletic shoes.

        4. Generic Name*

          I agree, but I’m larger-chested and it’s actually more painful for me to go braless or to wear a sports bra. I can understand someone with a much smaller bust feeling for comfortable in a more minimal bra.

          1. EchoGirl*

            Same here. I’m all right with a sports bra *if* it’s the right size for me (which pretty much requires a specially sized one, standard size scaling doesn’t work for me), but I don’t like going braless even if I’m staying home all day, it’s just not comfortable for me.

      2. Stinks McGee*

        Personally, I’ve never found professional women’s shoes that aren’t horrible foot prisons. It’s not a fit issue for me. I’ve just never been able to find comfortable shoes that are work appropriate (other than Rothy points, which I can get away with wearing periodically). Any ideas of where I may be able to find some?

        1. Junior Dev*

          Dansko shoes, maybe? I wear them because I need lots of arch support and they have styles ranging from casual to dressy, including flats and heels.

          1. Esmeralda*

            Even the dressiest Danskos have a boho / hippy vibe (I love Danskos, not throwing shade here) which is not always appropriate, depending on the event.

            The last 14 months: I’ve been wearing sneakers (keds type), flip flops, and dansko sandals when it’s warm. When it was cold, it was sneakers, dankso clogs, dress boots, and hiking boots (I’d wear those every day if I could).

            When we’re back in the office, I can wear Danskos most of the time, dressy flats, dress boots. Snow or ice: hiking boots with stabilicers, change into something appropriate in the office.

        2. I'm A Little Teapot*

          I am currently wearing a lot of LifeStride brand shoes. No idea why but they work for my feet. Naturalizer has never fit me right, they cut into the side of my foot somehow. Trying a lot of different brands might help.

          But also, are you wearing the right size? Size matters! Do you need a wide? A size larger?

        3. Lacey*

          You might have extra wide feet. I have always struggled to find shoes that don’t feel like they were created to destroy me and I was recently measured and discovered that my feet aren’t just wide width, they’re extra wide width. Do you know who sells WW shoes? No one. So I buy a size or two too big in wide width.

          1. Elspeth McGillicuddy*

            I haven’t bought from them, so I can’t speak as to the quality, but Hitchcock shoes at wideshoes dot come sells sizes up to 8E, in mens AND womens! Selection is moderately limited, especially in the larger sizes, and they definitely tend more toward the sensible end, but they have options in every category.

        4. Non-binary comfy shoe buyer*

          I have two pairs of Born oxfords which are my most comfortable shoes. Unfortunately they don’t seem to make anymore (I got them when oxfords were ~all the rage~), but they do make basic ballet flats.

          I’ve also lucked out with at Target sometimes. Most of the time their shoes are too big or stiff, but I found some basic suedesque loafers and a pair of pointy slides that I constantly get compliments on.

        5. quill*

          If you’re allowed ones that lace up, I’ve had some luck with Merrels. If you get a brown pair they don’t read as tennis shoes.

          I also strategically buy my hiking boots in colors that don’t scream “out on the trail!” and I wear them pretty much all winter.

        6. Cedrus Libani*

          I have big flat feet that want to be barefoot, but I work in an office. Most barefoot-style shoes are neon and sporty. But I found a plain black version from SoftStar – it can pass for a lace-up dress shoe, but there’s very little structure to it, which is what I want. Wouldn’t pass muster in a heels and hose kind of place, but totally fine for business casual.

        7. I spend a fortune on shoes!*

          If you have a local specialty shoe store, start there – finding the best shoe for you is highly individual. I have terrible feet, had an achilles tendon tear that still plagues me, and am overweight, but have found that the brand Aetrex fits me like it is custom made for my foot. I’ve done 12-14 miles of walking in their *sandals* in one day with no issues. Even my expensive running shoes are not as comfortable. But my friend who also has issues greatly prefers Abeo brand as it works better for her. Some other great brands I have in my closet are: Naot, Dansko, Taos, and Vionic.

      3. nnn*

        What we need is, like, bra fitters for all clothes!

        Like, I know that the uncomfortable pants don’t fit right, but I’m not able to extrapolate from that information to find the pants that do fit right. (I did find them once, 15 years ago, and then they discontinued them.)

        I’d love to, like, try on two pairs of pants in front of an expert and then they extrapolate from that information to find me the perfect pants!

        1. A.N. O'Nyme*

          One issue is that sizes are very arbitrary and very few people actually have those exact measurements – they only exist to make mass manufacture possible. If you have a tape measure handy, you could look up the size chart for any brand of trousers, for example, and measure yourself. Don’t be surprised if your waist is size X and your thighs are actually size Y.

        2. Lenora Rose*

          There’s a woman in our city who does this with jeans. She looks at you, sifts through the jeans in one or two sizes, hands you a couple of pairs, and they FIT. I don’t wear jeans anymore, like, at all (for at least 12 years, probably longer) but if I did I would always go to her store, and I still recommend her to people.

          I imagine some expensive tailors can be like that, but then you get the cost issue.

      4. PostalMixup*

        That’s probably true, but it’s so hard to find clothes that actually fit! I recently tried on 21 bras (several brands in several sizes) to find one that fit. The only line of jeans that has ever fit me well has been discontinued, so I’m back to square one there. Lots of people actually should be wearing two different size shoes, but they only sell them in same-size pairs. After a while, you just give up and go with “close enough” and just deal with being somewhat uncomfortable.

        1. Loredena Frisealach*

          I have a full size difference in my shoe size, and I have wide feet! I wear sandals as much as I can as a result, because I can keep them both on comfortably even with the variance. My standard shoes, sadly, tend to be either too snug on one foot or falling off the other.

          As to bras, I recently bought a goldilocks bra – it fit perfectly – so I ordered two more in the exactly same color/size/style. One was painfully tight in the band, and the other fit the band and was uselessly large in the cups. /sigh

          1. New Job So Much Better*

            I feel you on that… I’ve never had luck ordering duplicate shoes, bras, pants anything. The following items are never as perfect as the original. Also sighing.

        2. CatWoman*

          I’m still waiting for fitting rooms to be re-opened, so that I can try on the 87 bras it will take me to find one that fits.

