What to wear for hybrid working, post-pandemic

Step away from the sweatpants and say so long to your hoodie. As employees incredibly split their time between the office and home, it’s time to start rethinking your work wardrobe.

But what to wear? You’re not alone if the thought of pouring yourself into a suit or stuffing your feet back into high heels is uninspiring.

Fortunately for the sartorially confused, IWG, the world’s largest operator of flexible workspaces, and Spaces, one of its leading brands, have partnered with iconic British designer Giles Deacon. Together, they’ve created an office wear collection that’s perfect for the post-pandemic workplace.

Say hello to hybrid

After nearly 18 months of working from home, businesses and their employees are now adapting to a new, hybrid way of working. As the benefits of this model for people, profits and the planet have become clear, many firms and their staff want to embed it in company culture.

IWG’s recent survey of FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 business leaders revealed that three times as many companies intend to embrace a hybrid model, post-pandemic, compared with those intent on a return to the old 9-to-5 routine.

Offering people the option to work from local flexible workspaces, rather than only from home, is key to many companies’ plans. This provides all the benefits of a significantly reduced commute, combining these with the promise of a professional, well-equipped and distraction-free environment to work in.

The future of work is hybrid, it’s no wonder the SPACES X GILES capsule collection is, too. It fuses the more relaxed clothing choices many have adopted at home with the smarter attire you might normally select for an office setting. The aim is to offer the wearer style and confidence, as well as comfort.

This reflects the findings of IWG consumer research, which reveals that 59% of us believe the days of formal business dress are over and 39% think it will be more acceptable to wear informal clothing in the office after Covid-19.

“There has been a noticeable change in people’s relationship with clothes over the pandemic, and as a result what we wear to the office has changed forever,” says Giles Deacon, designer of the SPACES X GILES collection.


The SPACES X GILES collection encapsulates three separate looks – one male, one female and one non-binary – combining fashionable style, flattering silhouettes and soft tailoring that ensures the wearer looks sharp but feels comfortable.

The garments are crafted from organic fabrics including poplins, soft needlecord, compact wool and cotton jersey. This is a conscious move away from many of the materials people may have worn to work before Covid-19, and is intended to encourage more considered, sustainable choices.

SPACES X GILES was in part inspired by Giles Deacon’s visits to IWG locations, including several in the Spaces portfolio. Spaces centres provide creative working environments with a unique entrepreneurial spirit in hundreds of locations worldwide – perfect for forward thinkers, innovators and game changers who are confident of success. The collection was shot at Spaces Liverpool Street, and modelled by real office workers from a collection of industries.

The colour palette used for SPACES X GILES ranges from traditional black and white to broader, muted shades of charcoal grey, soft-washed navy, brown, khaki and sand. Flashes of brighter blues and reds lift and enliven the look.

“The SPACES X GILES capsule collection has been designed with the hybrid worker in mind, combining a smart business look with comfort,” says Deacon. “Every colour and fabric has been selected to make the wearer feel happy, calm, confident and determined, wherever they may work.”

Expression and individuality

SPACES X GILES also recognises workers’ wishes to express their individuality through clothing. IWG’s research reveals that 55% of people believe they work better when given the freedom to dress as they like, while 40% said wearing clothes they were happy in helped support their creativity.

Millennials and Gen Z workers are especially conscious of expressing themselves at work via their wardrobes, according to the survey. Over half of 18-24-year-olds said their outfits reflect their personalities, while more than half of 25-34-year-olds said their office attire is linked to their creativity.

Perhaps this reflects our desire, even in a hybrid world, to demarcate our downtime from our work time. IWG’s WiFi login data shows that office visits in countries including the UK, Spain and Italy are up by more than 50% since the beginning of January 2021 – signalling that, for many, working at a local flexspace may be preferable to working from home, where it can be difficult to switch off at the end of the day.

“Giles Deacon is a fashion icon and we are delighted to have partnered with him to create the SPACES X GILES collection, bringing to life the latest post-pandemic workwear trends,” says Fatima Koning, Group Chief Sales Officer at IWG. “The collection has been inspired by our experiences over the past year or so, and the desire to look and feel fabulous whilst not compromising on comfort.”

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