As I was spraying my hair with TRESemme’s Ultra Fine Hairspray before a night of going out, the scent instantly took me back to my childhood – the smell of waking up bright and early to my mom’s hair dryer, clicking hills and clanging jewelry.
Those days are far behind me now, waking up at noon (most days) and now, my mom wears her slippers to her home office. But my mom’s business-wear will always stay in my memories.
Many companies are moving away from offices and the attire that goes along with it. Since the pandemic, many business-wear retailers have shuttered their doors. Retailer Gap, parent company of retailer Banana Republic, reported on its website that they plan to close 350 locations by the end of 2023. My hometown store that I spent many hours watching my mom shop in fell victim to this restructuring.
While I did grab some great deals, it does beg the question: what will happen to office-wear and business-casual for us?
Miami University is home to one of the top Business Schools in North America. You are hard pressed to find a day where you will not see at least one student walking across campus in a suit (it may or may not be wrinkled from a residence hall closet) to their classes in Farmer. While top educators are crafting the professionals of the future, is this dress code out of touch?
When these students aren't in suits, loafers and heels, you will commonly find them in athletic-wear and sweatpants – a more common sight in tech startups and work from home offices today.
As Gen Z hits the workforce, the fashion impact will be interesting to see.
While the days of my mom’s high heels and hair spray certainly are far behind her in her career, as she has no plans to leave her at-home work office, I hope that one day I get to wear a power suit in an office, just once in my life. Maybe dressing up in an office space is the new dress down?
As we graduate as a new class of students preparing to enter the workforce, I hope that their office-wear makes an impact on someone just as my mom’s did on me.