      5. Chilipepper Attitude*

        I just got bras professionally fitted and so yeah, they fit. I still would rather not wear one.
        And I have gotten shopping help so that my pants are the “right” size. Still not at all comfortable for sitting down. I prefer elastic waist. I do have some that work for my workplace but if a suit or something with a proper waistband were required, I’d be in trouble.

      6. Anononon*

        Unfortunately, for many of us, getting that perfect fit is very difficult. I’m a smaller fat person (size 18-20), so I have many more options than a lot others, but I’m still often forced to choose “good enough.” For many people, it’s not a question of whether it fits properly, but whether it fits at all. When I was living in Europe, I made a lot of questionable clothing decisions because the pieces I bought were literally the only items of clothing that physically fit onto my body. And getting something tailored requires 1) access, money, and time that many people don’t have and 2) a starting piece of clothing that has enough extra fabric to tailor.

        1. I'm A Little Teapot*

          No argument from me. I also have trouble finding clothes that fit properly, and I understand the challenges in getting clothes tailored. You do the best you can.

        2. cat lady*

          Agreed on all points! I’m in the same size range, and what it comes down to is that my body shape is just not the same standing up as sitting down, so anything that fits both shapes needs to adapt (read: stretch). Hard pants that don’t dig in when I’m sitting would literally fall off my body when I’m standing!

        3. Stinks McGee*

          Oh man, I feel that point about focusing on “does it sort of kind of fit?” over actual style out of necessity. My very kind and generous older sisters have always given me their hand-me-downs. When I was in my early 20s living in abject poverty but working in a business casual office, I would wear literally whatever they gave me that came close to fitting, regardless of style, if it fit my work dress code. I basically spent 4-5 years wearing clothes to work that did not fit my style or taste at all. (One of my sisters is much more partial to ruffly blouses than I am.) I will always be grateful to them for saving my bacon in those early years, but it was the best feeling in the world when I could finally start to upgrade my wardrobe with pieces that I chose myself.

      7. HerdingCatsWouldBeEasier*

        Honestly, my feet are so non-standard that for the last ten years the only shoes I’ve found that are really comfortable for me are the memory foam ‘sport sandals’ that Nike and UnderArmour make that are basically just a base and a strap over the toes. I’ve paid hundreds of dollars for “custom fit” shoes, and end up with blisters and bruising. It has been so nice to be able to work from home in socks and slippers.

      8. Seeking Second Childhood*

        My feet hurt when I wear heels. There’s no fit issue involved, it’s just something in the way my bones fit together. I’ve been lucky to never need a job so badly that I had to take one where I had to wear them.

  16. Mr. Cajun2core*

    I have to wonder how people would feel if your local TV meteorologist (picked for a reason – long story) or news anchor did the newscast in sweat shorts and a t-shirt? What about the sales person at a fine jewelry store? What about your doctor (though scrubs have become acceptable these days)? What about your lawyer who you are counting on keeping you off of death row?

    For the TV meteorologist, I probably wouldn’t mind, especially if it was a sudden severe weather (almost happened here but luckily he keeps a spare suit a work). The jewelry salesperson, I might be able to handle. If the doctor came in with a Rush T-shirt and shorts, I would be thrown off. The lawyer, would really bother me.

    Yes, I know that there are many positions, where it makes sense, is customary, etc. to wear “hard” pants, suits, etc. and some where it doesn’t make any sense. The thing that doesn’t make sense to me though, is casual Fridays. If jeans and a t-shirt are acceptable one day a week, why not all of them. The exception being if you work for a school and wearing school related clothing on game days is acceptable – that makes sense.

    1. Free Meerkats*

      Please explain that to me as if I’m 5. How is an attorney or a doctor more knowledgeable and capable if they are wearing a suit and tie or a office formal dress?

      1. Mr. Cajun2core*

        I agree with you that it does not make them more knowledgeable. However, I am being honest with myself and with others and I do admit that perception does make a difference at least to me.

        1. Nanani*

          That sounds like a you problem. You work on unpacking that superficial baggage while the rest of us get work done minus the extra hours of ironing, hair care, and makeup.

      2. Angstrom*

        If I read someone in a public-facing position as “This person doesn’t care about their appearance”, I’m going to trust them less. That doesn’t mean they need to wear a suit. They need to look like they thought about their outfit and didn’t pull randomly from the top of the laundry pile.

        If they don’t care about that, what else don’t they care about?

        First impressions matter. Perceptions matter. It doesn’t matter if it’s illogical.

      3. JJ*

        It’s costuming. We expect to see a doctor in formal clothing, an artist in something unusual, an athlete in athletic clothing. It conveys believability/who that person is before they even open their mouth.

    2. Mayor Lewis*

      My doctor’s office actually made a switch to casual clothes a while ago. They’ve said a lot of patients feel less stressed and more able to relate to the doctor when they’re dressed down, and they have better interactions with patients as a result – especially patients who have ‘white coat syndrome’ or are otherwise uncomfortable in medical settings.

      1. cat lady*

        that’s fascinating. I hope someone does a study of the data regarding white coat syndrome with doctors dressed casually, business casually, businessy, and business formally.

      2. Autistic AF*

        I was going to chime in with the same – my doctor comes off as down-to-earth and more empathetic than she would more dressed up.

      3. Mr. Cajun2core*

        Very interesting. While casual is one thing, I am still not sure that I would feel comfortable with a doctor in a t-shirt and sweatpants. Though that is my hurdle to overcome. I did have one doctor (walk in clinic) that came in reeking of Fritos Corn Chips. Admittingly it was a bit off-putting for me but I do know that it was probably the only food he had since breakfast.

      4. Stinks McGee*

        Same with my GP’s office. They still wear white lab coats, typically, but over jeans/nice t-shirts/pullovers. I agree it makes them feel more approachable.

        It’s possible this is a cultural issue, though.

    3. Lenora Rose*

      I would be bothered by the doctor if they are supposed to be in scrubs, as they are in most places other than GP.

      There’s also a big space between “put together nicely” and “full formal”. I don’t think I would be put off if any of the above were in a nice Nordic sweater, or a sundress, or a more fitted and designed shirt in t-shirt cottons, and flats or even nicer runners wouldn’t faze me a bit.

