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By Thami Kwazi

Lifestyle Print Editor

Dress for success: ditch those hoodies and leggings

Revisit that professional look, even if you don’t have a Zoom meeting.

Working from home, or WFH, was quite the hit last year, with millions of people around the globe applauding employers who allowed their staff to retain their jobs while keeping safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

Many trends were documented, from the remote home office to the WFH ensemble, which comprised sneakers and the beloved tracksuit. Enter 2021, and the novelty of loungewear is now waning. Covid-19 continues to dominate the news, documenting many more casualties and fearful spikes in hotspot regions, forcing us to remain indoors.

This means that more hoodies and leggings will find their way into our closet – or does it? Many social media influencers have packed them away, hoping for a better year. This is creating a ripple effect with their millions of followers also looking to ditch their sneakers for a pair of heels. The year 2021 is ripe with potential.

Here are five simple, yet sophisticated, ways to improve your 2021 WFH wardrobe. – Citizen reporter

1. The basic blazer

This gender-neutral item is a staple in any professional’s closet. It can be worn over just about any outfit and is a piece that will last for years if you buy good quality and take care of it. Donna Miszewski, senior planning manager at value fashion e-tailer Runway Sale, cements the versatility of the blazer, saying: “By choosing a black, white or navy blazer, you are retaining a more classic look. “This year, however, ushers in refreshing change, with softer sorbet colours making their entry, so a pale lavender blazer layered over a white shirt can work just as well and offers a bit of colour therapy for those joining your Zoom meeting,” she says. Given the move towards conscious fashion choices, don’t just reserve the blazer for client meetings. Sometimes wearing it while you work is enough to keep you motivated and in a productive frame of mind.

2. Dependable denims

Gone are the days where it was compulsory to wear a full two-piece pantsuit to work. Now, pairing denims with a formal shirt or a blazer sets the tone for a productive day at the office. If you don’t have them already, invest in a good pair of blue jeans which can be worn with just about any item of clothing and can be dressed up or down with shoes and accessories. Think Victoria Beckham in her classic jeans, heels and blazer combo.

3. Sophisticated shirts

Perhaps the most traditional clothing for office wear, is the trusty collared button-down. For men and women, no workwear wardrobe is complete without a crisp, white shirt. Easily paired with jeans, skirts or formal pants, it’s the quintessential office wear piece. Much like the blazer, it can be used to layer your outfits. You can even throw a shirt over a short dress and still feel professional.

4. Trusty Tees

Admittedly, most people are more likely to opt for a trusty T-shirt rather than a button down, and that’s okay too. As casual as T-shirts are, they are versatile and can be dressed up with little-to-no effort. Let’s face it, sometimes we wake up just a little too close to our first meeting of the day, leaving no time for a full morning routine. On occasions like these, it’s great to have a few plain, unbranded tees on hand. Accessorise with sparkly earrings and a giant watch.

5. Dress your face

Last year saw clean skin trending, with more women loving not having to maintain their make-up routine. “For some women, wearing make-up is considered a form of war paint with which they equip themselves to take on the day ahead. “Never underestimate the boldness and confidence a light lick of make-up offers the wearer. A light application will complete your outfit and help you feel more ready to take on the day,” says Miszewski. So this year, be bold, be daring and get out there and make this year yours as a fashionably forward South African!

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