I still remember, back in the Ancient Times of March 2020, my first week of working fully from home. My work-from-the-couch setup was temporary — I figured my time at home would last a few weeks and I’d soon be back in the office on a regular basis.
Fast forward to July 2023, and I’m not on the couch anymore. I have my very own homemade desk in the living room and the posters that used to hang in my cubicle are visible behind me when my camera is on, part of a casually-constructed virtual background picture of my new “office.”
Just as my work setup has changed, so have the clothes I wear day-to-day. SanMar has always had a pretty casual vibe (we do sell t-shirts after all) but I made it a point to dress better for work than I would on the weekend. As I type this article today, I’m wearing comfortable shorts and a t-shirt featuring Dobby from Harry Potter.
It will surprise nobody to hear that my working world has changed. After all, everyone else’s has too.
Office work has evolved from fixed to flexible schedules, with the office itself growing to include remote locations in homes and shared workspaces. What we once called “business uniforming” has had to adapt. More opportunities for remote work means more flexibility in our choices of what to wear. A more open and empathetic culture means a loosening of the rules we thought were so solid — everyone’s situation is unique and every organization has different needs that need to be met.
So, when it came time to make a new guide to Business Uniforming, we had to first address the elephant in the room – the very idea of what a “uniform” is doesn’t look like it used to. Our guide would have to adapt.
The New Working Wardrobe
While much has changed, some things still stay the same. Teams still like to look and feel cohesive. What they wear can help cement this feeling whether they’re connected virtually or all together in the same physical space, or some mix of the two.
Also, different companies have different expectations from their employees. Professional polish is a critical aspect for some, while others thrive on a more relaxed outlook.
Everyone is still trying to find the right answer for their team. Our new guide, The Working Wardrobe, will help address each of these priorities for your customers. We start by looking at three general categories of organizations.
Companies that live and breathe a culture of reliable tradition do still exist, and their standards of professionalism haven’t changed much. However, buttoned-up is never an excuse for boring.
This part of our guide represents a stylish selection of professional dress shirts, classic polos and adaptable accessories that put employees in the spotlight for their chance to shine. These put-together looks are ideal for real estate agencies, banks, law firms, accounting firms and other financial institutions where a professional appearance is valued.
The modern worker knows what they like and they often know the latest trends. Brand names matter, as does feeling empowered to be themselves and bring their unique talents and personal styles to work.
The modern portion of the guide brings fashion and function together in harmony, helping to create a team atmosphere with cohesive looks in fashionable polos, henleys, fleece, vests and outerwear. Technology companies, including everything from telecom to e-commerce to gaming developers, as well as film studios and digital effects teams, look great in this style of outfit.
Smart Casual Styles
Groups that opt for a casual look are often the most active organizations of all. They need clothes that emphasize comfort and flexibility to support everyone to feel their best and be ready for anything.
The more relaxed tees, polos, fleece, sweaters and bags on the casual end of the collection are perfect for teams always in the thick of the action, including customer support centers, volunteer groups, warehouse management, sports medicine, delivery services and many others.
Our guide to today’s working wardrobe also includes some suggested decoration ideas from our very own Decorator and Digital Solutions team, because no work outfit is complete without the right logo to go with it.
These days, making the journey into SanMar HQ is more of an occasion than a daily habit. When I do I prefer to dress the part, and I often see my friends and colleagues wearing SanMar tees and fleece too. We’re still figuring out the balance that works for everyone, but the desire to connect remains and it still feels good to be part of the team.
When your customers are looking to you for ideas on the next generation of their business uniforming program, our guide to the new working wardrobe is an ideal place to start.