/Sales for business attire are up as people head back to the office – New York Post

Sales for business attire are up as people head back to the office – New York Post


Some Americans are finding little comfort in returning to the office — with retailers reporting a rise in the sale of dressy clothing, including pants with buttons and zippers.

As New York and other cities begin sending employees back to work amid decreasing COVID-19 cases, sales of comfy knock-around duds that people have been wearing while working from home are taking a back seat to more professional gear, according to clothing businesses.

“Dress shoes, blazers, slacks — it’s all going,” said a male employee working the men’s floor at Saks Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan on Sunday.

“Some of the men I’ve been fitting for suits grumble about it, sort of jokingly, ‘I don’t want to go back to the office, I’ve gotten so comfortable in a button-down and boxers,’ ” the worker told The Post. 

“And a lot of men were surprised when they tried on their old formalwear and discovered it no longer fit.”

Saks also is peddling more formal women’s clothing — including dresses, sandals and blouses — than before the pandemic surfaced last year, the Wall Street Journal reported.

L.L. Bean, Inc., noted to the Journal that its sales of pants with zippers and buttons have recently begun outselling elastic-waistband ones, as workers toss aside their sweats to head back into the office.

A worker in the men’s department at J-Crew in Rockefeller Center in Manhattan added to The Post, “We’re definitely seeing an increase in customers wanting to look at blazers and dress shirts, which is consistent with the rise in people going back to work. 

“It’s the first time since the start of the pandemic that our inventory in that category is getting sold out in the most popular sizes,” he said. 

In the Big Apple, some 80,000 city employees will start to return to their desks Monday.

Still, the uptick in the purchase of work clothes doesn’t mean many people won’t be wearing more comfortable clothes at times, continuing the pandemic-era trend and in anticipation of potentially fewer in-person shifts, retailers said.

Big Apple shoppers appeared just happy to be back in stores Sunday.

Danielle Bergman, 22, a student from Manhattan, shopped at a local Zara’s saying she was looking for “comfy but nicer stuff” than what she’s been used to wearing. 

“It’s been a lot of lounging around wearing sweatpants, sweatshirts, loungewear, athletic wear. I’m ready to buy clothes for everyday life again,” Bergman told The Post. “It feels good to go out, see people around shopping and enjoying themselves.”

Rosario Arnas, 25, of Hamilton Heights in Manhattan had bags containing a white gym suit from Saks and a spring dress from Macy’s. She was about to step into Zara’s for an outfit for her boyfriend. The pair is set to graduate from the Manhattan School of Music, Arnas said.

“I don’t do online shopping,” she told The Post. “You need to feel the fabric, see how it looks on you. 

“When you see a picture [of clothing online], it looks perfect. But when you try it on, it’s like, ugh. … I’m so happy I can get back to shopping for real clothes again.”

Retailers said many shoppers appear to be looking to wear cross-over clothes that can serve several purposes.

“People are figuring out ways to take their casual clothes out of the house,” Macy’s chief merchandising officer, Nata Dvir, told the Journal.

For example, the company said it is seeing more people looking for slippers with the search words “indoor/outdoor.”

Levi Strauss & Co. noted that it is selling more casual “mom jeans’’ — or pants that have more give around the hips and thighs. 

“The looser fits are our fastest-growing styles,” President Jennifer Sey told the outlet.

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