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Top fashion designers reveal what to wear upon reentering the workplace

Along with many things, COVID-19 will also have a substantial effect, perhaps forever, on the way we dress.

Does lockdown‘s loungewear quality as “fashion?” Are “work clothes” gone for good?

As we mentally and physically prepare to leave the house and return to our office spaces, top designers reveal the wardrobe essentials that will make day-to-day dressing fun.

9-5: Fashion experts, including  Creative Director of Lafayette 148, Emily Smith, reveal what all women need to re-enter the workspace post pandemic

Rebecca Minkoff  

While no one needed a purse during lockdown, clothing and accessory designer Rebecca Minkoff says the one item that all modern women need when heading back to the office this spring is an oversized bag.

Rebecca suggests her Edie Maxi handbag. 

‘What’s incredible about the Edie Maxi is that you can keep it casual with jeans and a cute top/jacket or dress it up and wear a maxi with a chic little vest,’ shared the New York-based entrepreneur.

Spending more (if not all) time at home over the past year, most of us have amassed a wardrobe of loungewear. 

And now that your work stations will be more than a few feet from your living room, it’s time to re-imagine those separates to wear them on the streets.

‘I think the key here is how you can style your comfort up,’ said Rebecca. ‘For instance, we have an incredible Janine Sweatshirt that is cozy and chic. 

‘It goes literally from couch to office or a zoom with just a great lip or pair of earrings!’

Julez Bryant

Jewelry can amp up the formality of any outfit – including sweatpants!  

California-based jeweler Julez Bryant believes her MICA Chain is the one piece of jewelry that all modern professional women should own.

‘It is powerful and understated at the same time,’ said Julez. 

‘It is one the most comfortable necklaces I make and speaks volumes about a person without having to say “I have style and understand aesthetic. I am strong and feminine.” 

The rectangle link choker can be worn as a necklace or a double-wrap bracelet, it can be layered with other necklaces or stand on its own.  

The made-to-order design comes in three sizes and is available in three golds (yellow, rose and white). It’s versatile and can be worn from day to night.

‘I made the piece to travel with you on all of your adventures,’ shared Julez.  

The pandemic has allowed women to pair back their lifestyles and dress for themselves despite trends or dress codes. 

According to the business owner, ‘the act of being able to get up, shower, sparkle and go out into the world, brings the wearer a feeling of being complete and brings the observer joy, too.’ 

Julez Bryant's rectangle link MICA choker is versatile. It can be worn as a necklace or a double-wrap bracelet, it can effortlessly be layered with other necklaces or stand on its own

Julez Bryant’s rectangle link MICA choker is versatile. It can be worn as a necklace or a double-wrap bracelet, it can effortlessly be layered with other necklaces or stand on its own

L’Agence  

Vice President of L’Agence, Tara Rudes Dann, deems the jean, blazer and blouse combo to be the ultimate post pandemic look. 

‘Pair the perfect blazer with a great soft printed blouse for the office, then slip into a chic pair of heels and your most fabulous jewelry for evening,’ said the entrepreneur and mom.

While loungewear became all-day-wear in quarantine, ‘we feel that our woman is tired of feeling comfortable and wants to be her best-dressed self.’ 

By The Namesake 

Moto jackets will never go out of style but there’s a new outerlayer topping the must-have list for boss babes everywhere and it’s in the form of a leather blazer. 

By The Namesake is known for their lineup of leather jackets named after female leaders throughout history.

Designer Rosa Halpern’s latest creation, the ‘Kamala’ is a nod to our first female Vice-President, Kamala Harris. 

‘It represents a fierce elegance and fashion forward take on the traditional blazer that she is known for impeccably wearing,’ said Rosa. 

‘Being a classic silhouette and material, the blazer can provide a bit of an edge when dressed up or elevate looks that are more casual. 

‘It is the ultimate badass power suit for any occasion.’ 

For work, Rosa favors teaming the blazer with a vintage t-shirt paired with silk lounge pants from her collection.   

‘Lately, I’ve been all about silk basics. Our Studio Essential set provides the work-from-home comfort we have gotten used to, but looks professional and sophisticated.’

Veronica Beard 

The pandemic (like all major historical events) has caused everyone to change their daily life and also their fashion choices. 

New York-based sisters-in-law Veronica Swanson Beard and Veronica Miele Beard created their eponymous label of classic-cool, versatile staples for the everyday woman. 

While no one really knows how the pandemic will change fashion trends forever, the widespread return to street clothing may inspire a renewed interest in getting dressed up.  

‘We call the Dickey jacket the Wonder Woman cape because it is the outfit game changer,’ said Veronica Miele Beard. 

‘It can be worn in any setting and you can style your jacket to suit your daily runway whether it’s to work or to a weekend adventure.’

The Veronica’s believe modern professional women should never apologize for wanting to feel and look gorgeous and confident.  

‘I live in jeans and a cool blouse or a white tee shirt with the Nisha Boyfriend Jacket and Carah Woven Sandals for daytime, shared Veronica Swanson Beard.

‘Add a dickey to dress it up for night.’

Lafayette 148 

Creative Director of Lafayette 148, Emily Smith, believes Lafayette’s blazers are the foundation of every wardrobe, regardless of a woman’s size or age.

This season their range consists of soft and deconstructed to structured and tailored. 

‘There’s just an easy air of effortless luxury with our spring collection that feels right for our women and our Iconic blazer is a piece that polishes off every look,’ she shared. 

‘I think it’s natural for us to be influenced by the effortless uptown/downtown style of New York—I always love that mix of something fancy with something casual, such as our Eaton blazer with a pair of our Kind Cotton Authentic Denim Jeans for the office.  

‘We’re focusing on soft constructions in both ready to wear and footwear, more relaxed shapes and styles—yet all still in beautiful, high quality materials so that no matter what she’s putting on, it’s kind to her skin and feels luxurious. 

‘Our Spring collection offers unlined jackets, paper-light leather, soft suiting and easy trousers for polish that shifts seamlessly from the office to at home.’ 

'Comfort is still key for us, as well as an emphasis on versatility in our new way of living, working, going out, staying in…The world is forever changed, so it’s about addressing her new needs within the language of our Lafayette aesthetic,' shared Creative Director of Lafayette 148, Emily Smith

‘Comfort is still key for us, as well as an emphasis on versatility in our new way of living, working, going out, staying in…The world is forever changed, so it’s about addressing her new needs within the language of our Lafayette aesthetic,’ shared Creative Director of Lafayette 148, Emily Smith

'Our Spring collection offers unlined jackets, paper-light leather, soft suiting and easy trousers for polish that shifts seamlessly from the office to at home'

‘Our Spring collection offers unlined jackets, paper-light leather, soft suiting and easy trousers for polish that shifts seamlessly from the office to at home’

Loeffler Randall 

‘I feel like anything goes these days, ‘ said Jessie Randall, Founder and Chief Creative Officer at Loeffler Randall.

‘Even sneakers can look very cool for work.’  

The New York-based shoe designer who just opened her first brick and mortar store in SoHo, believed that after more than a year of working from home and wearing comfortable shoes it’s going to be hard for people to put on something that isn’t comfortable.

‘I think we’ll see more dressy things that still have a comfort and ease element – like polished mules for work to dinner that easily slide on and also nicely made shoes that are inherently comfortable like sneakers, ballet flats and clogs.’  


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