      1. quill*

        Yeah, scrubs is the one example on here that’s got a very valid work function: scrubs are designed to be laundered to hell if any body fluids get on them.

      2. Mr. Cajun2core*

        I would not have any problem with any medical professional who would wear scrubs.

      3. Mr. Cajun2core*

        I also would not have a problem with any of the outfits that Leonora Rose stated.

    4. Lora*

      TV meteorologists in my area are often outside wearing a parka or serious brightly-colored rain gear. So that’s fine. I really don’t watch a human meteorologist unless I’m trying to find out the status of a major storm, in which case, they’re out in the middle of it broadcasting from a van and showing video of the cars spun out on the icy highway, sort of thing. At this point I expect them in a North Face parka.

      News anchor is tough. I don’t really watch the news, I read it or listen to NPR. I can read a lot faster than someone can talk to me, and I want to be able to skim articles until I find one that interests me. Even when I do occasionally watch videos on BBC, the newscasters are out in the field, like the meteorologists, often in hiking boots and cargo pants. I don’t know if you remember Iraq War 1.0 in the early ’90s, but the whole embedded reporter thing is what I associate with “real” news stories as opposed to opinion pieces – camouflage, street clothes, maybe a photographer’s vest with lots of pockets, whatever they are wearing to fit in with the locals or environment. I don’t watch the opinion pieces ever, so could not possibly care less what they wear.

      Jewelry stores I have no clue. I think I last looked in a Tiffany’s window in 1993. Last time I bought a new car, the sales guy was wearing khakis and a polo and had a total pornstache. Last time I bought a high-end leather jacket in a very fancy designer shop, the sales lady was wearing jeans ripped out at the knees and a sort of hippie blouse which was the fashion of the minute I guess. I was a lot more concerned about the local currency exchange rate (bought in US: $6000, bought in Argentina: $220) and whether they had my size than her jeans.

      My doctors have almost universally been in scrubs. I vastly prefer this, as neckties have been actual vectors of MRSA and other infections in hospitals! Doctors should not be vectors for infection in patients! Please for the love of god, for the safety of patients, doctors should never wear ties or street clothes unless they are cocooned in enough Tyvek to sweat themselves to death, which they should change between patients!

      The lawyer unfortunately has to wear whatever costume the judge prefers. My lawyer friends inform me this can vary considerably judge to judge, and part of being a good experienced lawyer is knowing the local courts and their preferences. There are also different styles of suits worn by different types of lawyers down to minute details to make you appear like credible IP lawyer vs Mafia lawyer vs. Corporate Law vs. family law, it’s quite complicated.

    5. Seeking Second Childhood*

      If you’re at the beach or baseball game and have a medical emergency, do you not trust the doctor in shorts who gives you CPR?
      Maybe it’s because I went to college with enough people who now have MD’s to understand that they are careful methodical trained professionals even when they’re wearing casual clothes

    6. Tinker*

      I mean TBH I’m kind of sitting here scratching my head a bit at the idea that I would feel much of any sort of way about how a TV meteorologist dresses aside from that when they accidentally wear green shirts it’s kind of funny to watch a severed head doing a type of presentation that is usually made by people who have entire bodies. What other way would I feel about it?

      Granted I live in Denver, so if you want to try and dress in a way that makes me think you know what the weather will be in the future, your best bet is probably more in the neighborhood of “feral prophet” than “distinguished professional”.

  17. Anonya*

    I’ve started gradually going in again, and from what I can see, the dress code has not relaxed at all. Everyone’s back to their pre-pandemic selves. I would LOVE to dress more casually. Not yoga pants-casual, but surely there’s some acceptable middle ground between business professional and my house clothes? That doesn’t seem to be the way my office culture is going.

    I was on Zoom enough during the pandemic that I never stopped doing my hair and putting on makeup. Although, I was able to get away with air-drying my hair a few days a week, when I didn’t have to see anyone until 10 a.m. Now I won’t be able to do that.

    1. cat lady*

      Yeah, I also notice that it’s harder to tell if hair is still a bit wet on Zoom than in person, so I’m able to get away with even 9am meetings with air drying hair in virtual meetings

  18. Rebaroni*

    Comfort plus professional dress=dresses for me. Hear me out: They are comfortable and much more flattering for my body type than pants, and I’m busty so blouses can look matronly. Dresses are easy. Also, less matching! Put on dress, put on shoes! Doneso!
    I just bought some really cute women’s oxfords with a slight platform and they look really good with dresses.
    My favorites are sheath dresses. Easy to add a blazer or sweater to notch it up. And no waist pinching.
    Everyone acts like I’m always ‘done up’ but i don’t wear makeup or hose or do elaborate hair. I literally put on a dress. My get ready routine is less than 20 minutes.
    I actually feel bad sort of for men in office wear, women have more latitude style wise. Suits and ties look really uncomfortable to me.

      1. Charlotte Lucas*

        I recently bought some espadrille wedges to go with all my cute, comfy, & professional-looking summer dresses that I bought

    1. kiki*

      Yes, I love dresses! I’m a bit curvy with weight that fluctuates a bit, especially on my lower half, so dresses are much better than pants in ensuring I consistently fit and feel comfortable.

      1. Charlotte Lucas*

        And during the summer heat, they mean you’re wearing less material. I love that dresses help keep you cool & looking good even in hot, humid weather

    2. Ginger Baker*

      I have definitely done and loved this approach in the past. Really the only reason I paused on that is shoes; I may take another look at some shoe/sock options and see if I can’t work out something that works for me.

    3. Perfectly Particular*

      I like the “idea” of dresses, but when it comes. right down to it, I appreciate the ability to mix and match my wardrobe so that it feels like I have more choices. How many dresses do you own so that you don’t feel like you’re wearing the same 5 outfits every week? (Genuine question – not a criticism)

      1. kiki*

        For sure. I have several neutral dresses that I wear every week; I pair them with completely different accessories or cardigans or outerwear, so it still looks different every day. I also have some more lively dresses, but because they’re so unique, I wear those less often because it would be more noticeable that I’m wearing them a lot.

      2. JR*

        I have almost 30, acquired over a number of years. Some of them are summer only, and some are winter only. Most of them can go either way depending on what kind of leggings/sweaters I pair them with. (leggings and sweaters year round for me because office ac is Too Cold)

        Probably I could pare it down under 20 and still feel like I had the same variety. Several of my dresses are very similar to each other.

