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  • Writer's pictureThe Legal Digest

What is the Dress Code Post-Pandemic?

Suited and booted is no longer a staple in the office wardrobe instead dress codes have evolved and become more casual over time along with more gender neutral options.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

You will probably remember reports in 2016 when media outlets printed details about a PWC temporary staff member, Nicola Thorp, being sent home for not turning up to work in 2-4inch heels.

She subsequently set up a petition calling for the law on dress codes to be changed. Following this, a line up of companies released updated dress codes specifically mentioning the type of shoes that female colleagues could wear including flat shoes. Dress codes for some businesses are needed such as in the hospitality sector where uniforms are provided and in some offices in client facing roles.

The law governing this is primarily the Equality Act 2010, where an employer's dress code could constitute direct or indirect discrimination however, it is not specific on what dress codes employers can impose but does make clear that they should not treat women less favourably than men.

Since the petition launched by Nicola Thorp, dress codes have evolved over time and as we entered the post-pandemic world they have become more casual. We are also seeing more gender neutral styles becoming the next big trend in fashion as the younger age groups are looking for inclusivity, diversity, sustainability and moving away from labelling a person by their gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

As more people return to the office, we explore what designers predict about return to work fashion trends whether that is being ready for a Zoom call or being physically in the office.

Slim lines

Rather than structured suiting, the current trends see more comfortable suiting options giving the professional but casual hybrid feel to work attire.

Bold Colours

Adding colour into our work attire takes the monotonous away from working from home creating a boundary between our day wear to our weekend wear.

Photo by Eyup Beyhan from Pexels

Party Pieces

Functional party pieces that take us from the zoom call to the Christmas party shows a desire to show up for events and still find a way to socialise safely.

Photo by Duane Mendes from Pexels

Despite the dress code becoming more casual, there is still a desire to turn up poised but comfortable.


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