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BBC: The Future of Office Attire?

“They were all wearing trainers and layers of black,” says Evelyn Cotter, a career coach based in London. She’s describing a recent public speaking conference she attended, where the crowd of ambitious young professionals were dressed in a uniform way. "Everyone had come straight from work, they were wearing black jeans and smart sneakers, but it definitely felt professional,” adds Cotter. “It’s a conscious style choice. It’s not just what you throw on to play with your dog in the garden.”

The industry of ‘athleisure’ – sporty clothes and shoes that people don’t necessarily wear to play sport – grew by a staggering 42% between 2008 and 2015, according to Morgan Stanley research. More recently, its influence has begun to creep into offices, where workers’ clothing is becoming increasingly relaxed and designed for comfort. The Society for Human Resource Management, an international organisation, tracks how many employers allow workers to dress casually every day, and that figure rose from 32% in 2014 to 44% in 2016.

It’s not just trainers making their way into work uniforms. There are also suit trousers with a drawstring waist, designed to blur the lines between tracksuit bottoms and smart trousers, and perfectly conventional-looking dress shirts and jackets made with the type of hi-tech fabric that you’d usually associate with hiking or the gym.

‘Expectations have changed’
UK designer Joanna Sykes has designed her new collection entirely around this theme, referring to the look as “tracksuit suiting”. It includes tracksuit bottoms smart enough to wear with jackets and a white poplin shirt that fastens with a zip….


Read the full article from the BBC here.

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