      3. cat lady*

        Mixing up cardigan, blazer, and collared shirt layered underneath goes a long way. Also shoes and hair– heels and french braids pinned up with a gray fit and flare dress reads way differently for me than the same dress with my rain-resistent flats and a bun or sandals and hair down.

    4. Blomma*

      Yup, my small town business casual style is dresses (usually with leggings unless it’s really hot outside). So much more comfortable than the waistline of “real pants.” Figuring out shoes to match is more complicated though, because I have chronic pain issues and a previously broken ankle that still hurts. I can’t really wear ballet flats or anything with a heel. Boots can be difficult too. I’m working on finding shoes that either look like nice tennies or at least have the support of athletic shoes. It’s more casual than I’d like, but I’m always going to prioritize making my body as comfortable as possible since I’m in so much physical pain.

    5. Mr. Cajun2core*

      Speaking as a man who hates to wear a suit, you are 100% correct. It is not so much the ties that are uncomfortable but the buttoned collar which chokes you. Button extenders help. Also as someone with fibromyalgia, I feel *everything*. I can’t ignore the high collar around my neck even if it is not that tight. I can’t get used to it. Unbuttoned is the only way I can wear a collar without it bothering me. Add a heavy jacket (there is no such thing as a light suit jacket to someone with fibromyalgia) and I am miserable. Long sleeves are irritating at best and can be painful.

      I am very lucky that my place of employment doesn’t require me to wear a suit.

    6. T J Juckson*

      For all the reasons @Rebaroni mentions, I mostly wear dresses. And I sometimes use power tools and move heavy objects (the endless joy and glamour of the arts). Pants are much harder to get the fit right.

      I actually like fashion and dressing up. I wear “nice” things at home, and those nice things are comfortable. Drapey silk and linen dresses work as well for lounging and watching tv as for doing professional work. Last spring, I lived in an apartment in New York without a washing machine and discovered that my silk dresses were easy to handwash, and had the added bonus of looking chic and feeling great on.

      That said, there is no chance at this point I would take a job that had pantyhose, heels, or a specific kind of workwear (I’m thinking pencil skirts, button down shirts, and their ilk) as a dress code.

    7. Lacey*

      I do love dresses when I can find good ones. I’m busty too, so button up shirts are just a minefield of wardrobe malfunction. And it’s amazing how people think you’re being “fancy” just because you’ve put on a cotton knit maxi dress – it felt like I was in a nightgown. I do live in the midwest, so we are super casual, but still.

    8. The Original K.*

      Agreed, especially in warm weather. I’m WFH and wearing a dress right now.

    9. cat lady*

      I, a fat and curvy woman, discovered that my perfect work outfit is a fit-and-flare dress with a wide skirt just below the knee in a stretchy fabric. A lot of the super cheap Amazon dresses come with high spandex proportions, but I prefer to make my own in a ponte knit (stretchy enough to accommodate weight fluctuation and the sitting down/standing up differential, sturdy enough to look structured). Any other sewists looking for a similar thing: Sew Over It’s Betty dress pattern, with the V-back altered to be a normal back neckline. It’s so easy to make and the perfect shape.

      1. Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers*

        Hi cat lady! I used to make my own clothes in my teens and 20s. I’ve been thinking about taking it up again and the Betty dress is on my list of possibles. Do you have any other recommendations?

    10. Seeking Second Childhood*

      I am having a devil of a ime coming up with wide shoes that have enough arch support for me, enough space to not compress my bad toe, and still look good with a dress.

    11. Mockingdragon*

      I love dresses in the winter, but my legs are shaped such that I run into chafing problems if I don’t have shorts or leggings underneath. That means in the summer I overheat quickly since I’m wearing extra layers =(

  19. Michelle Smith*

    On the one hand, I’m an attorney so I’m in an extremely conservative environment and it would be disastrous for me to show up to court in anything less than formal dress (even though I’ve been able to get away with not wearing a jacket during the entire pandemic).

    On the other hand, I’m really annoyed that I’m going to have to wear suits again because (1) none of my old ones fit due to quarantine weight gain (and I’m a government attorney so not exactly raking in the big bucks to buy a new wardrobe) (2) they were always uncomfortable and (3) I don’t meet with clients (again, government attorney), so I don’t get why I can’t just keep a suit or two in my office for the occasional court appearance and work in my office in my comfortable clothes.

    But then again, they make us literally clock in/out like we’re retail employees (not exaggerating, there is a machine on the wall), so why would I expect their practices to make sense?

  20. Marzipan Shepherdess*

    Recalling the absolute clutch-my-pearls paroxysms of fury spewed out at those interns who (gasp! horrors!) petitioned for a more relaxed dress code (even daring to suggest that they might prefer to wear fabric flats to leather ones), I had to chuckle at all those people who now want to keep on wearing comfortable clothes on the job. Frankly, I hope that every single commenter who pitched a fit over “those kids today!” returns to an office in which “hard clothes” and high heels are STILL required. Perhaps then they’ll gain a new perspective on wanting to dress comfortably at work! (Spoiler alert: It’s NOT an unforgivable sin! ;)

    1. Lenora Rose*

      I thought the issue was less the *topic* of their petition and more the fact that they thought a petition from interns who’ve barely been around any length of time at all was the way to go about changing an office culture.

      1. Yessica Haircut*

        This. I don’t think anyone had a problem with the interns preferring casual clothes. It was more that they wildly overstepped with a “make this change, or else” petition, when they didn’t have an “or else” to back that up.

        Also, it was poor judgment that people who were brought in essentially as guests to a workplace to learn in that environment felt comfortable making demands to change the workplace culture and vocalized that they knew how the company should run better than the actual employees and managers.

        (That’s not even taking into account their nosiness into the personal business of the woman receiving a medical accommodation.)

        1. EchoGirl*

          Also the fact that they went the petition route after already asking and being told “no”. More than a few comments were focused on the “they already said no, this was not a good way to respond to that” aspect.

