The future of work attire has a softer side as we all have grown to appreciate comfort and flexibility

However you feel about a return to ‘normal’, there is no denying that there is a new mood. We’re all continuing to seek comfort and simplicity where we can. Our beauty routines have become pared back over the course of lockdown, and the same shall hold true for our wardrobes.

As some of us start to return to workplaces in coming weeks and months, for those who have flexibility with what they wear to work, there will be a temptation to hold onto the relaxed everyday dressing of lockdown. There really is no reason to let go of the elasticated waists, flowing breathable fabrics and cosy knits that have been a joy to wear everyday during lockdown. Keep it chic and professional with quality fabrics (trackie bottoms and PJs really are only fit for the home office), and muted tones. Oversized styles and shapeless dresses are forgiving, wearable and effortlessly stylish.

Let’s not forget that contemporary workwear was heading in this direction for a long time. Just a few years ago we wouldn’t have dreamed of wearing runners to the office. Now they’re an essential for modern worklife. We should continue to embrace that move towards comfort, in style.

Ribbed knit cardigan, & Other Stories (€69)

Carolyn Donnelly linen top, Dunnes Stores (€25) *Irish design

Pleated panel dress, Cos (€79)

Cotton top with shoulder pads, Massimo Dutti (€25.95)

Linen striped trousers, Whistles (€111.20)

Layered cotton-silk shirt dress, COS (€125)

Black tie waist trouser, Mint Velvet (€119)

White top, Whistles (€31.20)

Soft drawstring tapered trousers, Marks and Spencer (€34)

Whistles dress, Arnotts (€156)

Dress, Massimo Dutti (€99.95)

Helen McAlinden dress with elasticated waist, Arnotts (€250) *Irish design