Altered Environment: Staying Stylish Under New Working Conditions

Custom clothier Lauren Warkentine shares tips for blending stay-at-home style with business attire as we get back to work

As we approached this year's fashion and style issue, the first question that came to mind was, "what does being in style even mean anymore?" With so many people working from home, business attire can mean anything from a complete loungewear look to wearing your yoga pants with a cute top just long enough to look presentable for a Zoom meeting. 

As we begin venturing back out of the house, for work, dining out, it is apparent that styles have shifted in these past months. Large formal events and parties are still not happening, so we're still not in the habit of formal dress. 

I asked custom-clothier and William and Lauren Co-founder Lauren Warkentine for tips on staying stylish while dressing down, and what she sees headed our way in fashion trends. 

Tip 1: A casual spin on the classic looks

As we head back to the office or happy hour, we will see more blending of the casual clothing we've been wearing while at home, and dressing up as we were used to in the past. Think of blazers with t-shirts, Henley, hoodies and tennis shoes. I am mixing and matching dressing up and dressing down, and more re-wearing, since the pressure to always have a new look is off. It is important to look polished and put together in the office, but the practical definition of polished has changed.

Tip 2: Made to last rather than made to wear: A return to the basics

So many factors will drive a focus on minimalism and looking for value.  While we still want to look presentable and fashionable, clothing that is immune to trends and will last through the seasons will be a focus. Made to last, classic wardrobe builders that can be mixed, matched, and extended, creating a wardrobe that focuses on quality over quantity. In-your-face luxury will be out, whether you can afford it or not. With the economy struggling, flashy symbols will decline. Fashion will shift as people look for quality, lasting pieces that make them feel good, for a good value that isn't insensitive to the country's economic struggles.

Think neutral tones, simpler staple pieces, complementing colors that can be mixed and matched.

Tip 3  Shopping local and personal

The "shop local" call was loud during the lockdown. People were making a conscious effort to support local restaurants and businesses through curb-side, online, and other creative shopping options. This pandemic seems to be magnifying the support local mindset and the importance of small businesses in our communities. Malls might be open, but people are not rushing back to large, crowded browsing. More people will be introduced to and see the value in personalized, curated shopping experiences to build their wardrobe needs. They are supporting local, small businesses over larger brands, saving time and lowering exposure.

Tip 4:  Suiting up to change your outlook

Before COVID, we already saw the revival of suiting, as corporate was becoming more relaxed, wearing a suit was no longer a stuffy necessity, but a style choice. Since lockdown we've been living in athleisure and zoomed out, I predict that we will run the opposite direction back to tailored looks when we things return closer to normal. In an era when we have been out of control and powerless, we will be yearning for the power suit. Thinking about wearing a nice jacket at a nice restaurant again is something to look forward to- a tailored suit won't just be a way to shop locally, but is a sign of hope for better days to come.

William & Lauren is committed to the safety of all of their clients during this unique time. Individual, in-person measurement and customization appointments are still offered, along with complete virtual styling services from the comfort of your home. For more information or to schedule a fitting, visit or

Related Businesses

Joe Bae Salon

Hair Salons

Joe Bae Salon

Bellevue, WA

Located in charming Old Bellevue, we offer a high-quality, warm and friendly boutique salon for ladies and gents. Our main...

Sutera Spa

Day Spas

Sutera Spa

Flower Mound, TX

With a staff of highly qualified therapists who will tailor each treatment to your unique needs, Sutera Spa is designed to...

See More

Related Articles

See More