        2. Kiki*

          Right. I think the relatively trivial nature of the request combined with fairly intense way of asking (petition) plus the fact they were interns who hadn’t even been there very long made the response what it was. If it had been a petition for something a bit more serious (e.g. paying interns, gender and racial equity) I think the commenter response would have been more receptive. Likewise, if all the employees had come together to make a power point presentation about why casual dress would boost morale and employee output, that also would have been received a bit better as well.

      2. quill*

        It was more that they managed to point out someone’s disability accomodation and say “us too!” along with having been around for about a month and not like, asking first.

        Though I mean, I’ve got sympathy for them, because prior to diagnosing my foot issues all I had to back up my request to wear sneakers was “these shoes hurt!”

  21. Name (Required)*

    I hope it kills the dress code in some industries. The days of mandated dress codes for creative industries should be numbered.

  22. ENFP in Texas*

    For folks in an office that don’t have client-facing roles, also consider that your coworkers may be your internal clients. And like it or not, how you dress will influence their opinion of you (just as how they dress will influence your opinion of them). Something to keep in mind when considering how far down “dressing down” should be.

    My general guideline has been “If you’d wear it to the beach or the nightclub, it doesn’t belong in an office.” I should probably add “if you wear it in bed” to that list in the post-COVID world.

    1. MissB*

      So very true on dressing vs perception.

      I still remember my intern days at a government/quasi-military office. I needed to pull some resources from the on site library and showed up in my casual university clothes. The staff librarian was not very helpful at all, bordering on rude.

      A couple of days later, I put on my wool suit and heels, pulled my hair back and went downstairs to the library again. The same librarian was super helpful. Maybe she just had a bad day previously but the difference in her attitude was so stark.

    2. Mr. Cajun2core*

      Exactly. See my post above. Whether it should be that way or not, I do know that what a person wears (to an extent) will influence my perception of them. I know that should not be the case and it is something that I do have to work on.

    3. chilipepper attitude*

      I see this comment from ENFP as an opportunity to share my hatred for “cold-shoulder” tops. I will judge you if you wear a “cold-shoulder” top to work. Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

  23. MissB*

    I’m wfh for the rest of my career so dress codes don’t really apply except when I’m out doing field work in the summer.

    Fortunately, I have to wear a leg brace. I really can’t wear much other than a thin capri pant or leggings underneath the brace, but that’s been true for a couple of years now. So really my dress code hasn’t changed. It has to be “appropriate” and I’m usually meeting guys wearing jeans and bright orange tshirts so… I’m usually the more formal of the bunch with a blouse and long sweater on top.

  24. BatCat*

    Interesting! We have been on site almost the entire time, and the one BIG change? Fake nails. A few of my coworkers had amazing fake nails, and kept them up. Since coming back, they all agree it just isn’t worth the cost, hassle and wear on nails.
    Makeup, clothes, shoes, all the same, but nails have gone gone gone from fancy to just polished.

  25. BettySuarez*

    I work in a New York City office, in a creative and very known/respected company. We don’t have a dress code, but people do dress very nicely. I do occasionally see jeans, but usually on summer Fridays.

    Several years ago, I had an assistant who would wear jeans or cargo shorts and sneakers most days. I didn’t really care, she was absolutely terrible at her job and her clothes were the least of the problem (this is a story for another day). She was 27 at the time and it was her first ever office job. I didn’t hire her–she was there when I started my job.

    My manager knew I was losing patience with her and that I didn’t think she was a good fit for the role at all. She would come right out and say to me that she had no interest in the field and didn’t want to work in it.

    She was supposed to help me at an event one day and came in in jeans and sneakers. The event was at the New York club chapter of a prestigious university and there was indeed a dress code. She couldn’t help out at the event for that reason, and instead of telling her “You need to go to Banana Republic across the street and buy an outfit and come help me”, I didn’t make her go and went to the event by myself, and I was really overwhelmed without the help.

    That evening, I sent her an email saying, “It is completely fine if you wear jeans and sneakers to work, but I think it would be a good idea if you kept a change of clothes (just black pants and a dress shirt and non-sneakers would do) at the office so this doesn’t happen again.” She responded that she would.

    A few weeks past and she never did bring in a change clothes.

    She then made an EXTREMELY CARELESS AND HUGE ERROR that had MAJOR consequences for the whole department.

    After over a year of dealing with her terrible attitude in general and the fact that she was awful at her job, I went to my manager and worked on a very firm email with him to her addressing the gravity of this mistake and how it can’t happen again. I sent it to her, and CC’d my boss (who knew it was coming, obviously, and was 100% on my side.)

    The next day, my boss (who I absolutely love) calls me and tells me he doesn’t want me to get upset and to remember that he has my back, and then he tells me what happened.

    The assistant reported me to HR.


    She cited three things:

    The fact that I would advise her not to use ellipses so much in emails because they could read as passive aggressive. We work in a communication-heavy field and we have to be really careful. I sent her a few articles (one from Forbes) advising to avoid ellipses.

    The fact that I dared to write an email correcting her about her REALLY BIG CARELESS MISTAKE and CC’d my boss.

    And the third was that I suggested she keep a change of clothes at the office in case she had to go to an event that required business casual clothes.

        1. BettySuarez*

          SUCH A LONG STORY (and I had written in about it here at the time, and my letter wasn’t published, but Alison did tell me I had to make sure this chick got fired, but that just wasn’t in my power.)

          Long story short (it could have been an FX miniseries):

          My boss tells me she reported me to HR. (My boss worked out of another location so my boss was never in the same office while this was going on.)

          I get back to my desk after this phone call and have to sit next to her.

          A coworker I was friendly with who sat behind me motioned at his phone as in “Hey, I texted you, check it.”

          He tells me she was telling everyone in our area about how she reported me to HR for abuse and bullying. He said she was bragging and was very smug and that he was completely appalled.

          I quickly IM my boss and tell him this, and my boss was appalled as well.

          So, now the entire department knows I WAS REPORTED TO HR FOR ABUSE AND BULLYING.

          I go to HR and talk to the two guys in HR. They both thought her complaints were the most ridiculous thing they had ever come across working in HR.

          The next day, we had a meeting (without HR) with my manager (on conference call), the assistant and me. My boss and I had talked beforehand and he said at the end of the meeting, he would prompt me to bring up that we knew she told the entire office about the complaints to HR.

