As we at Vogue approach one year since we packed up our cubicles and made working from home the new norm, there’s a natural longing to be back in the office. While we’re not quite sure of our official return date, thoughts on what to wear when we do have started to run through our minds.
Each Vogue editor certainly has their own distinct style, but there’s a clear common thread of optimism in all of our post-quarantine mood boards. With hopeful hearts, we’re preparing to say goodbye to wearing loungewear pieces on Zoom and hello to getting dressed up for face-to-face meetings. But of course, things will never completely be the same-we’ve all discovered some incredibly comfortable yet fashionable garments we’re likely not going to part with just yet.
It seems the Vogue consensus is to bring some of those elevated, easygoing wardrobe essentials with us once we finally return to the World Trade Center. Executive fashion director Rickie De Sole is looking forward to adding a comfortable pair of jeans to her work wardrobe for the first time, and senior beauty editor Lauren Valenti is relying on the polished touch of soft suiting. Pondering your own office return? You’ll find plenty of inspiration from my fashionable colleagues, below.
Over the past year, I have come to love denim in a way I never did. I rarely wore blue jeans to work before COVID. I much preferred the ease and more formal nature of a dress. I imagine that the return to the office will be a gradual one, and in that same vein my daily uniform will slowly evolve too. Inspired by the cool of Hedi Slimane’s Celine and the eternal New York style of Nili Lotan, dressed-up denim will be my go-to for the foreseeable work future!
I never thought I’d say this, but I am so excited to sit in a tiny cubicle for eight hours a day. Why? Well, I actually have never been to the Vogue offices since I joined the team last October. That’s why the post-quarantine reopening will be just as exciting as my first day of elementary school. The only difference is I won’t have to wear an ugly uniform. I’ll get to show off my personality with glamorous knit dresses and playful accessories.
One thing I most miss about going to the office is the opportunity to experiment with my style and getting to see what fun looks my colleagues are wearing. Every day I’d put together a full look from head to toe-outerwear, sunglasses, jewelry, handbags, shoes, the whole shebang. When it came to getting dressed for work, I didn’t stick to much of a uniform; however, I liked to rotate my favorite office staples each week-say, a shirt with a major ’70s pointed collar, leather Bermuda shorts, patent coats as dresses, and lots and lots of impractical footwear. Where else can you wear a white leather mule? While I’ve adopted a much more
pared-down style this past year (comprised of simple button-ups, knits, and slippers), I look forward to having a reason to put all of the outfit puzzle pieces back together-layers, accessories, heeled shoes, rigid and structured fabrics-even if it did cause me to be late every now and again!
One thing I miss about the office (besides hanging out with my coworkers) is having a reason to dress up. At Vogue, no look was ever “too much,” and I love the creative freedom we had to wear what made us feel good. That being said, I also relish the emphasis working from home has put on comfort and ease, and I will definitely bring that with me into post-pandemic office life. This dress from Simone Rocha’s recent collection looks both comfortable and romantic (especially appealing since I too have been binge-watching Bridgerton and Downton Abbey). I am also eagerly awaiting her H&M collaboration for a chance to snag designs at affordable prices. I will likely pair it with practical pieces I’ve acquired during this time in lockdown, including a black Telfar tote (which conveniently fits my laptop) and Sarah Flint black boots (which I love for their built-in arch support). If we don’t need to wear masks in the office (there’s an optimistic thought!), I will also embrace the moment to put on my old favorite Chanel lipstick. Most of all, I look forward to giving friends and family whom I haven’t seen in a while big hugs–and hopefully explore some international destinations. My trusty Away carry-on remains at the ready for when that moment comes.
I’ve always gravitated toward the ’70s, but I foresee myself (and the world!) leaning even more into the glamorous attitude of the decade post-lockdown. That means dressing to the hilt, of course. So I’m thinking soft but tailored suits and separates by day, and sleek sequined and feathered dresses by night. Chic yet unfussy accessories, too. Who better to look to for inspiration than Lauren Hutton? Her Vogue spreads from the ’70s are simply iconic.
I’m trying to dress like a louche Edward Gorey character with a bit of Tom Ford–era Gucci sensuality this spring. Seems like a good combo for a life half indoors and half out.
From my few glimpses of office life over the past few months, one thing is certain—it will never be the same. Gone are the days huddling over the season’s latest accessories with colleagues in the fashion closet, pairing classic Jackies and baguettes with one another’s looks. Our desks may no longer be connected and we may be sitting six feet apart upon return, but we can still hope to carry out our business in style. With a hopeful reemergence in mind, I’m leaning toward classic closet staples to bring a sense of normality to a rather abnormal world.