As companies across the country launch their Return to Work efforts to transition from remote work back to the office, many people are feeling overwhelmed. Never mind tackling the daily commute — after two years of sweatpants, how are they supposed to get dressed? Is business casual still the way to go, or are there new rules?
“You can wear comfortable stylish clothes and feel good about yourself,” says Brenda Cooper, author of the new book “The Silhouette Solution: Using What You Have to Get the Look That You Want” (Clarkson Potter.) “Style isn’t about Neiman Marcus. It’s about knowing what the right pieces are, coordinating them into simple silhouettes that flatter your body, and then add an overpiece. So you can find your style ID. Dressing is not a complicated task. You can look and feel good when you go out the door.”
Author Brenda Cooper says you don’t need to buy a whole new wardrobe when you return to the office — just focus on a few pieces that fit well. Cooper is a costume designer and stylist who has worked with everyone from Fran Drescher (pictured) to William Shatner. Getty Images
Cooper is a costume designer and stylist who has worked with everyone from Fran Drescher to William Shatner. She created the solution years ago on the set of “The Nanny” as a way of dealing with a small budget — and has sworn by it ever since.
For the return to office, she insists it’s not necessary to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe — it’s just about finding your Style ID, and adding to it. She recommends that everyone own a pair of straight-legged pants and a pair of jeans — “straight because it’s universally flattering and comfortable,” she says, in addition to a pencil skirt and a maxi-skirt. For tops, everyone should own a tank top, a T-shirt shape, “and what I call an ultimate neckline — a square neckline. It looks good on anyone. You’re building your silhouettes this way,” says Cooper, “and you can do it in black, brown, or navy.” Top it off with an over layer — a blazer, or a light jacket, and you’re good to go.
Cooper created “The Solution” years ago on the set of “The Nanny” as a way of dealing with a small budget — and has sworn by it ever since. CBS Television Cooper created the solution years ago on the set of “The Nanny” as a way of dealing with a small budget
“These are universally flattering clothes to build a fab functional wardrobe that works regardless of height, age, race, etc and works for every geographical location,” says Cooper. “You can do this Hawaii style, Washington style, winter, summer. It works across the board. You can find it on any budget from Target to Neiman Marcus. It makes dressing the easiest part of your day so you can feel confident.”