Business casual has been redefined due to COVID-19. Here’s how

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The work wardrobe has changed all due to remote working.

Things like business casual sound as outdated as the phrase. Even when the time comes for workers to return to the office, more relaxed dress codes could be implemented. The way you wear your mask (and how it looks) too will matter especially if you have meetings with managers and bosses.

But due to the coronavirus pandemic, things have become more casual than normal. In is athleisure and sweatpants, out goes the ties and dresses. Even when your wardrobe needs to be stepped up a notch for meetings on Zoom, there are workers dressed professionally up top but not so much on the bottom.

So, let’s put an end to this debate: What is the proper attire for working remotely? A new study aimed to figure out that answer.

Coupon Follow, an online money-saver tool, conducted a study of 1,000 remote workers to figure out how they’re rethinking their wardrobe at work. The survey, which was conducted both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, discovered some interesting changes in the mindset of workers.

Interestingly, nearly 52% of all employees surveyed said they have to abide by a dress code while working from home. Of that group, 30% of respondents said they had to dress business professional at home, which mimics their office dress code.

What are people wearing

Shirts and ties, Button-downs, and khakis are being left in the dresser, according to the survey.

Business professional pieces like shirts and ties, pantsuits, and dress suits are worn by just 7% of respondents, while only 13% had to wear it in the office.

Business casual, which consists of button-downs, khakis, polos, and other sleek clothing articles, was the most popular attire for at the office. Thirty-seven percent of respondents said that was their workday wardrobe, but just 16% are abiding by it from home. Smart casual saw the least change — a 1% increase — from in-office to remote working.

But casual dress is on the rise, big time. Forty-eight percent of respondents said they dress with no defined dress code for remote working, which nearly doubled in percentage from in the office.

Spending down?

Before the pandemic, Americans said they spent $580 on work clothes in 2019. But without the need for dress shoes, work jackets, and other office clothing items, American works are poised to save nearly $200 this year.

Employees can expect to spend around $399 on work clothes this year, according to the survey. Since the lockdown began in March, remote works dished out $133 on clothing. Men were found to be big spenders, with them spending $45 more than women. But spending on clothing is down, in general. Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they bought nothing new since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s surely a welcoming sight for employees who dress for business professional. On average, employees spent $1,666 annually on business professional clothing but the COVID-19 crisis has brought that down to just $232 this year, according to the study.

What people are wearing while working remotely

For women, 25% of female respondents said their go-to work wardrobe is loungewear, the highest tally for outfits. Similarly, men are big into athletic wear, with 20% opting for a t-shirt and shorts for their work outfit at home.

A casual top and jeans were the second-most popular remote outfit for both sexes. Sixteen percent of respondents said they work in their pajamas, while 29% said they admitted to being naked while working remotely.