Fashion at the New-Age Workplace: How Gen Z is Redefining Workwear in 2023

October 4, 2023

Office fashion has gone through a drastic change over the years. With Gen-Z joining the workforce during the pandemic, workwear has gone from stuffy professional suits, to comfy sweats at home, to the latest TikTok fashion trends. If the dress code of private offices called for gender-specific outfits a few decades ago, the current generation […]

Office fashion has gone through a drastic change over the years. With Gen-Z joining the workforce during the pandemic, workwear has gone from stuffy professional suits, to comfy sweats at home, to the latest TikTok fashion trends.

If the dress code of private offices called for gender-specific outfits a few decades ago, the current generation is advocating for a unisexual approach. Today, Gen-Z is hellbent on changing the status quo and introducing a new range of office attire that promote individuality and self-expression.

But what is the cause behind this change? And how is Gen-Z redefining what we wear in an office space? We need to dial the clock back a century to find answers to these questions. 

The Evolution of Workplace Attire

The Gen-Z approach to office dressing – sometimes too casual and too bold – has become a concern for private offices worldwide. But the truth is that Gen-Z is not the only culprit responsible for bringing about a change in office dress codes.  

We have experienced a change in workplace attire every few decades.

In the early 20th century, offices were extremely formal places. As a result, men wore full sets of suits, while working women had to wear traditional gowns. But after 30 years, there was a change in workplace attire. Women’s clothing started sporting collars, and men’s outfits were a bit more relaxed, even though suits were still the norm.

Over the next few decades, things remained more or less the same. Women would alternate between skirts and pantsuits, while men would wear variations of business suits. But as the 90s knocked on the door, there were some evident changes in how people started to dress professionally.  

Bold colours were introduced, with office-goers no longer hesitant to wear bright red or yellow outfits. Casual wear also transitioned into workwear, with men sporting a new range of fashion called “Business casuals”.

Over the years, business casual became the new norm in offices. Men would now ditch the suit and instead showcase slim-fit shirts and trousers. Women, on the other hand, would wear sweaters, classic blouses, and collared shirts.

Gen Z’s Take on Workwear 

The Gen-Z, the newest addition to the private office workforce, has already managed to spark various opinions around them. This cohort, known for its creativity, individuality, and tech-savviness, is set to revolutionise how people dress for work. 

Gen-Z professionals are challenging traditional workplace attire norms, and are ushering in an era of versatility, sustainability, and self-expression. For this generation, dressing up for work is about feeling  good rather than following a norm. They want to show off their taste in fashion without compromising on their comfort or workplace norms. Workwear has quickly gone from bleak, traditional business formals to more casual, colourful, bold, and printed attire. 

Safe to say, the next time you walk into your office space, you might catch your Gen-Z coworker sporting a relaxed outfit, such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, high-waisted trousers and  jeans.

What Caused the Change? 

Experts believe that the main reason behind this shift in mentality is Gen-Z’s attitude towards the pre-existing work culture. Unlike their predecessors, Gen-Z is about comfort, individualism, and work-life balance. 

Since most new joiners got their first break during the pandemic, they became more comfortable in a remote working space. As a result, they understood the need for work-life balance, and the importance of life after office hours. 

Even after the end of lockdown, this mindset continued. Hence, even when companies reintroduced working from offices, Gen-Z remained adamant and refused to mould themselves into traditional workplace norms. This choice was reflected in the way they dressed, with outfit choices that blurred the lines between professional and casual environments.

Features of Gen-Z Workwear  

Gen Z’s work outfits are a reflection of their values and lifestyles:

  • Athleisure: Gen Z’s love for athleisure wear has extended to the workplace. Athleisure pieces like joggers, hoodies, and sneakers are comfortable and convey an active and dynamic lifestyle.
  • Tech-Integration: Smart clothing and tech-integrated accessories are on the rise. Outfits with sensors to monitor health, self-heating mechanisms, and lighting choices have been the trendiest wear of the generation.
  • Gender-Neutral Dressing: Gen Z is breaking down traditional gender norms in fashion. Gender-neutral dressing is a hallmark of their work attire, allowing for self-expression and inclusivity.
  • Sustainable Fashion: Sustainability is at the forefront of Gen Z’s fashion choices. They opt for clothing made from organic or recycled materials, and prioritise brands with transparent sustainability efforts.

To Sum Up 

The transformation of workwear led by Gen Z is not limited to clothing choices, but extends to workplace norms. Companies, recognising the need to attract and retain young talent, are adopting more flexible and relaxed workplace practices. 

At GO Bermondsey, we support a modern and open-minded workplace approach. The working spaces offered by GO Bermondsey are equipped with contemporary workplace services, and a range of amenities.

Take a leap towards the future with a contemporary office space! Rent your office with GO Bermondsey today!

 

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