Well before ring lights and Zoom conferences became standard business practices, office dress codes were evolving. Pre-pandemic, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and other firms known for pinstriped propriety officially loosened their protocol to condone casual Friday five-days-a-week. Now, after a year-plus of anything-goes WFH attire, what to wear to work is murkier than an offshore bank account.
A suit and tie—the de facto uniform of professionalism for a century—isn’t the be-all, end-all it once was. Yet, on the other hand, how else to look like you’re the boss (or aiming to become one)? The key is to soften up the suit and, most importantly, relax the underpinnings. Tailoring can still confer executive polish while adapting to the casual vibe of our current moment. As these looks demonstrate, the lessons learned from lockdown’s laidback fare can be carried with you as you head back to the IRL office.