October 3, 2023


We Do Shopping Right

COVID-19 pandemic changing workplace fashion

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – The COVID-19 pandemic has not just changed how people work, but it has also changed workplace fashion. Working from home does not people stopped dressing professionally, but what that means has changed.

“I think the work wardrobe is being redefined as less structured,” said Jennifer Van Wart, owner of Twigs.

At her store at Hilldale Shopping Center, Van Wart said she still sees people shopping for work clothes, but their styles have changed. She said customers are no longer buying more traditional blazers and suits.

“Customers [are] looking for more structured knits perhaps, like a nice structured cardigan,” Van Wart explained.

Designers Van Wart works with are also changing their products to match those changing tastes.

“We’re actually not just selling fewer blazers, but we’re actually seeing from a buying perspective, fewer options,” Van Wart described.

Mario Gahona has felt the impact of these changing trends firsthand. Gahona owns Monetti Tailoring and also sells custom-made suits.

“November until March, I [made] really good sales,” Gahona said of his suit business.

However, once the pandemic hit, things changed quickly.

“That one dropped quite a bit because people are not wearing suits,” Gahona said, adding, “I would say 10 percent compared to what it was, people looking for suits.”

Van Wart said she thinks these trends are probably not temporary. Even when offices start to reopen, some of the new fashion choices could become part of the new normal.

“People might be doing two, three days a week at home, and those types of wardrobe influences, I think, aren’t going to go anywhere right away,” she explained.

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