          The assistant basically just cried the entire time, brought up the ellipses thing and said that she had a Master’s in English and nobody had EVER corrected her punctuation before.

          When I brought up how I knew she told the entire department, she denied it, denied it, denied it and I kinda stared her down and she caved and started crying again and admitted it.

          It was SO UNBELIEVABLE and afterwards I talked to my boss and he said that he went to HR and told them, “Betty Suarez is most likely the nicest person I have ever worked with. Possibly have ever met. Something just doesn’t make sense here.”

          She ends up getting written up after all of this for telling everyone about how she complained to HR about me.

          There’s all this back and forth over the next few weeks, and I might have gotten a bit “It’s her or me” to my boss, because expecting me to play nice with this person was asking too much.

          They decide to give her to another department 3 days a week, doing the same work but for different people.

          (She asked if this meant she was getting a raise, by the way.)

          The complaints to HR happened in May and this ALL went on until the following December.

          She was AWFUL in her new role with the other team, and the other team basically told us she was more trouble than she was worth and correcting all her errors and explaining things to her was setting everyone back.

          She continued to be awful to me attitude-wise for the 2x a week I had her (I was still her line manager) and I was actually looking for another job because she was sucking the life out of me.

          She was FINALLY put on a PIP and given 90 days to shape up. I had to lead the meeting as her line manager in the HR room (with my boss, who I really do love but I would have loved more support from) on Zoom.

          (My boss kept telling me how proud he was of me after this meeting of how well I handled it, but that wasn’t enough for me!)

          Her PIP is almost up and we had ever intention on letting her go, but she quit before that could happen.

          This whole time I was going into HR for updates a few times a week and they were so amazed and confused by the entire situation.

          I really haven’t had issues with people in the past! I have always been put in charge of interns and entry level hires because I’m probably the most patient and most gentle on them. I told this story to a few old coworkers and they couldn’t believe it. (“YOU?!”)

          Anyway, the original complaints were four years ago this month and I am still with the same company and I am very, very happy there, but WOW WOW WOW. That was the most insane office thing I have ever dealt with and I have see a lot.

          1. BettySuarez*

            Oh, I forgot my favorite part at the first meeting after the complaints.

            Me: I know that you always say that you don’t enjoy your role and don’t want to work in this field, but…

            Her: If you KNOW I don’t LIKE it, then WHY do you MAKE ME DO IT?

            Me: BECAUSE IT IS YOUR JOB.

      1. BettySuarez*

        Posted one as you were posting!

        I’m sure I’ll remember other details I left out, hahaha.

        1. BettySuarez*

          While she was on the PIP, I heard from a coworker at my last company who had just gotten laid off. He wasn’t my assistant, but he was junior to me.

          I told my manager this guy was great and could definitely be a good fit for this role (even if he was probably overqualified.)

          I met him for lunch and told him the whole story as a friend/off the record, and as somebody who
          worked in a very small office with me for two years, he was really amazed at the whole story and said, “You are the most polite and easygoing person EVER.”

          He ended up getting a job with my company upon my recommendation, but not as my assistant. That role was never refilled, and we have been without one for 3.5 years and we haven’t missed her at all since she honestly did nothing.

          My former coworker now current coworker is great and everyone loves him and I never had an issue with anyone ever again.

          I do wonder about the former assistant and genuinely hope she learned SOMETHING from that entire experience.

  26. Michelle*

    I have to admit that female-presenting (and anyone who leans toward femme) people can sometimes have an advantage when it comes to straddling the line between being “comfortable” and “professional.” And a lot of is about accessories and presentation. My office is business casual to business formal. I wear comfortable skirts/dresses as well as legging under tunics/short, loose dresses, but they’re always clean, non-wrinkled and generally “dressy” or at least made from nicer fabrics. I wear pretty shoes (though rarely very high heels), do my make-up, and wear some jewelry, etc. Ironically, my boss does the same, and we b0th manage to get compliments from clients on our style whilst still avoiding hard pants and structured dresses. I suppose the trick to getting away with leggings is to A) be sire that your shirt is long enough to flow over your butt and then some and B) accessorize

    1. Generic Name*

      Yes! Being able to wear a comfy yet professional looking knit dress is the best! I do wear leggings to work but only under dresses or tunics that are so long that they look like a short dress.

    2. Lauren M*

      Funnily enough I have the exact opposite opinion! You seem to have found the best and most comfortable version of women’s work wear. In general, I find most work wear for women to be somewhat constricting if not uncomfortable. Tailored suits, blouses that gape at your chest, heels, even my ‘business casual’ clothes are more ‘fussy’ and difficult than my male counterparts at work.

      When I worked in a dressy office, the men wore slacks, button downs, and flat (flat!!!) loafers. My male friends, partner, and family members have all told me this is perfectly comfortable. In a more casual office, men wore chinos, polos, and quarter zips and it seemed equally comfortable. While there might be comfortable options for women (that are maybe more comfortable than men’s clothes), it seems like more work to find them and certainly not the average where by default men’s clothing is all comfortable. And lets not even get into the freezing cold offices that don’t play nicely with dresses and skirts…

    3. TWW*

      As a male-presenting person, I would have assumed the opposite. Right now I’m wearing a polo shirt and chinos. Both garments are lightweight, soft, and slightly stretchy. I couldn’t imagine a more comfortable outfit.

      1. Cedrus Libani*

        I’m wearing the same, and it’s a comfortable and practical option.

        One very nice thing about being female-presenting is that you can wear men’s styles if you prefer without drawing attention to yourself. Even in a liberal industry, in a liberal area, a man in women’s clothing would stand out. Meanwhile, I’m wearing pocket-enabled man-pants, menswear-type shoes, and a polo shirt; it’s a total non-issue.

  27. Empress Matilda*

    I actually prefer to wear a bra than to go without. I will probably continue to wear underwire for as long as my current collection holds out, but I won’t be replacing them when they’re done. No more pointy bits sticking out and stabbing me in the armpits, tyvm!

    And the one thing I am certain I will never ever ever ever ever wear again, is high heels. I never found them comfortable to begin with, and now after a year+ of rarely wearing shoes at all, I just can’t imagine myself shoving my feet back into those tiny little torture devices.

