The Way We Dress Now

Directrice Global Industries pays me a lot to think about the way we dress now.

Actually, Directrice Global Industries pays me nothing to think about the way we dress now. I do it for free — and because it’s a pleasure to share my thoughts with you.

Pandemic dressing has morphed into remote work dressing and I think that’s here to stay. I think the unofficial office dress code in hybrid workplaces is more casual than it was pre-pandemic.

What does that mean for me? As long as I maintain my weight, I won’t ever need to buy another round collared, knee-length sheath dress.

But beyond dresses, there are so many interesting jackets and tops in my closet; I need to find ways to incorporate them into this more casual dress code.

Do you remember this purple felted wool top?

If I move my arm, like so, do you remember?

This felted wool top was last seen with grey wool trousers and a beautiful art brooch by Karen Gilbert.

I could still wear that outfit on the days I go into the office, but it would definitely read “dressed up.” I thought I’d try something more relaxed: action slacks and a pair of tricked-out Weejun loafers.

Part space-ship, part stegosaurus, 100% fantastic — right?

The original entry is a funny one, so you may want to go back and read it.

To-Sew Lawyer Pillow; so life-like

Side view, totally normal
Wait a minute . . . what the beans?

What’s caught your eye? My bag?

I thought we agreed long ago that a yellow bag was wardrobe essential, particularly to enliven a closet filled with neutral greys.

Yellow bag enlivens grey wardrobe; is in turn enlivened by tiny red leather tabs that anchor the strap

What’s that? You want me to turn so you can really see the bag?

I know! It’s crazy! But also . . . kind of irresistible.

Dinosaur’s Change-purse

Large clasp easier for dinosaur thumbs?
This bag looks like an inflated version of the little change-purses (separate from wallet) that my grandmother always kept in her handbag — and encouraged me to carry. I still have two of them tucked away in my dresser.

Just trying to uphold my end of the social contract, Directorate. Believe it or not, this preposterous bag gets compliments on the Metro.

Yellow makes people smile.

Finishing things up, a most unserious brooch: The Blob.

The Blob is a day-brightener, too — but only for people who come fairly close

In my continuing effort to prove to you (and myself) that I truly wear the things I show on this blog, here is my favorite rag styled with another black top (a tank) and another pair of black pants (bootcut silhouette).

There is so little to this shirt, perhaps it’s more a scarf?

And a different pair of shoes. Vive la difference!
I think this is my best rag
You know it’s your best rag

I wore this outfit to work the other day. Yes, I did.

The necklace added some polish, and signaled that I was making an effort.

A most unstuffy necklace

Live from the Crook and Flail: a close-up

This necklace and many more — plus bracelets that may strike you as less emphatic and maybe more wearable for work? — are available from Neon Zinn. Such interesting, fun jewelry.

Tell us: Are you “going” to work these days? What are you seeing there? What are you wearing?

Purple top: Comme des Garcons; Denim top: Marques Almeida from The Outnet (but sometimes one shows up on TheRealReal); Pants: Prana Halle II (both colors); Bag: Max Mara Large Pasticcino; Brooch: Titlee Pin Bob Black; Necklace: Neon Zinn Stirrup

11 thoughts on “The Way We Dress Now”

  1. Yes, I’m going to work. Unfortunately I am only seeing “The Uniform”. No fun at all. The Uniform is brown which is not my worst color, but still. . .

    We even have to wear brown shoes. Since I wear Keens, I generally get away with some odd shoelace colors though.

  2. The bag is pulsing with giant change purse perfection and the Neon Zinn website is like stepping into a magical rope forest. I want everything. I am still working from home, and though I tell myself I will change from the sweats I wear to walk every morning before I sit down at the computer to work, I am still wearing sweats now in the late afternoon while I write this. Sigh. But, per Directrice Global Industries philosophy, I am at least upping my sweats game (you do what you can). They are cooler now, in strange colors with unexpected pockets. I feel like that’s an important part of the Directrice credo – unexpected pockets. I’m spreading the word.

  3. The spaceship-stegosaurus-purple-top is one of my absolute favorites in the Directrice Global Industries inventory. Comme des Garçons is one of those infuriating fashion brands that refuses to make clothing for women of average size, much less above-average size, but I am now hunting for patterns and the perfect wool felt/flannel to make something similarly spacey-dino-y that would go around myself.

  4. I am going to work 2 days, at home 3 days. Last week I had a meeting with a colleague from another agency, I was dressed in a work-from-home casual sweater and she was just that one level fancier – jacket and scarf – and I could feel the difference, it will probably make me add a layer at least for external meetings. In my mind, as long as my top half is not ratty and an interesting color, I’m good for working at home. I love wearing my work clothes now though! It’s a big shift to move to buying casual clothes that are as interesting as my work clothes. It’s a new category of feels-soft-looks-elegant, put together, and interesting.

    • This is very well-put, Erika Otter! Casual clothes often aren’t as interesting as more formal clothes. Feels-soft-looks-elegant immediately brings to mind sweater-dressing . . . but the trick is making that look (not feel) a little more structured.


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