Streetwear (aka athleisure to fashion types) has made its way into the office. And why shouldn’t it? Though your grandpa may be clutching his tie at the loss of stiff three-piece suits, nobody else is. Streetwear is comfy! Who wouldn’t want to wear more of it? Long live streetwear!
In fact, streetwear has been around for at least fifty years, thanks to those scions of relaxed culture, California surfers. And while you probably can’t wear flip-flops to the office (if you can, please tell us where you work), you can certainly wear a few easy pieces.
You just have to make sure your streetwear veers more on the side of “I just walked out of a Ralph Lauren ad” rather than “I just rolled off my couch after a Thanksgiving nap.” Luckily, it’s easy to style streetwear to be office-ready if you plan it out beforehand and consider some easy tips.
Start with Casual Friday
Obviously, step one is to take a hawk-like look around your office. How are people dressed? Maybe HR told you the dress code was formal, business casual, or elegant casual, or casual, but who knows what those mean?
The key is to see what other people are actually wearing – especially your bosses. If everyone in there is dressed in formal suits with matching pocket squares like they wish it was still 1950, you might want to ease into this style during casual Fridays only.
Even then, don’t just go full-blast with a head-to-toe sweats look. Pick just one piece such as a stylish sweatshirt and wear it with some well-cut jeans or casual slacks. This keeps the look neat and professional. No track suits, no jeans and baggy T-shirts. Just one.
Pair Street with Tailored
While we’re talking about neatness, one way to mix things up without too much forethought is to always pair a streetwear piece with a tailored one. Otherwise, in a casual office, an all-tailored look will feel as stuffy as those Buckingham Palace guards who aren’t allowed to talk.
What is formal? A button-up with a blazer is formal. Try a button-up with a zippered hoodie. Or wear your navy blazer with a nice pair of jeans. Instead of a plain button-up shirt, choose one with a pattern.
Many streetwear pieces come in nicer fabrics, too. That hoodie can be cashmere, for example, to elevate the look but still be super comfortable.