A major shift in consumer behavior since 2020 has manifested in many ways, including what is defined as “office appropriate” attire. From job interviews to staff meetings, the post-pandemic dress code is decidedly more casual and comfortable than it has ever been. After more than two years of the work-from-home Zoom uniform of sweatpants and blazers, it’s time to enjoy the fun and creativity of dressing up again this fall.
The changing leaves and cooling temperatures mean that we’ll be swapping out our sandals for boots, and linen tops for wool sweaters. With more than 100 retailers within the Center City District, it’s easy to find pieces fit for the office, for school, and for a night out.
Ashley Taylor, owner of DFTI Boutique at 2031 Chestnut Street, is seeing firsthand the shift in office attire and says that casual is definitely here to stay. While the typical work outfit had long consisted of form-fitting trousers with a blouse or button-up shirt, customers now are looking for a balance of polished and comfortable. This fall, that will mean more oversized blazers and wide-leg pants. Business-casual silhouettes like these can be found in a variety of locations and price points, ranging from the Bloomingdale’s Outlet in The Shops at Liberty Place to H&M in The Fashion District.
A great outfit to transition from the summer to fall weather can be a blazer/shorts combo or a long-sleeve button up and shorts set. Matching sets in casual and night-out styles are shaping up as a current trend that will carry over into the fall. Two- and three-piece sets are especially in demand with college students, Taylor explains: “It’s easy because they have an entire outfit all in one and they don’t have to worry about picking out separates.”
For nightlife-loving fashionistas, Taylor predicts that leather pants and sparkly tops will be go-to items in the coming season. Another important fall silhouette for women, wide-leg pants paired with crop tops, is arriving at DFTI and at other Center City retailers including Primark and Urban Outfitters.
For men whose sartorial style isn’t complete without a great sneaker during an evening out, Lapstone & Hammer, located at 1106 Chestnut Street, has a large selection of contemporary menswear and celebrates the craftsmanship in the goods they sell.
To find the latest looks for a meeting in the office, a presentation at college, or a date in the city, the shopping options are plentiful in Center City. Taylor sums it up by saying, “My customers are ready to go out!” So, let’s get out there and celebrate fall with a wardrobe that is suited for it all. See you there!