MILAN, ITALY – FEBRUARY 21: Bella Hadid walks the runway at the Max Mara show at Milan Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2019/20 on February 21, 2019 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)

Will traditional dress codes still exist in the next few decades? Unlikely. Requirements for suitable attire is changing by the season and demanding a certain, overarching look is becoming increasingly troublesome. The future of “appropriate” dressing will surely become hot debate as individualism continues to be the movement for our ages.

But what of the office? Professional standards being upheld by subordinates and expected by honchos is completely understandable. Taking liberties to relax in couch threads when everyone else is pressed and pleated is inappropriately lacklustre. Pleasantly, however, the rigidity of office normcore is starting to bend, and fashion is prying open the formerly suit-locked doors of white-collar establishments.

A style uprising that can only be deemed ‘new business casual’ is a sure-fire commercial winner for designers to incorporate into their collections. A creative steer for the plethora of workers who knee-jerk to a chino-and-chambray or a jean-and-blazer as soon as the tie can come off. And this season, 9-to-5’ers’ cup has runneth over. Close to every label this past fashion month has included ensembles that fit the business-fashion brief. On the short list? Karl’s final hurrah for Fendi with his range of volumed woollen pieces prepped with iconic starchy-collared shirting, Ralph Lauren’s double-breasted military blouses tucked into full-bodied slacks, Ferragamo’s massaging of traditional pinstriped suiting into a kind of slouchy-cool basic and Loewe’s sullying of preconceived untouchability through tailored utility pieces. But for the devoted jeans-and-jacketers among us, Hedi Slimane provided (most surprisingly) a pony-rider Celine season for your enjoyment. Total casual Friday wearability in the form of skinny jeans, pussy-bow blouson, tweed jackets and over-the-knee boots.

With more and more time-poor, cash-rich, fashion-loving women in high positions, labels would be crazy not to add even the slightest new-business-casual ethic to their creative repertoires. For it’s these women who are most likely to walk into Chanel, slap down their black Amex and leave with the real deal.



Ellery crepe blazer, $1538, from net-a-porter, SHOP NOW
Kitx ‘prism’ jacket, $795, SHOP NOW
Zara belted jacket, $239, SHOP NOW
Bec & Bridge ‘Salut’ jacket, $330, SHOP NOW
Beaufille ‘siner’ shirt, $430, from The Undone Store, SHOP NOW