Brits are ditching office wear in favour of comfy clothes as they overhaul their wardrobes & spend more time at home

BRITS have ditched formalwear in favour of comfy outfits as they spend more time indoors – and cosy clothes are here to stay.

With people working from home for the near future, a study of 2,000 Brits found nearly half – 49 per cent -have shunned restrictive clothes for a more 'relaxed' wardrobe. 

The research found Brits have adopted a ‘flexi-lifestyle’ – and embraced the wardrobe to match. 

The study, commissioned by shopping centre, centre:mk, found that 29 per cent felt they needed to overhaul their clothes to match their new lifestyle. 

And now it seems adults are 10 times more likely to buy a jumper than a suit, and five times more likely to snap up a pair of jeans rather than a maxi skirt. 

While more than a third of women, 35 per cent, prefer trainers over heels, and fewer than one in 20 will be buying stilettos any time soon. 

Women’s ‘flexi-wardrobe’

  • Seven jumpers
  • Five pairs of jeans
  • Four casual skirts
  • Three smart skirts
  • Four pairs of trainers
  • Six items of loungewear
  • Ten t-shirts
  • One suit
  • Five day dresses
  • Four formal dresses
  • Five items of gymwear
  • Two pairs of suit trousers
  • Five coats
  • Six shirts / blouses

Kim Priest, spokesman for centre:mk, said: “The study shows how shoppers are reinventing their wardrobes this season to create the ultimate flexi-wardrobe.

“The new flexi-lifestyle we’re all living means shoppers are adapting their clothing items to become smart casual capsule collections, pairing new items with their timeless classics like jeans and blazers, and designing their top half to be screen ready.

“Our research shows that shoppers are opting more for comfort particularly when working from home.

The study shows how shoppers are reinventing their wardrobes this season

“However, while they’re a bit more relaxed in their attire, they are still keen to look as good as ever, often paring comfort on the bottom half with a smart top to take the children to school, jump on an important Zoom or for those rare real life social occasions we all want to make the most of.”

The study found that the new ‘flexi-lifestyle’ wardrobe consists of over-sized T-shirts, leggings, gym gear, six jumpers, four trainers and the same number of jeans. 

And as we head into autumn, 18 per cent of those asked admitted they’ll be buying more clothes to suit their home-working lifestyle, with the average person planning to splash £103. 

But those aged 25-34 are planning on forking out even more for some new threads, with a fifth planning on spending £200 or more. 

Men’s ‘flexi-wardrobe’

  • Five jumpers
  • Four pairs of jeans
  • Three pairs of trainers
  • Five items of loungewear
  • Ten t-shirts
  • Three suits
  • Three items of gymwear
  • Three pairs of suit trousers
  • Four coats
  • Seven shirts
  • Two pairs of chinos

Some three in 10 plan on buying more jumpers this season, while a quarter want more hoodies. 

And 31 per cent said they’ll be getting more casual, rather than smart, clothing, and 21 per cent will get items which can work for home and the office. 

Despite Brits being eager to get some new outfits, more than half – 51 per cent – acknowledged their shopping trips will be very different these days. 

Prof Carolyn Mair PhD, behavioural psychologist and author of ‘The Psychology of Fashion’, who has collaborated with centre:mk as part of the research, said: “Many people miss the opportunity to be spontaneous, so we are choosing clothing items that can be combined effortlessly to work in multiple contexts.

“This reduces uncertainty, increases confidence and provides a sense of control which in turn contributes to our wellbeing.

“What we wear is our second skin, it expresses who we are.

"Prior to the pandemic, we associated traditional workwear with conscientiousness and professionalism, but working from home has changed what we wear to perform our jobs and the associations that we make about appearance.

“We can exert and command authority in casual clothing in many different ways.

"Although we make a judgement about a person in under one second based on their appearance alone, we often change this when we know them better.”

And despite being at home more often, it seems 48 per cent of those asked, via OnePoll, still plan on spending £48 on beauty treatments. 

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