What to Wear to Work: The 2021 Shopping Guide

Joy Montgomery
·2-min read

For most of us, work will have looked very different over the last 12 months, whether it's the daily commute from your bed to your desk, the Zoom-based Friday drinks, or the increasingly elasticated quality of your workwear wardrobe (will we ever be able to return to tailoring?) We've packed away our blazers and smart trousers and placed handbags back in their dust bags, and instead turned to comfier separates and comfy, WFH flats.

While loungewear had a moment last year (spending 24 hours a day in knitted co-ords was the dream until the novelty wore off), it feels as though home-working is set to become more of a permanent fixture in our lives, so the question of what to wear for work has once again opened up. As much as anything else, having an established office wardrobe has helped many of team Who What Wear separate work and playtime, and in turn encourage us to mentally transition at the end of the day. Don't worry—we're not going to suggest you return to pencil skirts and stilettos, rather it's all about achieving that equilibrium of comfort and polish.

So what does this look like in reality? This means elasticated waist trousers that look ten times smarter than your usual joggers, Zoom-ready statement blouses, slip-on flats, layer-up knits and, when spring arrives, a good old throw-on dress. Obviously, every workplace will have different specifications formality-wise, so we recommend you use and tailor this guide to your own needs. Ready? Scroll down to see and shop my 2021 smart-casual workwear edit.

The Smart Joggers


COS Elasticated Woven Joggers (£69)

Arket Elastic Waist Wool Trousers (£79)

Chloé Logo-Jacquard Side-Stripe Trousers (£845)

J Brand Amari Leather Straight-Leg Pants (£1095)

The Statement Blouse


Nanushka Idris Terracotta Cotton-Blend Shirt (£245)

COS Silk Blouse (£89)

Arket Embroidered Wide Collar Blouse (£99)

& Other Stories Sheer Ruffled Shirt (£65)

The WFH Flat


Church's Footwear Staden W Polished Binder Loafer Burgundy (£480)

M&S Collection Leather Square Toe Pumps (£35)

Mango Leather Loafers With Chain (£60)

COS Square Toe Leather Ballerina Shoes (£99)

The Throw-On Knit


Arket Alpaca Yak Blend Cardigan (£125)

Tibi Cashmere Sweater (£365)

H&M Dressy Cardigan (£40)

Extreme Cashmere Colour-Block Stretch-Cashmere Sweater (£435)

The Comfy Dress


Arket Polo Neck Merino Dress (£115)

Petar Petrov Atlanta Belted Cutout Cotton and Silk-Blend Midi Dress (£1065)

& Other Stories Relaxed Belted Cotton Midi Dress (£55)

Joseph Duras Striped Silk-Crepe Midi Shirt Dress (£645)

Up Next: Spring/Summer 2021 Trends: The Most Important Fashion Looks You Need to Know

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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