Not ready to give up loungewear? Comfy but cool workwear ideas for the return to the office

Model wearing Hush Joan Midi Shirt Dress
9:08am, Thu 17 Jun 2021
CBAD8A00-D2B9-4E0E-ADDF-D0366C357A34 Created with sketchtool. E9A4AA46-7DC3-48B8-9CE2-D75274FB8967 Created with sketchtool. 65CCAE04-4748-4D0F-8696-A91D8EB3E7DC Created with sketchtool.

‘Do you think I can get away with wearing trackie bottoms to the office?’ – a question many of us have asked ourselves recently.

While only you (or your boss) can really answer that query, we can offer some outfit ideas that will help you transition from your working-from-home bubble – where no one has to know what you’re wearing on your bottom half – to a shared workspace again, where you’re visible to colleagues and/or clients.

These workwear staples are stylish and smart enough for the office, but don’t compromise on comfort…

Breezy blouses

Swap stuffy cotton shirts for loose, summery blouses that can be easily teamed with skirts or trousers. Pretty lace detailing or colourful prints elevate a simple silhouette.

Crew Clothing Tania Blouse

Crew Clothing Tania Blouse, £59

Sonder Studio Blurred Floral Blouse

Sonder Studio Willow Blurred Floral Blouse, £45

Comfy trousers

The closest thing you can get to joggers, while still adhering to the smart-casual dress code, wide-leg trousers are a cool (in every sense of the word) alternative to slim-cut styles or skinny jeans, particularly if they’re made with breathable cotton.

Wear with flat sandals, so the swishy hems reach all the way to the floor.

Omnes Knitted Button Front Cardigan Buttermilk; Knitted Pointelle Cami Top Buttermilk; Wide Leg Trousers in Blue Daisy

Omnes Knitted Button Front Cardigan Buttermilk, £45; Knitted Pointelle Cami Top Buttermilk, £38; Wide Leg Trousers in Blue Daisy, £55

Monsoon Wide-leg Trousers Blue

Monsoon Wide-leg Trousers Blue, £45

River Island Studio Straight Pleat Trousers

River Island Pink RI Studio Straight Pleat Trousers, £50

Easy everyday dresses

Sometimes it can be tricky to find summer dresses that aren’t too, well, summery for the office. You want to look boardroom-ready, not beach-ready.

Cap or three-quarter-length sleeves are best, if you’re dealing with a more conservative dress code, while floaty midi dresses look chic with heeled sandals.

Hush Joan Midi Shirt Dress, £95

Oliver Bonas Sunshine Floral Print Black Midi Dress

Oliver Bonas Sunshine Floral Print Black Midi Dress, £45 (was £75)

Monsoon Ruched Midi Dress Yellow; Leather Cross-over Sliders Tan

Monsoon Ruched Midi Dress Yellow, £70; Leather Cross-over Sliders Tan, £30

Smart trainers

In the era of ‘lifestyle trainers’, it’s way easier to get away with wearing sneakers to work than it used to be – so long as they’re understated and, crucially, clean (the more box-fresh the better).

For summer, low-tops in white or pastel hues are perfect for pairing with trousers, skirts or dresses.

Cocorose London Hoxton White with White Stars Leather Trainers

Cocorose London Hoxton White with White Stars Leather Trainers, £115

Next Signature Leather Back Detail Trainers

Next Signature Leather Back Detail Trainers, £50

Air and Grace Cru Signature White Silver & Gold Trainers

Air and Grace Cru Signature White Silver & Gold Trainers, £159

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