BENGALURU : With offices opening up again, it might be time to put those trusted joggers and sweatpants back in the closet. If the thought of donning crisp formal clothes again fills you with dread, fret not. According to Prashant Priyadarshi, the pandemic has helped people understand that more than formal clothing, productivity matters more, and this is something everyone can use to their advantage as they transition from quarantine outfits to comfortable workwear again. “We’ve all gotten into a zone of comfortable dressing and we don’t really have to leave it, as long as we take care to not look shabby,” says the founder of Destello Clothing.
Pyjamas or sweatpants may have emerged as the choicest quarantine outfits but it may be time to now bid them goodbye while working. “Chinos are a great alternative since they have the cut of denims but the look and feel of formal pants. These semi-formal trousers are also comfortable,” says Priyadarshi, who suggests breathable fabrics like rayon, cotton and linen for shirts.
Shivani R, the CEO at Mansi by Sudha Kumar, a designer boutique in Rajajinagar founded by her mother Sudha R Kumar, says even before the pandemic, clients were on the lookout for alternatives against figure tight trousers. The pandemic and WFH lifestyle made this demand greater. “Our solution to this is long kurti dresses.
These dresses are formal and functional, thanks to having pockets, and are long enough to not need any leggings or trousers underneath them,” explains Shivani, who believes these dresses are perfect for those looking to dress it up, yet stay comfortable, after months at home. “Earlier, everyone threw on a pant and shirt and rushed out the door. But we’re tired of that conventional lifestyle. These dresses are a good mix of Indian and Western wear, so they look chic, unique and are comfortable as well,” she says.
On the other hand, straight cut clothes are also a good option, especially since one of the most common side-effects of the pandemic is weight gain. “Straight cuts are not just more forgiving right now, but the benefit also is that even when you lose weight later on, the outfit will continue to fit you right,” says Madhurima Bhattacharjee, a city-based fashion designer who is also the founder of an eponymous label.
Mix ‘n’ match
For a more relaxed fit, women can opt for wide-legged culottes and men can try chinos. These can be paired with shirts in prints or solid coloursShirt dresses (collared and buttoned-down dresses that extend longer than a traditional shirt) don’t just look formal but can be dressed up too with a belt for post-work dinner and drinks Straight cut dresses, shift dresses, A-line clothes and blazers or jackets help not highlight pandemic-induced weight gain For Indo-Western outfits, go for long kurtis which give a relaxed fit and can be worn sans trousers as wellIf you are looking for workwear alternatives for sweatpants, try linen pants or soft or stretch denim pants