It’s no secret that creators’ approach to workplace culture and workplace attire generally, is different from others. While some are less strict about what they wear in their workplace, some aren’t. You would find them either on stuffy and unnecessary 3-piece suits, tucked in uneasily and wearing plaid socks.
During Covid, It was understandable to not be so uptight with the dress codes, as work was mostly done from home. But now, post-pandemic, creators are now even more carefree with the traditional appearances and have taken more freedom and expression in their workwear choices.
When workplaces finally opened to employees who have been home for years, we had situations of work clothes not fitting anymore, to employers telling or expecting their employees to resume in distinctly more casual pieces of clothing — because it’s not exactly easy to breathe with a mask on, while almost strangling yourself with a tie and pressed down with a black, heat-generating blazer.
Dressing down went from being an enormous and welcome relief to actual workplace culture.
With 90% of Millennials believing you don’t have to work traditional work hours to do good work, to 79% wanting to be able to work from home, these past few years post-Covid for workwear fashion has been different, and now in 2022, it has gone from being nuanced to an actual lifestyle.
New research from Milkround — the UK’s leading graduate job board, reveals that about two thirds (65%) of young people (18-22 years old) feel judged based on their appearance at work, and that more than a third (36%) are actively worrying about being ridiculed or judged for their choice of clothing. With the society of creators chiefly cutting across the millennial and gen Z community, the traditional approach to workwear and office-themed fashion is unapologetically and notoriously becoming more about comfort, freedom and expression, that if we feel repressed otherwise, we’ll fight you!
We all know the infamous Zara McDermott, and her viral comments about being mortified as an employee in Government to research dress codes in the workplace.
“As a member of Generation Z, I am lucky that I am now, more than ever, able to express myself through the way I present myself. Fashion, hairstyle and even makeup can be adapted to mirror how I want to look to the outside world. However, in some environments – like the workplace – people judge others that choose to express themselves through these means and this has happened to me whilst in my work in the government and still now in a more creative medium.
“Throughout my time working in Government, I was cautious about ensuring everything I wore was appropriate for the workplace. This often caused me stress in the morning, worrying about what to wear and how I would be judged if I didn’t fit in. Milkround’s research shows that I am one of many who experience this. Over time, I realised that standing out for my performance was more important, and to make sure I work hard and express my creativity through my work. By doing this, you will feel good about yourself, no matter what you are wearing.”
Zara made it clear that it’s actually more important as a person to stand out in one’s performance and express creativity and assertion through one’s work, rather than what is worn. And as a matter of fact, it is better to wear what one will be more comfortable in to channel his/her/their creativity.
Even back to our indigenous creative ecosystem, this analogy has proven to be accurate, as we spoke to a few creatives to further prove these findings.
To explore workwear style, Elvis Osifo spoke about the workwear culture of creators this year 2022 — with data to back his claims and comments from 4 local creators in Nigeria.
Software Developer, Cloud Engineer, a bit of a bibliophile, full-stack web developer, and soon-to-be polyglot, project reviewer, and coder.
My choice of outfit is mostly influenced by the weather.
“For formal wear, I love custom pencil pants and a wing collared tuxedo shirt. Depending on the occasion, I might throw in a bow tie (or not). Or a jacket too! And for shoes, brogues can do no wrong. I don’t think you can ever go wrong with that.”
“I work from home and my hours are flexible and accommodating, which means I get to start whenever I like. But on a regular day, I just go with joggers and a plain t-shirt (mostly because I spend a lot of my working hours on zoom meetings lol). I think dressing up differently helps me adjust mentally to “it’s time to work”. And I take that seriously when I am dressed for work (simply too) and at my desk. But really, in the software development space, I could literally just work with my pyjamas and everything would be good. As long as my productivity isn’t affected negatively”.
Photographer, Content creator, makeup artist, creative director, stylist, visual artist, storyteller and corps member.
I do not have one style.
“I’m currently serving, working in a corporate office in Abuja, and this has affected my formal wear. Regardless, I try to ensure that I still stick to MY STYLE. I have a style, and it’s not a particular style, but it’s made of different styles put together. Some days I’ll be looking grump, some days Altè, some days really corporate, some days I look like a princess lol etc. I do not have one style. I’m someone that has successfully carved out a niche for herself, but when it comes down to my style, anything goes; because my feelings, expressions and creativity are different at intervals, and I try to get into my creative elements by dressing into it; vintage looks, pop etc.”
My go-to outfit for formal wear would be palazzo pants, a white long-sleeve, wing-collared shirt, a jacket on top — preferably long blazers or trench coats — some heels or boots to match whatever colours, and lots of accessories because I’m an accessory person, and then a hat — I really love hats; especially those Parisian ones. I also love the fact that this look can be very corporate, and yet when styled well, can also be very fashionable.
“For work, as regards my niche, Mondays to Saturdays are also very much influenced by the occasion. Saturdays are mostly for shoots. If I’m having a shoot, I’ll wear my most comfortable clothes — which are a pair of free palazzo pants and white shirts again lol. But I’ll wear either that or shorts with a large polo. If I’m home, I wear comfortable home fits. I usually plan my outfits a week ahead. Mondays to Thursdays are for content creation. This week I’m already making a video where I’m creating corporate monochrome looks for anyone’s week. Fridays are my CDS days. That means NYSC khaki and stuff lol.”
Personal stylist, retail brand consultant, art director, ongoing fashionpreneur, fashion project lead and retail to customer management expert.
Mondays through Saturdays are always business casual, nothing too serious.
“My go-to outfit for formal wear would most likely be something black, definitely black. There’s this sophisticated and elegant thing about black. So if the dress code was “formal” it would be something pure and clean, very minimal with a hint of the avant-garde.”
“For my niche, Mondays through Saturdays are always business casual, nothing too serious except I decide to step on necks lol.”
Social Media host and broadcaster, Reader, Networker, Bigo influencer, introvert and Digital media manager.
I’m all about comfort and my comfort is very important to me.
“My go-to outfit for formal wear will be a dress, like a gown because I like to be comfortable as my comfort is very important to me. Whether it is what I’m wearing or how I’m feeling, I like to be comfortable. So if I decide to wear anything, I make sure I’m comfortable in it.”
“For my niche, I’m more Saturday inclined — because I work from home — and as a broadcaster, my job requires me to go live, show my face and I believe that most times, people are moved by what they see, so I put in the effort to make sure I look really good. I have fluid conversations with people and just engage them from the comfort of my home. My workwear as a broadcaster is usually a two-piece or a dress because as long as I engage them, keep the numbers up, and get the job done, nobody’s gonna hold me for how I look lol.”