    1. GothicBee*

      The one thing about this year is that it seems to have really broadened the bralette market. I found some padded seamless ones from aerie that are a cross between a sports bra and a bralette and I’m never going back. They’re more supportive than a regular bralette, but have less compression than a sports bra, and they have that sports bra fabric, so getting sweaty when I go out for lunch in the summer is less gross/uncomfortable.

  28. Anon for This*

    My workplace is conservative, so it is back to regular dress code. I don’t see it as a big deal – it was to be expected.

    And, quite frankly, those who joined zoom calls in sweats and t-shirts will find that they have lowered their stock a bit with management. Not looking professional for WFH when no one sees you, no big deal. Dress comfortably. Looking like you just rolled out of bed for a video call that includes your boss? Not acceptable.

    1. Workerbee*

      Lowered their stock with management, or you in particular? I prefer to notice and concentrate on what’s going on behind the eyeballs, where the work actually gets done.

  29. Lacey*

    I find it much easier to focus when I’m wearing comfy clothes that don’t need constant tending to.

    Is my shirt gaping? Is the waist of my skirt still sitting at the right place? Did my skirt get all weirdly tucked in on itself? Is my neckline weird? Is my neckline flashing anyone? Is the shirt I put underneath so I won’t flash anyone sitting weird/bunchingup/flashing people anyway? Is this shirt actually see-through? Why does it keep twisting up?

    And that doesn’t even get into the constant noticing of uncomfortable fit & fabric. Or the (mostly) unspoken expectation that you will be constantly trying to keep up with your other female coworkers in trendiness. Even though I work at a really casual place now, there is that expectation and it’s exhausting.

  30. Elliot*

    I don’t think the hard part/part worth discussing is if companies can change their policies – I think the hard part is individuals with power changing and addressing their own unconscious biases. I personally really enjoy doing my hair and makeup and wearing nicer clothes – and I know every office will have some people like that who don’t want to wear yoga pants or sweats. How will companies ensure that those who dress nice and not perceived as more competent than someone with the same skills in sweats?

    As a side note – I am surprised that so many people feel comfortable braless/in spandex/in tee shirts around their coworkers!

    1. Generic Name*

      That’s an interesting thought. I think there are a lot of folks who still ascribe to the 80’s era Dress for Success mindset of dressing for the job you want. I enjoy being comfortable for sure, but I also enjoy being taken seriously, so I try to balance comfort (no high heels) with professionalism (wearing blouses rather than knit t-shirts, “nicer” shoes over tennis shoes). I worry that the people who are able to “get away” with dressing more casually will be white men, and women and BIPOC will be judged more harshly for doing the same thing. (yes, I’m a cynic)

      1. Elizabeth Bennett*

        Same. I aim for nice tops with good fitting jeans, but I slide to the tennis shoes more often than not.

  31. Pam*

    I am in a student-facing position in higher ed. My experience is that students respond well to business casual or actual casual.

    My in-person work outfit was a polo, slacks- I already wore stretchy ones with pockets- and flat shoes. (Mine are custom orthopedic, so look like I borrowed them from Frankenstein). T-shirts in Summer. Work from home just added the t-shirts to every day.

  32. TWW*

    Is this a problem with workplaces being too formal, or a problem with clothing retailers not offering comfortable business clothes for everyone?

    For my (male) body type, my outfit (consisting of a jersey-knit polo shirt, slightly-stretchy chinos, and cushy leather shoes) is not the least bit uncomfortable.

    1. Generic Name*

      Good question. I think a huge issue is that women’s clothing is more fitted than men’s clothing. I mean, look at skinny jeans for chrissakes! Even starting in toddler/children’s sizes, clothing made for a 6 year old boy is bigger/has more fabric than clothing made for a 6 year old girl. Women who wear pants cut like men’s pants (roomy and with pockets) are deemed “frumpy” by a lot of people.

      Also, a man’s unadorned (no makeup) face is seen as professional, but women are expected to make their faces look more pleasing by putting a bunch of stuff on their faces, and a plain face is often described as “tired” or “unpolished”. Men don’t have to conceal under eye bagginess, why are women expected to?

      1. lilsheba*

        “mom jeans” ….these words are uttered like one is a troll for wearing them. God forbid something be roomy and comfortable!

  33. Elizabeth Bennett*

    I’ve done the opposite. I was offered the opportunity to permanently WFH in May 2020 and I jumped at it. I’ve been amping up my work wardrobe tops – more collared tops, and blouses instead of t-shirts. Still stuck on tennis shoes and jeans, which is completely acceptable at my office. I rarely wore makeup to work, and now just before my weekly Zoom meeting, I’m primping in the bathroom mirror like I’m going on a date.

    But shorts are now my go to, which are not acceptable in the office, so I’m glad to be WFH!

  34. Shoeless*

    Our office dress code pre-pandemic was “shoes must be worn in the office at all times” and otherwise left to our discretion (we have a mix of client meetings and construction site visits, etc. so most people wore business casual leaning jeans most days and dressier on client days). Not looking forward to the shoes part of going back to the office, though!

  35. Jennifer*

    As long as people look presentable – as in clean, no holes in their clothes, etc. I think dress codes should be relaxed unless you are client-facing.

  36. Spicy Tuna*

    I’ve been WFH since 2015. When I first started WFH, I stayed in PJs all day until I went to the gym after 6PM, then after showering, went right back into PJs. A few years ago, I started making an effort to get dressed as soon as I woke up in order to feel more productive. Nothing crazy, just real pants and at least a t-shirt. It’s been helpful!

  37. Mrs. Hawiggins*

    I miss my work clothes. Fortunately they ALL STILL FIT after this stupid year. And I miss putting on my junk jewelry…and my weirdy funny tote bags to carry my lunch in. I’m ready to return. I want to. WFH for me was ok, but I’m one of those funny ones I guess who sees the laptop in every room and feels like work is 24/7. I’ve never learned to be “off.”

    We are business casual, and casual Fridays, but my work clothes might just make me feel somewhat back to normal-ish, in a very not so normal-ish time. Will I miss my fuzzy slippers on a Zoom call, probably, but what the hell I may bring them to my own office, I have a fair guarantee few will care while I’m sitting there again.

