The New Year is a time to be invigorated, so whilst you want to feel cosy at your desk at home, it is not the time to
continue wearing fleece-lined track pants, sheepskin slippers and that baggy old cashmere sweater with dog hairs on.
A call from your boss at the bank to return with gusto to the trading floor could be around the corner, so don’t set
yourself up for a shock. If you sense a telephone call coming, try emulating the morning ritual of mid-century
American novelist John Cheever, when he lived with his family at 400 East 59th Street. According to his daughter,
Cheever would emerge from his New York apartment around 8.30am each day, fastidiously dressed in suit, shirt, tie
and hat, and take the elevator to a maid’s room in the basement that served as his office — where he’d immediately
strip down to boxer shorts and bash away at his typewriter until lunch. Despite Cheever not being clad in a suit for
long, at least you’re in the practice of shooting out of bed to dress in your office finery. On the subject of
office attire, these days the industry you work in has less impact on your choice. Even before the devastating virus
gripped the world, Wall Street giants Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan announced to staff, that time-honoured banking
uniform of suit and tie can take a back seat to business casual. However, their stance on unvaccinated employees
returning to work is less lax. Both are mandating eligible employees to be vaccinated before they return to work.
Goldman Sachs have postponed their return-to-office plan, but like J.P. Morgan they’re desperate for in-person
working to commence again, and so Omicron-permitting be prepared for a short working from home stint if your firm
has a similar policy.
The truth is though, at this time, most people are returning to work from home. Asides from looking sharp on zoom,
wearing a suit or jacket will pay dividends for your productivity. Its tailored cut from luxurious materials
undoubtedly keeps you engaged – feeling like you mean business. Unlike 50 years ago, when heavy and scratchy cloth
was used, today’s prominent houses only produce suits and jackets that allow for greater freedom of movement. By
turning to an Edward Sexton, Cifonelli or Alexander Kraft Monte Carlo, their creations feel like a second skin – and
that’s including the warming flannel suiting they’re revered for. Living in a droughty country house, one should
have no hesitation in dressing up in a flannel suit for a day’s work indoors. Flannel is delectable in winter for
its insulating properties, but is also extremely adaptable when dressing it down. Wear a toasty cashmere rollneck
underneath, and have your feet shod in either sneakers, penny loafers or opulent slippers, now they’re considered an
In winter try to avoid wearing denim jeans. They’re not that warm, and can feel a little tight when sat down all-day.
This is not to knock a vintage pair of Levi 501’s, but let them excel after work hours or on the weekend. In this
strange phase of working life in frosty temperatures, I can’t help but think that a brown corduroy suit from Edward
Sexton would be a terrific investment. Chic and elegant for corduroy, it is soft and warming – and is the antithesis
to a corporate navy suit. If you’re heading back to a media office in Soho, but don’t know when, this corduroy suit
will perform at home before you do.
With well thought out tailoring combinations, that comprise a level of versatility there are unstuffy ways to emerge
into the working environment. A houndstooth jacket is a great option if you’re looking for something a nudge under
the corporate line of work. Again, it gives you the freedom to wear a cashmere knit underneath, and lends you a
myriad of trouser choices. The Aleksandar model of trouser from Kit Blake is proven to partner with a patterned
jacket, whilst it maintains that smart-yet-unstuffy appearance.
By late January it could be the time to double up on a gym bag and briefcase. No longer Milan’s best-kept secret,
Serapian produce luxurious holdall bags to ferry your gym paraphernalia, whilst the Mayfair briefcase from Ettinger
is a City classic. If you’re Lawyer and rely on access and safekeeping of important documents the transitions of
working from the office to at home could pose dangers. Invest in a hand-carved paperweight from Linley to secure the