Dressing for the waist-up

As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, many businesses were forced to make remote working arrangements for their employees pretty much overnight. And, with the most recent advice from Boris Johnson to work from home if you can, this is likely to be the normal for the foreseeable future.

With the technology that is available to employees via the internet when working from home such as; emails, messaging platforms, phone calls and video meetings, employees have been able to communicate and work as normal. However, without the need to be physically in the office or making the daily commute, employees are no longer visible to their colleagues and bosses, consequently opting for more comfortable working clothes.

If workers are required to take part in work video calls on Zoom, the general trend is a more comfortable and casual look on their bottom half, with a professional look from the waist up, that can be seen on screen.

Research conducted by NDP Group, found that of those who were working from home in March, 48% of respondents said they wore activewear or sweats, 46% wore pyjamas or loungewear all day. 35% of women said that they also wore a bra less than usual. These statistics demonstrate that working from home has undoubtedly changed clothing habits for remote working employees.

Marketing teams across clothing shops and designers at fashion labels have honed in on this. Online sites like, ASOS featured a ‘working from home’ category on their app, which predominantly featured loungewear; and a ‘waist-up’ focus at London and Milan fashion weeks was noticed. Luxury fashion house, Prada featured large coats pulled around shoulders like a blanker and placed their logos at the top of its collars. Though, the brand said they were not immediately influenced by Zoom, they said it was influenced by ‘contemporary human relationship with technology’. Head designer, Miuccia Prada said, “Fashion is about reacting to reality. During lockdown, I realised how important technology is and how impactful for us, and in some ways, an extension of ourselves.”

As this year has all been about waist-up dressing and comfort it should come as no surprise that brands are adapting and considering it in their marketing and design.