Dress Code: What To Wear To Work In 2022

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Dress Code: What To Wear To Work In 2022

Words by Mr Shane C Kurup | Photography by Mr Sean Alexander Geraghty | Styling by Ms Sophie Watson

14 January 2022

If we’ve learnt anything from our bouts of Zoom fatigue and stiff necks gained from working at the kitchen counter over the past two years, it’s that we still need a real, tangible workspace to collaborate in. If not for our sanity, then to save us some hefty chiropractor’s bills. When it comes to getting back into work mode, there’s a fine line between smart and slovenly in our new normal of dialled-down dress codes. So, to help you navigate this unfamiliar sartorial landscape, we’ve put together a foolproof guide to dressing for success in the workplace in 2022.


The tech guy rebooted

In the not too distant past, the budding Silicon Valley upstart could pull on a black rollneck (see Mr Steve Jobs) and dad jeans or a normcore button-down and lightweight gilet and call it a uniform. But with Patagonia shunning the association with the techies and the rise of Insta accounts such as @midtownuniform, something decidedly more clean-cut and technical has emerged in its place. In this case, the ubiquitous quilted vest has been upgraded to a significantly more luxe cashmere zip-up, courtesy of Loro Piana, while the practicality of this quilted Canada Goose jacket and understatedly elegant Laurent Ferrier watch belie their simplicity. Throw in some plush Brunello Cucinelli sweats and buttery soft suede sneakers that err on the smarter side of the casual spectrum and you’ve got a look that says “next-level Gorpcore”, both stylistically and fiscally.


The inspired operative

If you rely on the right side of your brain to do your job, you might well find some stiff competition in the wardrobe department from your colleagues. The best billboard for your creative prowess is how you present yourself. You can always rely on Japanese labels to deliver the sort of apparel that deftly combines artistic flair with flawless workmanship, as this kaleidoscopic cardie from Needles illustrates. Pair it with a hoodie in tangerine orange and some freshly dropped New Balance sneakers and you’ll pip your comrades to the post for the best-dressed accolade. For the truly enlightened creative, it helps to have a sustainable element in the equation. This Indispensable messenger bag crafted from Econyl, a nylon regenerated from salvaged ocean plastics, will show your progressive nature.


The post-pandemic urbanite

If your trade demands your presence in the city, your boss probably isn’t going to be brimming with confidence when you rock up in your WFH sweats, even if his own housebound attire has consisted of little else for two years. A starchier approach has long prevailed at such firms, but you’re aiming for a look that tweaks the prescribed template without risking your next promotion. A well-cut double-breasted suit, such as this Kingsman iteration, is always worth its salt, but trading the stiff-collared shirt and tie for this wine-hued rollneck from Richard James will pay dividends in terms of style and comfort. Your footwear can be dialled down, too, by swapping your Oxfords for more casual loafers that are still in city-appropriate black. As for this Hermès Timepieces titanium H08 watch, its pièce de résistance value is two-fold. It will denote your pride in punctuality, but it’s also just a damn fine thing to have on your wrist.


The hands-on artisan

In our digitised culture, where you can start a weekly wash from the other side of the world with a few screen swipes, if you happen to use your hands in a more constructive fashion in the course of your day job, we applaud you. And just because you’re toiling over a planing bench or patch of earth, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look the part while doing so. For delivering on both style and substance, you can’t beat this woodsy combination of a Snow Peak down gilet, YMC checked flannel overshirt and sturdy Diemme boots, while General Admission’s cargo trousers are just the thing for keeping the tools of the trade close to hand. The Panerai Luminor might seem a bit precious to wear on the job, but it is brawny enough to handle any rough and tumble and, crucially, will tell you when it’s time to down tools and fire up the laptop (begrudgingly) to tackle the life admin.


The cutting-edge style pundit

If your workplace is populated by chaps who parade more designer labels than Patrick Bateman on pay day, getting dressed for the office might be a rather taxing experience. What feels like the sartorial equivalent of keeping up with the Joneses isn’t helped by the fact that workplace credibility is measured by name-dropping undiscovered micro-brands from the antipodes. What you need is the clout of some well-chosen staples and accessories from the heavy-hitting powerhouses – such as this pair of Gucci horsebit jeans, TOM FORD belt and SAINT LAURENT aviators – mixed with some hero pieces from impossibly cool niche labels and a sprinkling of folklorish bijouterie. This jazzy embroidered souvenir jacket from KAPITAL and enigmatic fine jewellery from Foundrae should get your style-obsessed brethren’s pulses racing (as the most dedicated frantically jab at their phone screens in an attempt to acquire their own).