fashion

The dos and don'ts of 'biz-leisure', the new way we're dressing for work in 2020.

I've officially reached peak trackpant.

After a constant rotation of day trackies and night trackies, then browsing online for more trackies (you know, for variety) I found myself served a stream of ads on Instagram from trendy labels featuring slim young things in oversized grey marle sweats with tiny tank tops.

Not quite ready to invest in "sexy trackies", I bought the safer (and much-hyped) Kmart two-piece lounge set, lived in it for approximately a month, and seriously considered wearing it into the office on my official first day back.

It was at that point I realised I no longer remember how to dress for...life. 

And I'm not the only one. Faced with the daunting prospect of leaving our fleecy friends behind - the ones that have comforted us during lockdown as we've curled up at kitchen table desks and embraced a complete lack of dress-code - we find ourselves collectively scratching our heads in front of our wardrobes.

They say it takes 28 days to form a habit, and we've spent at least three months living in our loungewear, which means some of us may never be comfortable in the restrictive clothing of the before-time again.

But that's okay! Because apparently, the answer to post-pandemic office dressing is a new take that puts comfort first, without sacrificing smartness. Enter 'biz-leisure'.

A buzzy fashion term coined by Harper's Bazaar US, the trend is the logical evolution of loungewear, in that it literally encourages you to mix business with leisure. So think of your staple workwear items - blazers, heels, and shirting - and then imagine pairing them back with more relaxed pieces you'd usually reserve for downtime (like hoodies, sneakers, slip skirts and yes, trackies.) 

Sounds good in theory, but to prove just how well-suited this look is to our new flexi way of life, here's some inspiration from women getting the balance just right. Scroll down to read the dos and don'ts when tackling this trend, which frankly I'm hoping sticks around forever.

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If you're keen to try out the trend for yourself, here are a few things to keep in mind.

As I've learned from experience, there are all sorts of trackpants and some are more suitable for wearing to the office than others. The baggy grey ones with the Sriracha stain should probably be left at home. There are a whole bunch of swanky trackies on the market now, including faux leather options, cool neutral colours like khaki and beige, and pairs with luxe details that elevate them for wearing out.

A great coat is not only necessary for winter layering, it helps pull a casual look together. Try pairing a plain tee with a slip-skirt, then throw on an oversized coat and top it off with sneakers. When you're in the office, you can drape the coat around your shoulders for meetings or whip it off if the heat's turned on! 

Said it before, gonna say it again: sneakers. Not the ones you run in. Plain white canvas or leather/PU sneakers will be the most versatile thing you ever add to your closet, easily transitioning from weekends to workdays. There's a huge amount of options out there, including really affordable ones from the likes of Kmart, Rubi Shoes and Target.

Will you be trying the biz-leisure trend, or dressing for the office like you did pre-lockdown? Let us know in the comments below.

Feature image: Instagram/@paigekennedy; @trashtotreasured.


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