  38. Home Away from Work*

    My office is dress for your day, but I was hired when COVID sent everyone home. I came from a business casual office. I intend to go back to wearing my signature blazers, scarfs and long cardigan sweaters with slacks/jeans/khakis. They’re great for layering. I’ll probably wear more jeans, and replace most of my blouses with nice tee shirts when they’re ready for replacing.

    I found as I was moving up thru the ranks, if I dressed for the position I wanted, I was less likely to be overlooked by senior management. So I’ll probably be dressed slightly dressier then my colleagues most days. Ive got all these nice clothes which have been going to waste this year.

  39. Victoria, Please*

    Higher ed here, so anything more put together than cargo shorts and tevas means that you are dressy.

    We anticipated being brought back in August but ended up having to come back, well, now. With that much less time to prepare, I did something I’ve wanted to do for years: Bought five identical plain, slim black dresses and I’ll wear them Monday-Thursday with different accessories. Fridays I’ll wear nice jeans and black t-shirts. It is such a relief to look consistently nice *all the time* and never have to worry about it – triple bonus that the dresses are in fact comfortable, fairly elegant, and not that expensive (thank you Kohls).

    I can’t tell you how many people have said, “Like a nun!” No, like Steve Jobs, Pres Obama, Richard Feynmann, and our Dean of Science & Engineering. What the hell, people, why is it okay for men to do this but not women.

    1. Yessica Haircut*

      Wow! “Like a nun” is outrageously rude! That sounds like a brilliant idea, and it sounds like you’ve elegantly simplified your life with this approach.

    2. Aphrodite*

      I also work in higher education but behind the scenes, almost never meeting with our (adult education) students. I’ve gained the pandemic weight too so once it was announced we were going back on June 15–now moved back to July 12–I started searching the Internet for tee shirt dresses, plain, simple, nothing to add but underwear. And not expensive. I found them at Target. Too bad they only come in black but they are all cotton and only $20. I bought 10 of them. I plan to wear them with sandals.

    3. Cedrus Libani*

      I do that too, and I’m a woman. I have six identical black polos, that’s what I wear to work – I’m always the right level of done-up, and I never have to think about it. Some people enjoy fashion, but to me it’s a chore, something to be dealt with as efficiently as possible.

  40. Jennifer Strange*

    I’m currently pregnant, so being able to wear my pajama pants most of the time is a BLESSING. Even if the waistband on jean/trousers are stretchy, just having a lighter-weight fabric is super helpful (especially in summer). My husband can always tell if I have any Zoom meetings that day since I’ll come downstairs in a nice top and PJ pants. I regret nothing.

  41. Pam Poovey*

    Dress codes are chock full of sexism, classism, ableism, fatphobia, and racism. Honestly I can’t wait for them to be gone. Be as clean and put together as you can be, sure, but most jobs can be done just as well in sweatpants as suits.

  42. lilsheba*

    The past year and a half have proven that: Heels were never necessary, makeup was never necessary, and anything other than comfy clothes are not necessary! Work still gets done, there is no need to be so shallow. I don’t feel more productive if I get dressed in something uncomfortable, to “dress up”. I feel much more productive when I can be comfy, with no shoes. It’s insane to even worry about dress codes now, ridiculous.

    1. Workerbee*

      I agree.

      I’d like to see people examine why we might feel “better” when wearing more structured attire, or perceive someone else as more worthy just because they have a suit and tie. I’ve met a fair amount of great people and horrible people in any combination of clothing choices. I’ve seen no work done by the man in the suit and tons of work done by the woman in the capri pants and sneakers. Yet we continue to be told that certain dress codes automatically equal respect, success, brainpower…

  43. Maguro*

    I live in Japan which has a very conservative business culture. There are some companies with more progressive dress codes, but suits are the norm for 95% of office workers. My company didn’t go remote, so fat chance of anything changing here.
    In the summer, we’re “allowed” to go without jackets and ties, but are still expected to have them on hand.

  44. singlemaltgirl*

    we’ve not really been a wfh since we provide mental health services. our dress code is biz casual and it’s important we maintain a modicum of professionalism for our clients. people have been pushing things a bit and we’ve had to rein it in. but we’ve never required make up or heels. just clean, well groomed, and semi professional. no athletic wear or jeans. but tight fitting does not = professional in my books and we can mostly exercise good judgement. for those who can’t, we have the dress code.

  45. Deborah*

    My employer was business casual prior to covid (no denim, no sneakers, no t-shirts for women, no capri pants or shorts, that kind of thing) with a casual Friday. They went to casual Friday everyday when the pandemic meant that no one would be visiting the office and almost everyone was working from home, about a year ago. They just announced last week that they are splitting the difference in the dress code as people come back to the office and we prepare to start having visitors in the office again – jeans and sneakers are allowed, t-shirts are not. I love it, because as a fat disabled person, I personally find stretchy jeans are much easier to find (that are comfortable and look good) than dress pants and athletic shoes are much less painful as well as safer since I don’t have good balance. I was actually going to think about asking for an accommodation for shoes but now I don’t have to! Shirts are not a big deal, they’ll allow “blouses” for women and polo shirts and things so there’s a huge range of acceptable tops.

  46. Elizabeth West*

    Blergh, I put makeup on for a Zoom interview last week. Felt weird. Plus I had to throw away a bunch of old makeup I hadn’t touched in quite a while. :(

    I wear sports bras 80% of the time, so that’s not really an issue for me, as they’re generally comfortable. The biggest issue is pants. I have ONE pair that’s suitable for office wear and that’s it. I hate skirts and only ever wear dresses in winter when I can wear thick tights underneath; I don’t like going barelegged unless it’s beastly hot and my dress is extremely casual.

    My inseam is 34″ and it is really difficult to find tall pants off the rack. They’re expensive. I can’t buy several pairs when they’re $30-$50 each. I’ve been dressing in Walmart clothes for years because they’re washable and I never make enough money to buy better quality clothing or keep it up (has to be washable). Not to mention, Exjob spoiled me; many of us wore jeans and t-shirts all the time and only had to wear business casual when clients were in the office. And then we’d just work from home to avoid it.

    I wish I could find another job where I didn’t have to wear office clothes. Or make enough money to buy better clothes. These dress codes aren’t ever really going to go away.

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