How will we be dressing in a post pandemic world? I think the answer really depends on what kind of person you are.
In the past two and a half years, all of us have had to modify the way we act. We’ve changed our patterns concerning where we work, how we work, how we communicate and, obviously, how we dress. Those of us who once worked in an office have probably adapted less successfully than other people, as we were the ones who used to wear a uniform, and now don’t.
For years I would get up in the morning, read the news, exercise, have breakfast, get dressed and then walk to work. Like many men who don’t want to make a decision daily about what they wear, I pretty much wore the same thing every day: white shirt, blue suit (single or double breasted, depending on the weather), black socks and black shoes of some description. But when we all went into lockdown, I started to dress in a far more casual way, a kind of weekday/weekend hybrid.
And that’s sort of where I’ve stayed.
Unless, of course, I have a meeting. And my dress reflects the type of meeting, as it would have done pre-Covid. If I’m going into a corporate environment – a newspaper group, multinational, media group, luxury house – I’ll probably wear what I used to wear to the office. And if I’m going somewhere else – a private members’ club for a meeting, film company, or anyone involved in the theatrical world – I’ll probably wear my new weekday/weekend hybrid.
Editor and author Dylan Jones
‘When we all went into lockdown, I started to dress in a far more casual way, a kind of weekday/weekend hybrid. And that’s sort of where I’ve stayed’
Because while I enjoy my new plural existence, I still respect the sanctity of the office. Because if you don’t respect the old world, then it won’t respect you. And while the new world is one we also have to cope with, the old world isn’t going anywhere. It’s just getting older.
I think an easier way to look at this is to compare the dressing habits of the freelancer and the staffer. Whenever writers would come and visit me in my office in Mayfair, they tended to look the same every time, and I realised quite quickly why they did this. They adopted their own uniform because they wanted to give a certain impression, one that stayed strong in your mind. When someone such as AA Gill or Nick Foulkes came in to see me, they wanted to leave the impression that they were these slightly maverick, intellectual dandies. And that’s exactly how I pictured them. Others would look like rockers, or overgrown teenagers, or rebels in their own particular areas. Some would always wear the same-coloured jacket, for instance, or a jaunty hat.
All of these people were doing the same thing: they were telling me they were individuals, and therefore wanted to be treated as such.
Which I think is where we are today. We should stop worrying about whether or not we’re going to be wearing smart clothes around the house, or casual clothes to meetings; we should be thinking instead of a) what do I feel comfortable in, b) what is appropriate for the people I’m working with, and c) how do I want to present myself to the world?
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