I miss you. I did not think I would, but I am starting to miss you more and more.
I can’t believe I am writing these words, but I am braced and ready for the outrage and backlash.
Full disclaimer, U-turn incoming! I should be clear this is not an actual U-turn, don’t think Government style ‘eat out to help out’ followed sharply by ‘everyone home, don’t go out, in-fact we forbid going out.’
No, this is a change of thoughts, and I am sharing that with you.
I am hoping for support.
I am expecting criticism.
It happened this morning, I was not expecting it, but no doubt it happened.
What am I talking about? What am I missing?
I miss my suit for work. I miss my formal work wear. I miss my smart clothes.
There I said it. This might just be a wobble, this might just be a moment of hesitation, but there is no doubt. I have started to miss my smart work clothes; shirts, trousers, full suits, tie, pocket squares, cuff links, tie pins, lapel pins, shoes, real shoes, oh shoes how I miss you. The full lot, I am starting to miss it all of it.
It won’t come as a shock to anyone who has worked throughout the last 18 months that things have shifted culturally when it comes to dress code. As far back as October 2019, The Guardian wrote an article on was the suit on its last legs. Fast forward to peak Covid late 2020 (no pun intended) and GQ, the beacon of men’s fashion and trends, outlined how suit sales had plunged by 24% in that year alone. In the same article Ralph Lauren reported a 66% reduction in the sale of smart work wear across the board. Coming right up to the here and now, only 6 weeks ago People Management continued the debate with this really honest and interesting article on the current state of work wear.
At Digital 51 our dress code is that we don’t have a dress code. In the height of the summer you could not pay Craig Fenn to put a pair of trousers on, his legs and tattoos were on display morning, noon and night. Something we love, embrace and to be honest don’t even notice. I have fully embraced this world, whilst I might not have hit shorts like Craig in work, and I am no-where near a tattoo, I am all in on trainers, jeans and a t-shirt.
That was until this morning when I realised I missed putting my suit, shirt and tie on. I think it’s the weather change this week, that’s what I am telling myself. I know it’s sounds stupid, but as it’s got colder this week I’ve thought how much I missed putting my ‘big coat’ on over my suit. Also, with Black Friday looming, I am on the hunt for a new wardrobe of clothes and historically that meant buying smart clothes.
I don’t know if this will pass. I don’t know if I will be opening the door to a cupboard I have not opened since 2019, to look at, admire, and possibly try on my beautiful suits (they really were beautiful!)
Is anyone else feeling this? Are we really never going to wear smart clothes for work again?! Are we really never going to look how we looked before!? Will we never again face the reality that after work drinks in a suit is quickly followed by a trip to the dry cleaners, due to that colleague who you loved, but cannot keep their drink in their glass.
Are these days really behind us?
I’m just going to say it. I’m debating a change, sod it, lets call it what it is, I’m debating a full-blown U-turn here. My only saving grace right now is that Thomas Pink are still closed post Covid, but I know they are threatening a return. If that should happen in the coming days, there may be no hope for me.
I can imagine you are on the edge of your seat wondering how this one is going to play out, so I will keep you posted on how things develop.
Where are you will all this dress code situation, remember I want support here, but at the same time be honest.
Is this just me?
This article was written by Simon Brown, Founder and over-thinker at Digital 51. What are your thoughts on Simon’s current dilemma? Reach out and tell him on